Skip to main content

Wrestlemania 2: Part Two?

Interesting e-mail here, so I thought I’d just present it as is and let everyone discuss.

Pack a lunch and hear me out...
The three-venue concept of 'Wrestlemania II' is typically regarded as a bad idea.  While it may not have worked well in execution, I do not think the idea is bad on its own merit.  In fact, I think one could argue that it would make a bit more sense in the current WWE Universe than it did in 1986.  Since the WWE monopoly began in 2001 and the multi-brand presentation of the roster, the talent depth lends itself to putting on three shows, at least in theory. 


There could be benefits to revisiting this tri-venue presentation in terms of gate, roster morale, and the scale of the event.
For years, WWE has presented Wrestlemania in the epic football stadium venues and has drawn a massive house.  Snap judgment says breaking from the stadium setting would cost the show gate money, as well as the scope and grandeur that signifies the modern era's Wrestlemania brand.  However, I believe the multi-venue approach could work today particularly because Wrestlemania sells as a brand first, not entirely because of the card.  My point is that running a coordinated Wrestlemania in three separate cities could conceivably sell out multiple venues (even if they use normal arenas rather than stadiums) and draw a larger cumulative gate.  The idea of running a 'coast-to-coast' Wrestlemania could allow the company to really promote the 'WWE Universe' transcendence they seek.  In short, Vince can buy into his 'spanning the globe' mentality and find yet another unit of measure for his manhood.
Whereas Wrestlemania 2 featured only a few televised matches from each venue, the WWE would have to deliver a relatively full card at each city in order to justify the attendance.   This is less of an issue today because the WWE controls such a deep roster.  For example, the tag team champions are not even on this year's card, the secondary titles are virtually defunct, and there are multiple workers not involved in the show.   (Naturally, this would mean giving some exposure and direction to more talent, but that is another tangent).  In terms of the end PPV product, half of each individual city's card would be 'dark matches'.  Each city would receive a 7-8 match card, but only the 3-4 matches intended for the PPV would appear in the purchased PPV product.  (Aside: the 'dark' matches could be included on the later DVD release as 'bonus' or 'easter eggs').
In essence, the three cards could be composed of the one high profile match, an upper card feud, and one or two undercard matches that would result in a 9-12 match PPV end product to which we are accustomed.  Modern technology makes this far more feasible from a logistics standpoint as well.  Coordinating the live broadcast across three venues into a seemless program would not present anywhere near the challenge it did 25 years ago.  Also, the WWE has enough capable figureheads to disperse to each city (say, Stephanie, HHH, and Vince each in a city 'producing' the show).
Specifically, I think the three-venue concept could be an interesting fit for Wrestlemania 30.  As a matter of tradition, it would make sense for the 30th anniversary show to be held at Madison Square Garden (as with numbers 1, 10, & 20).  However, this would be a step back from the now-standard stadium-size gate and scale of Wrestlemania.  The three-venue idea allows the show to 'return where it all began' (MSG) without compromising the 'Wrestlemania feel' of a larger-than-normal PPV.  Have one-third on the west coast (L.A.?), one in the midwest (Chicago?) or Canada (for the multinational feel), and the concluding third at MSG (N.Y.).  WWE already has multiple separate production crews for their various programming and 'separate brands', so they will not be spread-thin logistically.
The current roster structure allows for this: have a WWE/World Title match at Venue #1, the other World Title at Venue #2, and the annual 'special attraction main event' at Venue #3 (ala Rock-Cena, Taker-HHH, Rock-Hogan, etc).  In fact, this year's installment has exactly this sort of stature, with Rock-Cena, a pair of World title matches, and HHH-Undertaker all carrying 'main event' status on most cards.
Example televised 'Wrestlemania' Broadcast, sans 'dark matches':
Venue #1 (West Coast)
- WWE Championship
- Intercontinental Championship
- mid-card match
- mid-card match
Venue #2 (Midwest/Canada)
- World Championship
- United States Championship
- mid-card match
- mid-card match
Venue #3 (Madison Square Garden)
- 'Main Event/Special Attraction' (ala Rock-Cena)
- Tag Team Championship
- Divas Title
- mid-card match
In summary, you get more gate revenue (approx. 40k in attendance at each = 120k total); an expanded feel (Wrestlemania 'Coast-to-Coast'); three individual main events in which the participants actually get to 'main event' their own venue (unlike a WWE Title match opening the show this year); a way to end Wrestlemania XXX at MSG without compromising gate or scale of the show; nation-wide appeal instead of focused single-city attention for the 'Road to Wrestlemania', 'Axxess', and all the local attention the show draws.  As a bonus, you get essentially the whole roster involved on some level.  Sure, the NXT guys, some random divas, and a handful of mid-carders might not actually air on the PPV presentation itself, but their 'dark matches' will be in front of a Wrestlemania crowd and included on later packages (WWE Network, DVD release, etc).  You can let guys go out and make the 'dark' portion of the show special for the live crowd--if a match ends up being blow-away great and isn't on the PPV, you can always air it on 'Raw' or on WWE Network to reward the workers.  WWE could also do their celebrity appearances and concert bits as part of the 'dark' part of each venue, rather than another instance of Kid Rock (or token flavor of the week) taking up PPV time from the wrestlers.  Everyone gets a Wrestlemania payday, every city gets a full card, but only the top guys air on the actual show.
I think the three-venue idea has merit financially, logistically, and for the simple 'cool factor'.  I especially think it is do-able for Wrestlemania XXX.  Personally, I think the Wrestlemania 2 idea was fine in theory, it just did not work in practice 25 years ago.  Whereas that show was closed-circuit and only the second attempt at a Wrestlemania 'super show', the Wrestlemania brand is a major event today, with pay-per-view, large venues, and mainstream media attention.  I think the most significant impedements to Wrestlemania 2's success are virtual non-factors in the modern market.  Readers, feel free to expand upon, amend, or flat-out pan this idea as you see fit.  Just throwing it out there....


