This year’s WrestleMania takes place at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. This marks the third time the Showcase of the Immortals has taken place in the Long Horn State. Over the years, WWE has put their annual main event at a lot of venues, but one thing they’ve never done is have a WrestleMania take place overseas. The closest they’ve ever come is to put on a show in Canada at the Skydome in Toronto for WrestleMania 16. People travel all over the planet to get to the United States in order to watch Mania live. As far back as WrestleMania 17, there were people from more than 20 countries coming in. The desire to view the event is strong across the globe. So why hasn’t WWE ever capitalized on this and had a Mania overseas?
Every year, the Monday Night Raw after WrestleMania is always electric, thanks in large part to the huge group of fans that come in from the United Kingdom to see the show. The UK, especially the English, are a big fan base for WWE. The company does a UK run every year. In 1992, WWE put on SummerSlam in London, England. And again in 1998, WWE did a show called Capital Carnage in London. The next year, the No Mercy pay per view was in Manchester. Five months later, another UK show called Rebellion happened in Birmingham. Insurrextion and Rebellion in 2000, 2001, and 2002 also occurred in England. Between 2003 and 2016, though, WWE has done only one other pay per view in England.
When the WWE Network debuted, the UK was one of the last countries to get access to it. Their rollout was delayed again and again. The fans grew frustrated and understandably so. When you give as much time and money as UK does towards a company and its product, you expect a little bit of a reward. But WWE hasn’t taken care of it’s UK fans very well. And that’s a shame because they are passionate, vocal and exuberant about being part of the WWE Universe.
So where could this show take place? Thanks to soccer, the UK has several exceptional arenas that could host WrestleMania. The historic Wembley Stadium in London holds 90,000 which should be more than enough to satiate Vince McMahon’s obsession with attendance. Twickenham Stadium, also in London, holds 82,000. A match overseas could be epic. The UK is certainly the most deserving, but a WrestleMania from Australia, whose Melbourne Cricket Ground arena holds over 100,000 would be grand. Or a WrestleMania show in Japan, a culture largely obsessed with wrestling, has the Nissan Stadium which holds over 72,000.
WWE has a long history of showing favoritism towards particular locations in regards to WrestleMania. For instance out of the 31 Manias we have had, four have taken place in New York. (Five, if you count the one in New Jersey.) Six different times, WrestleMania has been in California. As mentioned earlier, there have been three in Texas, equal to another three in Illinois.
The market for wrestling is there in other parts of the world, as are the venues. If WWE wants to expand their market and find new ways to set attendance records, they have got to branch out from North America for WrestleMania.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker