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WrestleMania 33: Could WrestleMania be expanded to two shows from two time zones?

Could WWE SPLIT WrestleMania, by selling out TWO stadiums in TWO time zones on the same day? I look at the proposal in detail.

Feature 26 Feb 2017, 16:20 IST
McMahon could make $50 million extra from future WrestleMania shows

On the last episode of “DS Breaking News” on The “Dirty Sheets” podcast, I spoke about WWE possibly planning to expand WrestleMania to two sold-out stadium shows in one day, with one show emanating from one time zone, followed by a second show from another time zone.

For example, Wrestlemania can be held simultaneously in New York, followed by LA, with around 8 matches being on both cards. This wouldn’t be the first time that this would have happened either.

In 1986, WrestleMania 2 made history by emanating from three separate venues: New York’s Nassau Coliseum, Illinois’ Rosemont Horizon and California’s Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Each venue had its own card. 

The respective final matches were a boxing match pitting Mr. T against Roddy Piper at Uniondale, New York and a 20-man battle royal involving WWF wrestlers and NFL football players at Chicago.

The main event, which featured WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan defending his title against King Kong Bundy in a steel cage match was held at Los Angeles. 

Matches on the respective undercards saw Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion "Macho Man" Randy Savage defending his title against George Steele and Tag Team Champions The Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake) losing their titles against The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid).

The 3 cards allowed WWE to garner a combined attendance of over 40,000 people. For fans in the arenas, they got to see one hour of the show live and then they watched the rest of it on the giant screens that were lowered to create a movie type atmosphere.

The event was also held on a Monday, which is a little-known fact. Of course, as I’m sure you all know, the other ones have all been on a Sunday.  

Hogan and Bundy headlined LA

It was a unique PPV concept that frankly didn’t work out too well.

Thankfully, it was an idea that wasn’t repeated, however, it was a concept that is still considered years ahead of its time. It will most likely be a matter of when, rather than if, the WWE try this again. 

The current WrestleMania 33 card already has 16 projected matches and is set be 6 hours long, including their pre-show.

Fans are starting to complain about the length of WrestleMania shows, which ultimately could play into the WWE’s hands and give them their reasoning to split the card into two three-hour shows instead.

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WrestleMania 33 takes place in Orlando, FL on April 2nd. Out of the 16 projected matches, it’s fair to say that around 6 matches are of a main event level. It would be fair to say that if you split the card between Raw and Smackdown this year, then both cards would have the potential to sell-out a stadium.

The split cards, as an example, would look like this (I have given Smackdown the Battle Royal and the Cruiserweight title Match to balance out the cards):

Raw WrestleMania

WWE Universal Title Match: Goldberg (Champion) vs. Brock Lesnar
The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns
Triple H vs. Seth Rollins
United States Title Match: Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho
Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe
Big Show vs. Shaquille O’Neal
WWE Raw Women’s Title Match: Charlotte vs. Nia Jax vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
WWE RAW Tag Team Title match: Gallows & Anderson vs. Enzo & Cass vs Sheamus & Cesaro

Smackdown WrestleMania

WWE Title Match: Bray Wyatt (Champion) vs. Randy Orton
AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon
John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. Miz & Maryse
WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title Match: American Alpha vs. The Usos
Cruiserweight Title Match: Neville vs. Austin Aries 
WWE Smackdown Women’s Title Match: Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James vs. Becky Lynch  
The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Speaking to friends about this year’s card in terms of if it was split, I found that people are completely divided as to which one they would attend. This obviously benefits WWE’s argument that it can put on two strong cards. For those interested, I would personally be leaning towards attending the Raw Wrestlemania. 

The WWE are a business and the point of a business is to make money. The WWE are always looking for ways to make more money and selling out two stadiums for WrestleMania would be over $50m extra for the WWE. That’s if it works.

If WWE were to go ahead with this, it would finally open the door to the long-time speculation about a UK WrestleMania, something I have always written off. 

However, the UK is a huge market and it is definitely in a different time zone, so it would certainly qualify as a destination for the first half of WrestleMania, under this two card structure. 

As a WrestleMania goer myself, I am not thrilled about travelling from the UK to the US to watch half a card or be made to make a choice, but that’s just me.

If the WWE truly feel they can sell out two stadiums with two cards and generate the extra $50 million, then fans should definitely expect this development in the future. I am certainly not a fan of the idea. However, I am not naive enough to scream “greed!”

The Dirty Sheets podcast where I’ve discussed this idea in further detail, can be heard below.

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