  1. This was one of the few years they could have pulled that off.

    HHH/Taker in LA.
    Punk/Jericho in Chicago (so they don't resent having the 3rd most important match)
    Rock/Cena in Miami

  2. I would rather have the WWE take Wrestlemania to The Wembley Stadium in London someday.  That would be awesome.

  3. I think it's an interesting idea but I'm not sure they'd have as easy a time selling out all the venues. Perhaps I'm wrong, but if Wrestlemania was in my backyard, but I knew I would only get, say, Orton VS Sheamus, Bryan VS Miz, and then a bunch of matches featuring Yoshi Tatsu fighting NXT guys (because they don't have the roster to give you 24 matches on the same night without including all the random jobbers that are only on NXT and Superstars), I doubt I'd even go, especially if I had to pay the normal WM prices.

  4. It's certainly an idea, but don't forget everything else that goes into Wrestlemania. You'd be talking about sacrificing Axxess, the Hall of Fame, and all of the charity/local events they have like the golf tournaments, art auctions, VIP parties, etc. And do you really think Vince would let a "Wrestlemania" go on without him being personally backstage in gorilla for all of it? It would be cool to see 3 different sets, different venues (like 1 outside, etc.) and that sort of thing, but I don't think we'll ever see it.

  5. The only way around that would be to have shorter Axxess events with only the people in that city being there, and either flying the wrestlers out to wherever the HoF ceremony is or just scrapping it altogether, which wouldn't happen. Plus the guys in LA and Midwest would have to fly out to NYC that day, then fly back that night, all before the biggest show of the year. Great idea proposed, but the extra activities surrounding the weekend would definitely be compromised.

