It appears as though Australia has a genuine opportunity to host wrestling’s grandest stage, WrestleMania.
The pinnacle of wrestling down under — there’s quite a ring to that.
It’s the story no Aussie wrestling fanatic thought could be a key takeaway after the WWE’s recent premium live event in London’s O2 Arena, Money in the Bank. But dig a bit deeper and you’ll recognise it’s an all-too plausible scenario. Let’s unpack it.
WrestleMania going international?
With the UK hosting one of WWE’s biggest annual events recently, the sports entertainment company took the opportunity to do a victory lap in the sold-out venue that looked and sounded considerably raucous.
Out came wrestling legend John Cena, in what was a surprise appearance, pumping up the tyres of the loud and supportive English fans. He told them how great they are, they loved it. He suggested that London should host a WrestleMania one day and they loved that even more.
So then there was an opportunity to play into England’s rivalry with the land down under — a rivalry currently amplified by the Ashes series heating up in the UK.
In walks 33-year-old New South Welshman Grayson Waller to the centre of the ring. The rising star wrestling talent is currently playing an antagonist role on WWE brand Smackdown, agitating other wrestlers and now crowds too.
He’s one of several Australians doing big things in America’s sports entertainment space right now.
“If WrestleMania is going overseas, it needs to be somewhere beautiful,” he started.
“Good weather, nice beaches…
“I think if WrestleMania’s going to go somewhere international, it needs to go somewhere like Australia.”
Now, as we all know, wrestling is scripted.
So this confrontation between Waller and Cena, which ended in physical violence of course, was not only premeditated, but also carefully thought out.
It’s a message to both countries that a future WrestleMania event is up for grabs, or more specifically, for sale to the highest bidder. That’s kind of what this was about — a call to various parties that wrestling’s greatest stage could potentially be bought.
Waller did a great job in the ring with Cena and overall this segment was PERFECT pic.twitter.com/mMViyxMwka— CrispyWrestling (@CrispyWrestle) July 1, 2023
It’s also worth pointing out that Australia has been under consideration to host a premium event, in Perth, before next year’s WrestleMania. As this story indicates, wrestling is having a moment down under right now, with South Australia’s Rhea Ripley currently leading the charge. She claimed a major women’s championship by beating Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania earlier in 2023. Ripley has crafted an heir of invincibility in the women’s division and ‘I’m not going anywhere’ vibes.
So it would make sense the WWE is interested in leveraging Australia’s momentum in a meaningful way; whether it’s a premium live event in Perth, or even a WrestleMania.
Waller joins Ripley and Bronson Reed in the WWE stable, while there are also Aussies making an impact on fresh new rival promotion All Elite Wrestling. Whether WWE-owned Endeavour is feeling threatened by the fresh, new thing cannot be ignored; perhaps these offshore events are consolidation missions too.
Wrestling’s been in a bit of a golden age of late, with both companies forcing one another to raise their game. Fans have been the winners, with the recent Money in the Bank proving to be yet another memorable and super fun event.
Where and when is WrestleMania 40 (2024)?
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, April 6-7
Philadelphia is playing host to WrestleMania XL next year, April 6-7, 2024.
Where and when is WrestleMania 40 (2025)?
It’s still rumours and murmurs right now, but Minneapolis is reportedly a finalist. Perhaps London and one of Australia’s capital cities can also emerge as legitimate options.