WrestleMania 36 isn't just set to be the biggest professional wrestling event of the calendar year. It’s set to be one of the biggest sports and entertainment events, period. Tens of thousands of people will file into Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on April 5th to see Brock Lesnar defend his WWE Championship against Drew McIntyre, the return of 90s wrestling icons Goldberg and Edge, and a rare appearance by mainstream crossover star John Cena. Of course, this assumes the show can even go on in the shadow of the ever-worsening Coronavirus outbreak. Here are six of the most common questions people have about WrestleMania 36—starting with the odds of it even happening at all.
So, Will Wrestlemania 36 Even Happen or What?
Considering the rapid spread of Coronavirus has cancelled or postponed major annual gatherings like Coachella and SXSW, that’s a good question. WWE has no plans to scrap Wrestlemania 36, their biggest domestic show of the year as of press time, scheduled to take place April 5, 2020 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. While WWE’s insistence on holding the show would lead one to believe it will take place as scheduled, it’s ultimately out of their hands.
The nearby city of Miami has already forced the cancellation of the Ultra Music Festival, and Ryan Bass of CBS Tampa reported that Tampa Mayor Jane Castor will meet with city officials on Thursday to discuss whether or not to cancel major events like WrestleMania.
What Would Happen if Wrestlemania 36 Got Canceled?
Raymond James Stadium can hold upwards of 75,000 people for special events like WrestleMania. All of those people, plus anyone traveling to the area for satellite events presented by independent wrestling companies, would be out of luck with less than a month to cancel expensive travel arrangements, hotels, rental cars, and the like.
Cancelling WrestleMania 36 would also prevent what could be a widespread escalation of the spread of Coronavirus. WrestleMania 34, held at the Superdome in New Orleans, was reported to have welcomed fans from 67 countries. If that number is similar for this year’s event, it could lead to community spread of the virus on a fairly large scale.
While public health is likely the biggest concern for the city of Tampa, there’s a massive economic downside to cancelling the event. WWE declared that last year’s WrestleMania, which was held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, generated $165 million for the New York/New Jersey area. The city of Tampa and its outlying areas would surely lose out on revenue similar to that.
How Many Matches Would Be On the Card for Wrestlemania 36?
This also remains in flux. As usual, WWE announces their highest profile matches in advance, then slowly adds ancillary, lower card bouts closer to the day of the event. Last year’s WrestleMania had a whopping 16 matches, and this year could see even more added thanks to an expanded talent roster.
As of press time, there are five officially declared matches on the WrestleMania 36 card. Matches for Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, The Undertaker, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch are all accounted for.
Are There Any Celebrities Appearing at Wrestlemania 36?
While WrestleMania made its pop cultural mark as an event that brought mainstream celebrities into the WWE’s muscle-bound orbit—think Cyndi Lauper, Burt Reynolds, Pete Rose, Mike Tyson, and Pamela Anderson—heavily hyped cameos by famous non-wrestlers have become far more rare in the last decade. But that doesn’t mean celebrities won’t eventually become wrestlers themselves.
Ronda Rousey first appeared in WWE at WrestleMania 31 in Santa Clara, California, to confront Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Three years later, she would compete against them alongside Kurt Angle. At WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, Florida, an NFL player by the name of Rob Gronkowski hopped into the ring to help his real-life friend Mojo Rawley win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale. Now, he’s officially signed and will be at WrestleMania 36 to start his first storyline.
Wait, Is Goldberg Really Back for Wrestlemania 36, and How Old Is That Dude?
Yes, the 90s wrestling phenomenon Bill Goldberg is working this year’s WrestleMania. Feel free to pick your jaw off the floor. At the age of 53, Goldberg, who made his name as a member of the WCW roster all the way back in 1998, is now WWE’s Universal Champion.
He’ll defend that title against 34-year-old Roman Reigns, who was 13 when Goldberg won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship against Hulk Hogan at the Georgia Dome.
What’s John Cena Doing on Wrestlemania 36?
Cena is now more than just a part-time wrestler in cargo shorts. He’s a full-blown movie star, with a featured role in the next Fast and Furious movie. Thanks to his abiding love of WWE (and/or a hefty payday), Cena is returning to the ring to face “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt, a Jekyll and Hyde-esque character with a split personality: one is a mild-mannered children’s show host and the other is a demonic creature in a spooky mask. Cena gave Wyatt his first ever loss, at WrestleMania 30 back in 2014. If Wyatt were to win, this would be his first ever win at WrestleMania.
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