  6. I have always thought the three venue idea was cool, just as I think the two separate brands is good for storyline potential. The WWE just doesn't get how to do it. We all know D-Bry and Sheamus could have had an awesome 20+ minute match, but the WWE did not care and gave us a squash. Even Show and Rhodes could have done more but again that is not what the WWE gave us. Having two shows where everyone is separate and almost no crossover with major storylines in both shows would work if WWE could even write one convincing storyline. The three venue idea is a branch out from this, letting more midcard guys do more! Giving talented wrestlers like  Sheamus a chance to blow everyone away with a classic. Until WWE stops cramming the same performers into main events that we have already seen before hundreds of times or can at least write a decent storyline I don't think they can make it work

  7. The 40k in attendance at each venue would require all three sites to be bigger stadiums. There are only a few basketball/hockey style arenas in North America that seat more than 20,000. Rupp Arena in Kentucky and the Greensboro Coliseum come to mind. Even then, their capacities are in the mid-20,000s. There are a few baseball stadiums with retractable roofs that seat in 40,000 range - Miami, Milwaukee, Seattle, Houston, for example. But if you're talking just regular arenas, you'll max out at 60,000 between three venues. You'll also have to pay more for crew and equipment to put on three shows.

  8. What about 3 shows at ONE location? Like the music/rock/metal festivals, where you have 3 days of metal bands with 1-2 headliner each day. With one location you can have Axxxxxes and Hall of Fame and everything. And you don't have to show only one hour from one location but all three full length PPVs.

    Only real problem is, that the roster is relatively large, but also as thin. That means, that with 3 different cards, many of them will be like Superstars vs NXT tapings. *g*

  9. Re: having Axxess, the HOF ceremony, etc. all in one city.  You could still do the "multiple venue" idea just within one city.

    Say, Wrestlemania 30 is in New York....not only in MSG, but all over New York.  Like, you split the card between Madison Square Garden, the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, the Manhattan Center to recreate an ECW/ROH vibe and hell, even toss a match in the MSG theatre, a la Owen vs. Shamrock at Summerslam 1998.

  10. It kind of reminds me of Chris Rock's last comedy special where did it in three locations (I think New York, London and South Africa).

    I say go bigger!! Part 1 in the UK, Part 2 in Japan and Part 3 finishes up in North America!

    And bring back the old WWF theme song as well! You know which one I mean!

  11. I personally think this wouldn't work.  On top of the logistics of a multi-site show, one of the mystiques of Wrestlemania weekend is that everything is in the same place.  So, you get HoF, Axxess, and the possibility of seeing 2-5 top-notch matches.  Now, a city will have to settle for no more than 1 marquee match, a bunch of mid-card action, and a possibility of meeting SOME of the WWE personalities. 

  12. This would work if you could pay for each day separate and then get a discount for all three days.

  13. Fun and decent idea in theory, but it does run the risk of alienating certain fans, due to only giving them "half" of the show. At the time of WM2, it was still a novelty; twenty-six years (or more) later, there's a formula that states that WM is supposed to be the "Superbowl" of the business, and that tickets to WM should guarantee all of the biggest matches.

    That said, I wouldn't mind seeing them trying this on a smaller scale; instead of three locations at opposite ends of a continent (or the world), maybe two places in NY, like MSG and Yankee Stadium.

  14.  And why not? They can make a three day package ticket for all shows and sell the tickets separately for each show. And they can get three PPV incomes at one weekend. It's the license to print money. :)

  15. I thought this type of thing would be a good idea when they started the brand extension. I just didn't know how they could have two "companies" two champions and only one biggest show of the year, one main event of the biggest show of the year. It seemed like both shows should have their own Wrestlemania. Luckily they fixed this by devaluing the titles to the point where one opens the show in a 15 second "match" and the biggest matches of the show aren't for the title, or aren't really about the title. This year it was Rock/Cena, two years ago it was Undertaker/HBK, and last year was a title match but the title and the champion were secondary to what would happen between Cena and The Rock.

    It's a fun idea to think about. But to do it they'd have to put an effort into building more guys into stars and making the titles a draw again. It seems like more work and planning than they're capable of.

  16. I'll tell you what; if the idea has just one good principle working behind it, it's that the midcard would have to be developed more, as would the titles. So it's already got one major positive working right there. The biggest drawback is the potential cost: three times the sites equals three times the expense, plus the logistics needed to run three shows at once remains very daunting, even in 2012. The only time the multi-site show concept has ever really worked in any discernible measure was Starrcade '86, but that show only ran two venues, and was still crap.

