While millions tuned into the Super Bowl’s halftime show Sunday, the WWE saw an opportunity to revive a fan favorite idea to showcase the future of sports entertainment.
The WWE presented Halftime Heat for the first time in nearly 20 years with a six-man tag match featuring NXT’s brightest stars as Ricochet, Aleister Black and Velveteen Dream were victorious over Adam Cole, NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano and NXT Champion Tomasso Ciampa.
The event streamed live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, on Youtube, Facebook Live, Twitter and the WWE Network. Excluding the WWE Network, the other streaming options brought in just under 90,000 viewers. Network numbers would understandably help that number drastically, though they are not yet available.
WWE executive Paul “Triple H” Levesque fostered the idea to bring back the event and ran it by Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon who embraced it and set it in motion.
“Vince is focused on showcasing the future, and he pushed to make this happen,” Triple H told Sports Illustrated. “He was the most supportive one. This is a big opportunity to go out, in essence, and perform in front of the world.”
The first Halftime Heat was in 1999 and featured The Rock defending his then WWF Championship against Mankind in an Empty Arena Match. That event drew an astounding 6.6 rating as Mankind won his second WWF Championship. The following year didn’t take advantage of the previous year’s success, showing highlights from the 2000 Royal Rumble event and an interview with the injured Stone Cold Steve Austin. Halftime Heat wouldn’t return again until last Sunday.
Triple H said the WWE was open to Halftime Heat sticking around in the future.