Apple laid the smack down against the competition, winning big pop during one of the world's premiere "sports entertainment" events, the WWE's 'Cyber Sunday' last night, I'm told.

A cast of huge and hulking wrestlers stalked down to the WWE's wrestling ring from a set clearly based on the look and feel of a Mac Pro and an Apple Cinema Display.

The set design also featured an Apple keyboard, which was the top area of the ramp leading down to the ring.

WWE image shows the Mac set

WWE used the Mac as part of the design for the show because the event asked wrestling fans to go online to vote on which fighters should do battle on the night, hence the name, Cyber Sunday.

Winning valediction from the people behind WWE may mean little to many Mac users, but a more generalistic assessment is bound to note that the sport is watched avidly by many millions of fans.

WWE isn't just following trends here - the company uses Macs itself, in order to create the swooshy motion graphics with which it populates its television coverage, as described in this report.

WWE clearly recognises that for many consumer users, going online means using a Mac. The move also comes as Apple's Mac marketshare continues to climb, buoyed by the succes of the iPhone and the iPod and the mass Mac migration of Windows users vexed by Vista.

It's also worth noting that in the run-up to the event, a WWE Cyber Sunday countdown Dashboard widget was released, as noted on the Apple website.