Rob Gronkowski to Host WWE WrestleMania 36; Will Be 2-Night Event for 1st Time

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2020

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 06: Former New England Patriots player Rob Gronkowski looks on during the game between the Boston Celtics and the Denver Nuggets  at TD Garden on December 06, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeat the Nuggets 108-95. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will serve as the host for WrestleMania 36, WWE announced Wednesday.

WrestleMania 36 will also be presented over two nights (April 4 and 5), a first for the legendary pay-per-view.

The WWE announced further details for the event: "WrestleMania will not only take place at WWE's training facility but will include multiple locations over two nights. All locations will be closed sets with only essential personnel."

Gronkowski teased that more information will come Friday on SmackDown:

Rob Gronkowski @RobGronkowski

It’s official! I’m hosting @WrestleMania this year...and it’s gonna be too big for just one night. For the 1st time, #WrestleMania will be a 🚨2-NIGHT🚨event: Saturday, April 4 AND Sunday, April 5 on @WWENetwork! Tell you more this Friday night on #SmackDown at 8 ET on @FOXTV.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling split Wrestle Kingdom 14 over two nights in January, and many fans wondered whether WWE might consider a similar tactic with WrestleMania, which has grown so large that it's become too much for one day.

The main card for WrestleMania 35 was nearly five-and-a-half hours, and the entire pay-per-view lasted almost seven hours when factoring in the pre-show. It's unrealistic to expect fans to remain engaged for that long.

However, it's unclear whether the change to a two-night event was the original plan for WrestleMania 36 or a result of moving the event from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, to the WWE Performance Center due to the coronavirus pandemic.

WWE officials could use the first night of WrestleMania to see how things look in an empty arena before making any necessary tweaks for the second night.

Naming Gronkowski as the host is a smart way to bring him into the fold without immediately throwing him in the ring.

The Wrap's Tony Maglio reported the five-time Pro Bowler had signed with WWE and would appear at WrestleMania 36 as "a build-up to a future match."

WWE used a similar tactic when The Rock hosted WrestleMania XXVII, which was ultimately a prelude to his match with John Cena one year later at WrestleMania XXVIII.