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Wrestlemania 40 in Philadelphia: What to know, how to watch, what time does it start and more

PHILADELPHIA — The professional wrestling world descends on Philadelphia this week in the leadup to WWE’s showcase event, WrestleMania 40.

WrestleMania XL, a two-night extravaganza to be held Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7 at Lincoln Financial Field, is the main attraction for a week of events that has expanded into a holiday for WWE’s global fanbase.

Three corresponding events will be held at Wells Fargo Center, including Smackdown and the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony (April 5), NXT Stand and Deliver (April 6) and Raw (April 8).

WrestleMania XL

Friday night Smackdown and Monday night Raw are WWE’s weekly television programs; NXT Stand and Deliver is a premium live event for WWE’s developmental brand, NXT.

“On April 6 and 7 in Philadelphia, we’re going to take it to a whole new level,” WWE Chief Content Officer Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque said at the WrestleMania XL Kickoff event in February. “It is a new time, it is a new era and it is an all-new WWE.”

Other fan events will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, including WWE World at WrestleMania, a five-day fan exposition that will feature roundtable discussions with in-ring talent, a WWE 2K24 gaming tournament, and memorabilia and autograph sales from Thursday, April 4 through Monday, April 8.

WWE will also host multiple community outreach events, including a Make-A-Wish event with WWE Superstars, hospital visits and ‘Be a STAR’ bullying prevention rallies, designed to give back to the local region.

WrestleMania was last held in Philadelphia in 1999 at the then-First Union Center. The main event featured The Rock against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in a no disqualification match.

Twenty-five years later, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson still holds main-event status.

The Rock will team with Roman Reigns in a tag-team match against Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins in the main event of Night 1.

WrestleMania Night 1 main event (Courtesy WWE)
WrestleMania Night 1 main event (Courtesy WWE)

In the Night 2 main event, Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Reigns will defend his title against Rhodes, a rematch of the WrestleMania 39 finale.

Both men share a common bond as sons of former pro wrestlers. Cody Rhodes is the son of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. Reigns is the son of Sika, one half of “The Wild Samoans” tag team in the 1980s, and the real-life cousin of The Rock.

Johnson, the 51-year-old with ties to eastern Pennsylvania – he is a 1990 graduate of Freedom High School in Bethlehem – left WWE for Hollywood in the mid-2000s and has had a hugely successful career in movies, most notably in the Fast & Furious series, Jumanji and Disney’s Moana.

The Rock has appeared in WWE only in cameo appearances since 2014 until February when he returned and joined Reigns’ Bloodline faction.

It has been an unprecedented year for WWE since last year’s WrestleMania in Los Angeles with significant moves behind the scenes, including the departure of founder Vince McMahon.

McMahon sold his controlling stake of WWE, valued at $9.1 billion, to Endeavor on April 3, 2023, merging with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to create TKO Group Holdings.

This marks the first WrestleMania under the TKO banner and with WWE not under McMahon family control.

McMahon had stepped down from his role as chairman and CEO on June 17, 2022, amid allegations he paid more than $12 million over 16 years in hush money to suppress claims of workplace sexual misconduct.

McMahon reinstalled himself as WWE chairman to see through the sale to Endeavor and was given the role of TKO executive chairman.

In January, former WWE employee Janel Grant filed a sex trafficking lawsuit that named McMahon, longtime executive John Laurinaitis, and WWE as defendants. McMahon resigned from TKO the next day.

Also in January, WWE struck a deal with Netflix worth $5 billion to bring weekly flagship show Raw and other original programming to the streaming titan beginning in January 2025. Raw has been a Monday night institution, primarily on USA Network, throughout its 31 years of existence.

With McMahon’s exit and full creative control now in the hands of Levesque, the former 14-time WWE champion, the in-ring product is the most popular it has been in more than 20 years since the famed ‘Attitude Era’ on the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The WWE Hall of Fame class will be headlined by Paul Heyman, the longtime manager, promoter and executive who brought pro wrestling to prominence in Philadelphia as owner of Extreme Championship Wrestling. Bull Nakano, Thunderbolt Patterson, the U.S. Express (Mike Rotunda and Barry Windham) and Muhammad Ali, the late boxing legend who was a special guest referee at WrestleMania I, will also be inducted.

Heyman currently holds an on-screen role as special counsel to Reigns and the Bloodline and will presumably feature heavily throughout WrestleMania.

The Rock-Reigns vs. Rhodes-Rollins Night 1 headliner will be only the third time a tag team match closes WrestleMania. The first occurred in the inaugural event at Madison Square Garden, “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper versus Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.

Other marquee matches include Rollins against Drew McIntyre for the World Heavyweight Championship and Rhea Ripley versus Becky Lynch for the Women’s World Championship.

WWE’s influence will turn Philadelphia into a mecca of professional wrestling for the week, with many non-WWE events also scheduled.

Fan convention WrestleCon will be held April 4-7 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown and will have appearances by Sting, former UFC and WWE champion Ronda Rousey, Ric Flair, and many performers of the past, plus current wrestlers in All Elite Wrestling (AEW).

WrestleCon’s corresponding live event, The Mark Hitchcock Memorial Supershow, will be held on Thursday, April 4 at the 2300 Arena and is one of dozens of live wrestling events to be held throughout the week.

How to watch

WrestleMania XL

When: Saturday April 6 and Sunday, April 7, 7 p.m. ETWhere: Lincoln Financial FieldTV: Peacock (streaming service)Tickets

Smackdown

When: Friday, April 5Where: Wells Fargo CenterTV: FOXTickets

NXT Stand and Deliver

When: Saturday April 6, 11:30 a.m.Where: Wells Fargo CenterTV: Peacock (streaming service)Tickets

Raw

When: Monday, April 8Where: Wells Fargo CenterTV: USATickets

Other events

April 4-8 – WWE World (Pennsylvania Convention Center)

April 4-7 – WrestleCon Philadelphia (Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown)

Thursday, April 4 – Walemania (Franklin Music Hall)

Thursday, April 4 – Mark Hitchcock Memorial Wrestlecon Supershow (2300 Arena)

Thursday, April 4 – UNDERTAKER 1deadMAN SHOW (The Fillmore Philadelphia)

Friday, April 5 – Battleground Championship Wrestling: A Tribute To The Extreme 2 (2300 Arena)

Friday, April 5 – Wrestling REVOLVER & House Of Glory Wrestling (Trinity Center for Urban Life)

Friday, April 5 – Ring of Honor Supercard of Honor 2024 (Liacouras Center)


Source: Berkshire mont

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