WrestleMania II is known for many things, but one of the most important aspects of that show is that is was held in three separate venues across the United States, something which WWE has not attempted since for a WrestleMania.
With WWE's huge roster of talented Superstars, longer event time and near-monopoly over the industry, it seems like the perfect time to try this again.
WrestleMania II featured matches held in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, and each venue had a match that was featured as main-event caliber.
The show was three hours long and still managed to feature 12 matches, although none of them lasted longer than 14 minutes.
The way WWE has changed over the years has seen the main show extend to four hours, and this year we will see the pre-show last a full hour, which could feature as many as three or more matches.
That is five hours of WrestleMania. If WWE continues to keep this setup for WrestleMania past WrestleMania XXX, which has already been booked to take place in New Orleans, then they should consider another three-city event.
This year's event would have been perfect for multiple venues, as several of the matches could headline any PPV on their own.
How to Book It
Here is how WWE could have booked the show across three venues in the same cities as WrestleMania II, and which cities would feature which matches.
Some of the matches listed are pure speculation, and not a reflection of how the show is actually going to be booked.
New York/New Jersey (Madison Square Garden—Ring Announcer: Howard Finkel—Commentators: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler):
- Pre-show match: Fandango vs. Chris Jericho.
- The Shield vs. Big Show, Sheamus and Randy Orton.
- Wade Barrett vs. Miz for the IC title.
- The Rock vs. John Cena for the WWE title.
Chicago (Soldier Field—Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts—Commentators: JBL and Josh Mathews):
- Pre-show match: Kaitlyn vs. Layla for the Divas title.
- Ryback vs. Mark Henry.
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger for the World title.
- Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H.
Los Angeles (Dodger Stadium—Ring Announcer: Lilian Garcia—Commentators: Michael Cole and Mick Foley):
- Pre-Show match: 20-man Battle Royal to see who faces Antonio Cesaro for the US title.
- Antonio Cesaro vs. Winner of the Battle Royal for the US title.
- Team Hell No vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston for the Tag Team titles.
- CM Punk vs. The Undertaker.
Scheduling the show this way would give each city two title matches, a main-event caliber match and four total matches.
During WMII, the company used massive screens to broadcast the action in each city to the other two that did not feature live wrestling at the moment. WWE would obviously do the same thing in this scenario.
Whether WWE would have the matches staggered between venues or clumped together is the only thing that would have to be decided.
WWE has enough ring announcers and commentators to set up a team at three different venues, and they could even bring in special guests like Howard Finkel and Jim Ross to round out the team.
With three venues, each featuring four matches, WWE could utilize slightly smaller arenas to ensure sellouts across the board.
WrestleMania XXVIII had a final attendance figure of over 78,000 in the Sun Life Stadium in Florida. This year's event is going to see even more fans in the larger MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, which can seat in excess of 82,000 fans—and that is when the field is not being used for seats like it will be at WM.
While having a near-90,000 attendance is great for WWE, they could have seen more had they chosen three slightly smaller venues in three major cities with combined attendance well over 130,000.
From a business standpoint, there are also several reasons for hosting the event in three separate cities.
Not only would the total gate be much higher, but the total sales of merchandise and other services WWE offers during WrestleMania week would be lead to more revenue.
WrestleMania Axxess is also a major source of income for WWE during the week leading up to WrestleMania, and extending that experience to three cities would reach that many more pockets.
WWE also receives tax incentives when bringing WrestleMania to major cities, as it usually guarantees an increase in income for the host city, as well as the creation of jobs.
Just one example of how WrestleMania can affect a local economy is WrestleMania XXIV, which brought over $30 million dollars into the local Florida economy.
Whether WWE is holding the entire event in one city, or only a third of the event, it is still guaranteed to draw fans from every state to each city for the show.
WrestleMania is a global phenomenon that has seen fans from all over the world spend thousands on a trip to the United States and everything that goes with attending WrestleMania, if just for the experience.
Fans from host cities may even opt to travel to one of the other venues to see a specific match live, instead of on the big screen in their home city's arena.
Every city would benefit greatly from the increase in tourism, and WWE would be making money in three separate major cities instead of just one.
Every good idea has its downsides, and this one has a few that cannot be ignored.
One major hurdle WWE would have to deal with is having three separate crews running things in three different cities, which could be a problem for Vince McMahon, who is known for wanting to control as much as possible.
They could divide it up between Vince, Stephanie and Triple H, but there are still three times as many chances for problems to occur when you have an event in three separate arenas.
This idea also involves fans in each arena to being forced to watch on monitors two-thirds of the time, instead of having a live show in front of them for the entire show.
When they did this at WMII, the show was only three hours long, so each city featured roughly two hours of matches on screens.
This year the show is basically five hours long when you count the pre-show, which means fans in each city would be watching the action on a screen for over three hours. That is a lot to ask from a crowd of upwards of 50,000 people.
Watching the whole thing on a TV is one thing, but having to sit in one of those uncomfortable arena seats while another city is watching a match does not sound like a great way to spend an evening.
Another major downside to this kind of event would be increased cost to WWE. They would have to build three sets for three arenas and hire three whole crews to run what is basically three whole shows in one night.
Would You Pay to Attend This Show?
Any good idea has its flaws, but WrestleMania has proven many times over the years that taking risks can lead to great success.
If you had the chance to attend WrestleMania, knowing two-thirds of your five-hour experience will be spent watching on a big screen, would you go?
If you lived halfway between two of the host cities, what would affect your decision to pick a city to travel to in order to watch the show?
There is a lot to consider when doing something of this magnitude, but WWE is in a great place to give it a try, both talent-wise and creatively.
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