Raine Cruz had the opportunity to announce Big E to the ring at WWE SummerSlam after she won a contest on TikTok. Now, she’s reflecting on her experience.
WWE SummerSlam was WWE’s second attempt at a WrestleMania level event in 2021 following the return to full-time touring. In conjunction with this, they ran a contest on TikTok allowing a fan to live their dream as a WWE ring announcer.
"My initial reaction was, 'Of course, it's on TikTok, I don't have a TikTok account.' I had one before but I couldn't figure it out. So I was like, 'I'll stick with Instagram.' To me, it's like 'Okay, well, you know, let's see how it goes.' So basically, I had to record like myself announcing some of the Superstars, basically get like a duet with WWE. So I figured that out and my TikTok only had like, maybe 60 followers, mostly people that I know because I just kept begging people, 'Please follow me. I just started this account. I want to win this contest.'
"I just remember thinking, 'I don't think I'm gonna win this because every time you click that hashtag, you can't see my videos like you have to keep scrolling for you to see my video so I was like, 'Okay, I better upload more. What if for some crazy reason they somehow see the other ones right and check out my profile so I recorded a few more and then to me, it was just like, Okay, well, I don't know exactly what they're looking for. In my head, it's like why just started ringing announcing this year. I don't know if they're looking for someone who's really experienced or looking for a fan who has a great gimmick. I wasn't sure but all I knew at that time was it's free to post a video and my mindset was just this is actually cool because, in a sense, I was also getting my reps as a ring announcer you know, I'm ring announcing WWE Superstars, which I had never tried before. So to me, I just found it entertaining as well and I just kind of kept submitting entries because in my head, 'Well, it's free. They're not gonna charge me anything for this. So, why not?'"
Finding out that she won, she would say that her reaction was emotional from the start and that once she got backstage on SummerSlam Sunday, she says the WWE treated her like family.
"I found out that I won Wednesday night before SummerSlam the week. I don't know if I wasn't sure how it's gonna go. But to me. Well, my husband was telling me, 'Well, no news is good news. So just hang tight, you might hear back and next thing I know, I see this email saying, 'Congratulations, you won!' My initial reaction was I was literally just on the floor, crying, and my husband's like, 'What is going on? Why are you crying?' He thought someone died. Like, I was literally having my Oscar moment. I was so overwhelmed. I couldn't believe it."
She continued, "So the day of SummerSlam, we got there really early at like, 8:45 in the morning. I got to meet, you know, a lot of people. I was just really excited. I had visualized being in a WWE ring for so long, that sometimes I'm wondering, like, why am I like, visualizing this in my head so much like, but I just, I just know, in my heart, it will happen one day, you know, and to me, I just could not wait for the actual realization of it, basically. So I was just like, really excited. I got to meet a lot of people. To be honest with you, It felt like my husband and I had been there [and] had met these people before because everyone was just very welcoming. You know, people behind the scenes, current WWE Superstars, WWE Hall of Famers, it was a very welcoming environment, which made me feel comfortable to just you know, basically be myself and do my thing."
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