    The major drawback to the concept from an attending fan's perspective is that it wont be "Wrestlemania"-esque at each site. Sure, you'll have two big marquee matches and then four or five matches on the undercard, but that's the kind of show you'd expect to see at... Extreme Rules, or Over the Limit—not WrestleMania. People wont pay WrestleMania prices to attend an off-month caliber show. But if you decide to have viewing access in each facility for the other two locations, then you're going to burn out the crowds before you're halfway done with the show.

    The only conceivable way that it could work is if you gimmick the HELL out of the entire concept. Instead of doing three locations on one day, do three locations on three days—Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Have WrestleMania XXX become a weekend-long ordeal in a symbolic nod to the thirtieth anniversary. Now, here's the rub: the Royal Rumble Winner must declare who he's going to challenge within one week of winning the Rumble match. Once he declares, that title match is set in stone for the final day of Wrestlemania weekend. The Elimination Chamber PPV would be scrapped, setting up WrestleMania for the 29th, 30th, and 31st of March (March 31st being significant as the day WrestleMania I was held in 1985).

    Preferably, the the Rumble winner would challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship. This leaves the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship in question. To settle it, create a 16-man tournament, held over Friday and Saturday to create the aura of a WWE version of March Madness. Instead of spanning the Coast, keep everything relatively close geographically, and do Friday in Philadelphia, Saturday in Hartford, and Sunday in New York. Do the opening round on Friday with the main event pitting the reigning WWE Champion against a special opponent in a non-title affair. You would then run the quarters, semis, and finals on Saturday, with the WWE Champion again facing a special opponent in a non-title, marquee match-up to ensure parity with the tournament winner and a time-filler match, preferably the Divas Championship. Finally on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, run your standard WrestleMania supershow. Run the five title matches, plus coax the Undertaker to return for The Streak, a gimmicky / grudge match, then a high-profile dream match. Add in four dark matches to air as an Internet pre-show, and that's 30 matches spread out over three cities on three days, celebrating three decades worth of history at WrestleMania.

    You can then spread out your WrestleMania festivities over three cities, but keep everything close enough to where people could conceivably attend functions in other cities. Run your fan festival and the Hall of Fame in New York, do a charity golf tournament and the bagels, bacon and biceps brunch in Hartford, and then do a 5K run and a WrestleMania party/concert on Friday. Of course, this is all pipe dream at best, and as complicated as it was to postulate, I can only imagine how difficult it would be to actually run the damned thing.

  17. You could call it Wrestlefest!!!

  18. At first I thought this idea was dumb but now I'm imagining helicopter shots of a huge crowd in a park surrounding a ring, a'la Woodstock or the concerts in Hyde Park or Central Park.

    For some reason it seems like an idea like yours has to be done in England. I don't know why, it just feels like it fits.

  19. Sadly, with the time difference, I doubt Vince would take his biggest money PPV to the UK. He would lose money since many would read the online spoilers in lieu of ordering the event.

    I agree, would be pretty awesome.

  20.  Or what about... Wrestlemania... ;-)

  21. That would be fucking epic. ROH just had some success this weekend with a 2 night iPPV, where the outcomes of one night affected the next. Imagine a 2 out of 3 match series with Punk & Jericho? HHH/Taker could have headlined a night, and then everything could have built up to Rock/Cena. Plus Sheamus & D-Bry could have had their chance at something big. You could have certain people wrestle more than once during the event, and breaking up things like the 12 man tag would give more people a chance to shine.

    I'm actually surprised they haven't done this yet.

  22. It site could have title matches that last 18 seconds

  23. I disagree with idea for one main reason: I reject the idea that the WWE has a deep roster. Their roster is in fact super thin, and while maybe they can scrape up three main events for the three shows, that would make each show just about a one-match event. I mean, can you imagine Primo and Epic defending the tag titles as a Wrestlemania semi-main in a city? Because I sure can't.

