Female wrestler "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey relives an intense moment from her real-life story in a surprisingly moving spot for the WWE 2K video game franchise.
The film sees Rousey walk into a locker room and hang the iconic leather jacket of her idol and namesake, WWE Hall of Famer "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. As she stares at the jacket, she begins to recall a conversation she and Piper had several years earlier. "The only thing I want for you is for you to be as successful as you want to be and as happy as you possibly can," Piper says. "You're going to give so many people hope."
The voiceover was taken from a 2015 "Piper's Pit" podcast conducted shortly before Piper's untimely death later that year. In the audio clip, Piper explains to Rousey why he was passing the torch of the "Rowdy" name to her. Rousey dons the jacket and walks off, ready to face her opponent in the ring. The ad ends by telling us that viewers who pre-order WWE 2K19 can "play as Ronda Rousey."
Created by BarrettSF,and directed by Wolfbergs and Jake Banks via Golden, the spot stems from a real-life story. The Piper family had passed the jacket on to Rousey prior to her WWE debut earlier this year. Altogether style of the ad, and the backstory, reminds us of work for the likes of Nike or Under Armour, making it unexpected for the category.
The ad broke on WWE's Monday Night Raw telecast earlier this week and will air nationally on WWE programming, along with social platforms, as pre-roll video on WWE and on Google's True View ad platform.