How Fox's Ultimate Tag Was Inspired By Professional Wrestling

Big Deal Ultimate Tag Fox

Fox's Ultimate Tag has delivered high flying action and high stakes to audiences at a time when professional sports have been on hold. The series found an audience, possibly because its production was inspired by a large and successful sports entertainment organization: the WWE.

CinemaBlend's Laura Hurley spoke about Ultimate Tag with production designer James Pearse Connelly, who talked about the show's inspiration connecting to professional wrestling. Connelly originally didn't have that vision for the Watt brothers-hosted series but explained:

With Ultimate Tag, we had gotten the show right over the holidays, actually, a fair amount of time ago. I remember having breakfast with my fiancee in Toronto, just getting into the holidays, and I had a call with the executive producer, and I had a bunch of coffee. And we were just chatting up a storm, and it just clicked where she had said, 'You know, I don't want this to sound prescriptive, but I want to watch the show and have the same feeling when I watch like, World Wrestling Entertainment. You know, spectacular and exciting and extreme. There's lot of eye candy and it's a sporting event, but it's also entertainment.' That was a sort of 'aha' moment that I'll never forget. I thought, 'Oh, yeah, that's what we should do for Ultimate Tag. It's tag meets that sort of really entertaining wrestling.’

Ultimate Tag gives off that late-80s WWE vibe, especially with its professional taggers. With names like The Iron Giantess or The Kid and a fair amount of trash talk, these athletic individuals are transformed into the types of random wrestlers one would see at the height of Hulkamania, especially The Banshee. She has the energy of a classic 80s heel wrestler, and dare I say, could make a splash in the WWE.

The taggers are only part of what makes Ultimate Tag have that feel of major sports and pro wrestling. James Pearse Connelly went on to talk about how else the production design team made the show feel as big as possible by working on the set in general.

We built that on a soundstage. And so the bleachers were designed to look like bleachers, obviously, in a stadium, but to get as much height as we possibly could. So we we explored all sorts of engineering, steps in every direction to get us tall.

The result is an Ultimate Tag set that feels as big as a stadium, and fans who can be seen as all the action unfolds. A bonus of the bleacher seating is that fans can hold up signs for their favorite competitors or pro taggers, which again, certainly seems inspired by the world of WWE.

Ultimate Tag airs on Fox Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the show, and the latest happenings in television and movies. James Pearse Connelly will be part of an upcoming Comic-Con @ Home panel, called The Future of Entertainment, to share more of his perspective and experience on July 23 at 1 p.m. PT.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

I like good television but also reality television. His day largely consists of balancing his workload between reporting on the latest and greatest news in Star Trek and other sci-fi, as well as 90 Day Fiancé, WWE, Big Brother, and more.