  24. I totally see where you're coming from, but I think your idea to do a tournament on Friday and Saturday would fall into the same trap of having those days/venues not feeling "Wrestlemania Worthy". I mean, I like tournaments as much as the next guy (I'm still holding out hope that "King of the Ring" will make a comeback as a PPV one day), but if I'm going to go to buy tickets six months or a year ahead of time, at inflated prices, I'd be pretty pissed if my city got a #1-contendors tournament and the champ taking on a paper challenger.

    That said, I still think your idea has some legs:

    Keep the idea that the "Rumble" winner has to make their decision ASAP, and make that the main-event of one of the nights. Then, keep the "Elimination Chamber" PPV, but do one "Chamber" match, and make it a #1-contendors match with the top three guys on each brand (and, ideally, there would be qualifying matches on TV beforehand); then have the "Chamber" winner make their decision ASAP, and make that the main-event of the second night. Lastly, you build up your requisite "special attraction" match (Hogan/Rock, Shawn/Angle, Taker/Trips), and have that main-event the remaining night.

    Then - and here's the crazy part - use the remaining time on each card to UTILIZE THE ROSTER TO ITS FULLEST POTENTIAL!!! Hell, go nuts with the stipulations, do a "HIAC" match one night, and a "TLC" match another. Have all of the championships defended. Get everyone on the card and give them time to show what they can do. Even run a storyline where someone has to compete all three nights (or, using the Ace/Long feud for example, do a best-of-5 series over the course of the three nights to decide the fate of sole leadership). Using this year as a rough outline, we could have something like this:

    Venue/Night 1:
    - Bryan/Sheamus (World Title)
    - Santino/Otunga (Ace/Long feud)
    - Primo-Epico/Jimmy-Jey/Gabriel-Kidd/Hunico-JTG (Tag Titles, "TLC")
    - Cody/Ezekiel (IC Title)
    - Kofi/Swagger (Ace/Long feud)

    Venue/Night 2:
    - Taker/Trips ("HIAC")
    - Khali/Henry (Ace/Long feud)
    - Cody/Mason (IC Title)
    - Truth/Miz (Ace/Long feud)
    - Beth-Eve/Kelly-Menounos

    Venue/Night 3:
    - Cena/Rock
    - Punk/Jericho (WWE Title)
    - Orton/Ziggler (Ace/Long feud) [Series is tied 2-2 at this point.]
    - Cody/Show (IC Title)
    - Ryder/Kane ("Street Fight")

    For the live audience, you can pad any of those cards out with guys lower on the card, interviews, etc., and in order to not make the paying audience feel cheated, you offer a discount on the tickets if they commit to all three nights. Then, for the PPV audience, they can air the Friday and Saturday events as two-hour events focusing just on the bigger, advertised matches, and then re-air those two shows on Sunday before going to the live feed of Sunday's show. The home audience could have a choice of watching the Friday and Saturday shows live, or wait until Sunday and watch everything at once.

    I think that would work pretty well. Granted, trying to divide this year's show into fifteen matches didn't work too well in the above example, but I think the idea and template could work. WM30 headlined with the WWE title, World title, and Cena/Taker?

  25. I love this idea but can't help but feel HD is a potential huge roadblock. Three venues means three big HD screens, 15 or so HD cameras and a lot of staff to run it all

  26. Nassau is a dump. Won't Barclays in Brooklyn be open by then?

  27. I like the idea of making Wrestlemania a 3 day PPV event. This is how I could see it working though. You have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all in the same venue to save costs and one set.   The pay per views cost $25 each day or you pay a discount of $60 for all 3 nights. I think that would get more people to pay for it. Let's use this year as an example.
    Friday Night
    #1. Tag Team Title match: Primo & Epico vs. The Usos vs. Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd
    #2. Kane vs. Randy Orton
    #3. Kofi Kingston vs. Drew McIntyre (Turn the tag match into a best of 7 series of singles matches by adding two more wrestlers)
    #4. Mark Henry vs. The Great Khali
    #5. Jack Swagger vs. R-Truth
    #6. World Heavyweight Championship Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus (give them time to put on a great match)

