Why London deserves to have its WrestleMania moment

While the sport of professional wrestling carries a Las Vegas style showbiz element, there’s no doubt that this is a global phenomenon. The bases of the main organizations are located in the US, but they enjoy loyal followers all around the world.

A strong core of fans exists in the UK, where Sky Sports first showed a WrestleMania event back in 1985. Those supporters continue to tune in to the big events, so is it finally time for London to enjoy its WrestleMania moment?

A Big Draw

Great Britain has long been a hub for US sports. Live broadcasts of NFL games began in the mid-80s and franchise teams began to build significant fanbases throughout the region. Baseball and basketball followed as satellite sports coverage took a hold in the 1990s.

Sports fans here love to watch these events and another reason why there is interest lies in the betting markets. The UK is an established area for the industry, and many NFL lines are published for the big games.

Wrestling was a natural progression for fans and the TV companies. Early competitors such as Rowdy Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan became cult heroes on the east side of the Atlantic.

In short, professional wrestling built a solid fanbase in a short period of time and those followers have stayed loyal to the sport. All that’s missing is the opportunity to host major events.

Taking the Show on the Road

The organizers of WrestleMania, World Wrestling Entertainment, have previously taken top events outside of the USA. In 2024, WWE is set to take Premium Live Events into Saudi Arabia, Australia, France and Germany.

It seems that the only competition not open to change is Wrestlemania. First held in 1985 in New York’s Madison Square Garden, it has yet to move outside of the United States. It’s a big prize sought by overseas countries, but there are reasons why London could be in pole position.

Sadiq Speaks

London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, told the organization that the capital was ready to host its most important event. As Khan correctly pointed out, London is a major destination for all of the top sports.

London regularly hosts top soccer events. In 2021, the final of the European Championships took place here, while more recently, Wembley Stadium also hosted the 2024 Champions League final.

Across from Wembley in North London is the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which is another significant venue with a large capacity. The O2 in East London, which hosted 2023’s Money in the Bank, is another potential location, so London is clearly fine in terms of infrastructure.

A Precedent is Set

WrestleMania could head into London in the same way that the National Football League has a presence in the English capital. The NFL has taken games outside of the USA and into Mexico, and certain countries in Europe for years.

The iconic Wembley Stadium has held games, while the NFL has recently signed a multi-year deal with the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London. Major League Baseball has also traveled to London with official games taking place at the former Olympic Stadium.

Both organizations have been successful in their endeavors to take the sports into London, and the trend will continue. There is an undoubted demand to see the wrestling franchise here, and WrestleMania would have a huge audience.

WWE Reluctance

London is waiting for the go ahead, but there are no signs that WWE will move WrestleMania anytime soon. In the past, the organization has spoken of taking the event outside of the United States, and hopes were raised among international wrestling fans.

Those hopes were dashed in April 2024 when WWE President Nick Khan confirmed that the governing body would be looking to keep its top five events in the US.

It was a blow for the London Mayor and for fans around the capital, but the city has support from within the wrestling community. When Money in the Bank came to London in 2023, John Cena made a surprise appearance at the event, and he gave his support to more top class wrestling tournaments.

Cena stated that UK wrestling fans were the best, and he even went as far as saying that he wanted his final battle to be at the 02. London may need a bigger venue for WrestleMania, but there are options.

There are several elements already in place to suggest that London is ready for its WrestleMania moment. There is the fanbase, and a choice of great stadiums across the city.

If the event were to come here, whichever venue it chooses would be packed with wrestling fans, and there is no doubt that the organizers would see a significant return on their investment. Everything is in place for a memorable event, and we’re just waiting for WWE to give the go ahead.

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