WWE received some negative mainstream media attention this week for the Zombies Lumberjack Match at Sunday’s WrestleMania Backlash pay-per-view, which saw Damian Priest defeat The Miz.
The New York Post ran Joseph Staszewski’s WrestleMania Backlash review with a headline that said, “Zombie stunt at WrestleMania Backlash is one of WWE’s saddest moments ever.”
The review continued and said many will remember this pay-per-view for the “terrible, cheap-plug zombies,” which were a tie-in to promote Zack Snyder’s “Army of the Dead” movie on Netflix, which stars former WWE Champion Batista. The sponsorship included Batista narrating the opening video package of the pay-per-view.
“WWE sure knows how to put a damper on a good thing. WrestleMania Backlash continued a recent string of WWE pay-per-view filled with great matches and compelling stories, but many will remember this one for the terrible, cheap-plug zombies. Thankfully the actual wrestling was good enough to stop one of the company’s worst ideas from truly dragging the show into the muck,” Staszewski wrote.
The coverage of WWE’s zombies did include praise for Miz, Priest and John Morrison, but continued with the following:
Zombie Lumber Jacks. Yes, read that again. WWE turned the lumberjacks for The Miz-Damien Priest match into zombies as basically a big ad for Dave Bautista’s new movie, “Army of the Dead,” which sponsored the show. Kudos to those two and John Morrison for trying to make the most of this absolute disaster. Priest and Miz even teamed up to fight the zombies at one point.
WWE did put the zombies in context by showing a tweet from Bautista saying he couldn’t make it but “some of my friends will.” It all made for one of the worst things WWE has ever done. They even dimmed the lights and filled the ThunderDome video board with spooky house graphics.
Somehow the zombies, which arrived from all around the arena and scared the broadcast team away, knew not to enter the ring during the match. But they made sure to “eat” the Miz in the middle of it following his defeat. WWE even had Priest’s bow-and-arrow routine lead to an ad for the movie after he won. The match felt so secondary. Compromising your creative and product on a pay-per-view that much to promote a movie just leaves a bad taste.
Miz will likely be right back on “Monday Night Raw” this week with some lame excuse for how he survived. Either that or we get a Zombie Miz and Morrison, who was also eaten. Just for due diligence, we have now seen WWE burn a man alive (The Fiend) and have one eaten alive by the blood-thirsty undead in the past six months.
As noted at this link, The Miz reportedly suffered an injury during the Zombies match and could be out of action for several months. You can click here for details on the WWE Coach and wrestlers who were dressed up as zombies for the match.
Stay tuned for more.