    Saturday Night (Have the Hall Of Fame be it's own PPV, live in it's entirety)

    Sunday Night
    #1. The Miz vs. Zack Ryder
    #2. Intercontinental Title Match: Cody Rhodes vs. The Big Show
    #3. David Otunga vs. Santino Marella
    #4. Hell In A Cell: Undertaker vs. HHH
    #5. Diva's Match
    #6. Dolph Ziggler vs. Mick Foley
    #7. WWE Title Match: CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho
    #8. Booker T vs. Alberto Del Rio
    #9. The Rock vs. John Cena

  28. I meant that to go under the other comments so it would make sense but oh well lol

  29. Honestly, WWE is probably just going to go for a humongous live gate and do WM30 in Dallas. If they can outdraw the NBA All-Star Game from a couple years back, they'll finally stop telling that lie about WM3's attendance.

  30. Only if they bring these guys back...

  31. That's why they would have to build up midcarders and give more new guys a shot. I mean I could care less about Sin Cara, but if they had a good story with him maybe I would really look forward to a match with him. It would be a spectacular success if the WWE was willing to put the effort in, they just aren't.

  32.  Sure, the new Brooklyn arena works.  Just so you're splitting several matches around several different cards.  Plus, if you do a smaller venue like the MSG theatre or the Manhattan Center, you can just do one match to sell the place out.  Like, tell me Punk/Bryan for a world title ALONE wouldn't easily sell out the Manhattan Center or the Hammerstein Ballroom.

  33. Dallas has been ruled out for WM29 and WM30 since the stadium is committed to hosting NCAA tournaments games around the Mania period, so WWE wouldn't have enough time to get the building set up.  That being said, I'd guess that Dallas has already been penciled in for WM31.

  34. Yeah, I often wonder if they'll ever be able to hit that mark again. 

    They still work the numbers for WrestleMania every year on TV when they announce it, but WM 23 at Ford Field was a legit 74,600 people in attendance with about 68,500 of them paid -- so pretty close to the Wembly Stadium show (78,900+ in the building, 75k paid) and the purported figures for WrestleMania 3 (78,000 in the building with 75,700 paid).

    I'll be interested to see where this years WrestleMania lands attendence wise, but I'm guestimating it will end up pretty close to somewhere in the low 60k range for fans in attendance.

  35. "They still work the numbers for WrestleMania every year on TV when they
    announce it, but WM 23 at Ford Field was a legit 74,600 people in
    attendance with about 68,500 of them paid -- so pretty close to the
    Wembly Stadium show (78,900+ in the building, 75k paid) and the
    purported figures for WrestleMania 3 (78,000 in the building with 75,700

    I seem to recall the local press shitting all over claimed 74,600 at Ford Field and guessing it was about 68,000. If you want to know the real attendance the local press are always a good source since they've covered so many concerts and pretty well know what the seating capacity is for any configuration.

  36. About the 74k figure or the 80k plus one they claimed?

    Still, yeah that may be true, I'm just going off of Meltzer's numbers. 

  37. I can think of a bunch of reasons why this won't work.

    Firstly, as already written, there are not that many facilities in the US which can take 40k crowds. There are plenty in the 25k range (ideal for hockey and the NBA) and then you get a leap to the bowls. Allowing for time zone differences and the fact you need the right weather it might not even be possible.

    Secondly you're basically tripling the production costs and don't forget that a big part of WM now is the set and the lighting so you'd need to have more or less the same production values at each facility as you would at a bowl.

    Thirdly, the WWE has made a big play about the whole "eco-system" around WM now with cities bidding to hold it, charity events all week, Access, the HoF (and I'm sure they secretly like it when Ring of Honor and Dragon's Gate have shows as well). Three cities really does that concept in unless they were within travelling distance.

    Finally, don't under-estimate the money the WWE (and the host cites) make from travel packages and out of state + even out of country fans flying in. I just don't see people forking out that kind of money of one third of WM.

  38. Wembley is dreadful. If ny Big 4 PPV's come to the UK the Millennium Stadium is far and away the best venue. 


Post a Comment