On Friday, WWE Smackdown will feature a pair of matches from the Rolling Loud festival in Miami.
Ahead of both bouts, Rolling Loud co-founder Tariq Cherif explained why the festival decided to partner with WWE, in a new interview with Complex.
When asked how the partnership came to fruition, Cherif told Jessica McKinney:
"A lot of people on this team grew up fans of wrestling, and we love and respect what the WWE has built as far as their storylines and their brand and the way they’ve gotten this massive legion of diehard fans. They go to WrestleMania every year, and we’re building something similar over here. Granted, it’s different, but we have a lot of similarities, and we also have a lot of crossover fans. There’s a lot of hip-hop fans that are fans of wrestling. There’s a lot of wrestling fans who are fans of hip-hop. Hip-hop dominates all culture... It’s the No. 1 genre of music. It drives culture across all press points, from music to fashion to athletics to tech to charities. It doesn’t matter where you are, hip-hop has a major presence. So we have a lot of crossover fans thanks to hip-hop being so massive, and thanks to wrestling being so massive. We just thought it would be cool to mesh both worlds together and bring them into our world, expose them to our fans at the festival and on our stream. And we’ll be in turn exposed to their fans that tune into Fox on Friday night to watch Smackdown. It’ll be pretty cool."
Check out the current lineup for this week’s Smackdown below:
WWE SmackDown - July 23
*John Cena appearance
*SmackDown Women's Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Carmella at Rolling Loud
*Big E vs. Apollo Crews at Rolling Loud
*Toni Storm debuts
Rajah.Com will have full, live coverage of Smackdown, beginning at 8PM ET.