WrestleMania 36 was supposed to be Drew McIntyre’s historic crowning moment in front of over 75,000 fans, but could the Scotsman now be made to wait after the WWE’s bizarre decision to make its iconic event a behind-closer-doors show in its ‘Performance Center’?
There might not be any fans in attendance at WrestleMania 36, but that doesn't mean we won't witness a title change. WWE have decided to hold 'The Grandest Stage of Them All' behind closed doors at their Performance Centre, but we believe there will still be some major storyline twists.
The Elimination Chamber is the final Pay-Per-View before WrestleMania 36 and we should get a clearer picture on what will happen on 'The Grandest Stage of Them All'.
Tyson Fury conquered the boxing world once again on Saturday night to become the heavyweight champion of the world for the second time, but could he attempt to conquer the world of professional wrestling in 2021?
Get Bettingpro.com's best bets for the latest NXT event from WWE - NXT Takeover Portland on February 16.
Bet On Wrestling
Wait… you can bet on professional wrestling, you ask? Yes you can!
Professional wrestling may be a pre-determined ‘sport’ where the winners are determined ahead of the matches, but that has not stopped bookmakers from offering customers with the opportunity to bet on shows.
After all, you could bet on who would rule supreme in Game of Thrones. You could bet on who Negan battered (quite literally) in The Walking Dead. So why shouldn’t you be able to bet on professional wrestling and it’s unique mix of soap opera drama and scripted violence?
Markets are limited when it comes to the matches, with customers usually only able to bet on who the winner will be, but for the bigger events, like WWE’s WrestleMania and Royal Rumble events, you will often find additional markets.
In the past you could have bet on UFC star Conor McGregor making the leap from mixed martial arts to professional wrestling and you could have bet on television presenter John Oliver making a surprise appearance at WWE WrestleMania after his presented a scathing segment about the company’s practice during his ‘Last Week Tonight’ show. You could even bet on how wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer would rate a match in his long-running Wrestling Observer newsletter.
Paddy Power are particularly big fans of wrestling, as you will know if you follow its social media platforms, and every year the Irish bookmaker offers punters the chance to play the WWE Royal Rumble Fantasy Game that allows customers to win VIP trips to WWE events as well as free bet prizes and more.
So as you can see, there has never been a better time to bet on professional wrestling and Bettingpro.com will have everything you need to know when you are looking to place your bets on the next major WWE event or on a show presented the fledgling All Elite Wrestling (AEW) promotion.
WWE – World Wrestling Entertainment
When you think of professional wrestling you immediately think of World Wrestling Entertainment – the premier brand that has been broadcast into homes across the globe on a weekly basis for several decades.
Having been considered a regional promotion in the North East of the United States for a couple of decades the WWE, then known as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), shot to prominence in the early 80s as owner and third generation promoter Vince McMahon embarked on a mission to revolutionise the industry. No longer would WWF stay in its corner of the world, it became a national powerhouse that would tour North America and to bolster his entire McMahon went about raiding regional promotions of their best talent, sending many out of business.
The cultural phenomenon of Hulk Hogan, along with the era of ‘Rock n’ Wrestling’ then took WWF to even greater heights as demand for the product grew around the world, and after a lean period between 1993 and 1997 the company experience another explosion of popularity in the late 90s as the ‘Attitude Era’. With a racier and edgier product led by the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and The Undertaker, WWF capitalised on the rebel culture of 18-35 year olds during that time to smash television ratings records and pay-per-view buyrates, making wrestling cool again.
Of course those numbers were never going to be sustained for decade after decade and a decline set in once again during the early 2000s, when WWF was forced to rebrand as World Wrestling Entertainment due to a lost court battle with the World Wildlife Fund, but while weekly numbers are not what they once was the WWE remains the industry leader and continues to sign big-money deal after big-money deal to cement its status as number one.
Its biggest event, WrestleMania, is no longer a one-night event taking place in an arena somewhere. It is now an incredible week-long experience that sees thousands upon thousands of fans flock to the host city for a week that includes fan festivals, the Hall of Fame, meet and greets, television shows and, of course, WrestleMania itself, which is now held exclusively in packed stadiums holding between 70,000 and 80,000 fans. When it hit the AT&T Stadium in 2016, in excess of 101,000 filed into the home of the Dallas Cowboys NFL team to witness the biggest event in the history of the WWE – a night that saw current stars rub shoulders with past legends on a night where wrestling once again took centre stage in the entertainment world.
And WWE is not only leading the way in professional wrestling, it has also broke new ground in how it delivers content to its fans with the WWE Network, the company’s version of Netflix, proving to be a revolutionary approach that has inspired the likes of the UFC, NFL and NBA to follow suit by offering their own similar product.
Some may poke fun at the ‘fake sport’. Some will mock fans for following a show that has pre-determined results. But even in what could be considered a ‘down period’ for the company, what cannot be denied is that WWE remains a global powerhouse in the entertainment world.
WrestleMania might be seen as the Grandest Stage Of Them All, but the Royal Rumble is the pay-per-view that gets everyone excited about Mania. This is the start of the official Road to WrestleMania.
The Royal Rumble is named after the unique main event match that sees 30 wrestlers enter the ring at timed intervals and it continues until one man is left standing.
The first ever Royal Rumble, which featured 20 wrestlers, was aired in 1988 on the USA Network with Hacksaw Jim Duggan becoming the first ever winner as he eliminated One Man Gang to have his arm raised.
After the success of the 1988 Royal Rumble, the World Wrestling Federation – as it was known then – decided to include it as one of their special pay-per-view events. The following year it was increased to feature 30 wrestlers and the pay-per-view has kept the same format ever since, apart from 2011 when they made it a 40-man event for the only time ever.
In 1992, the Royal Rumble event saw the WWF Championship go on the line for the first time in this kind of match. The Rumble was eventually won by Ric Flair after he entered the ring at number three. In the history of the Rumble, only two men have won the match after entering at number one – Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit. Rey Mysterio has won it from number two.
The winner of the Rumble gets the opportunity to challenge the champion in the main event of WrestleMania. This was incorporated in 1993 when Yokozuna won and he went on to challenge Bret Hart for the title at WrestleMania IX.
The only time this has not been the case since, was during the 2016 Royal Rumble when Roman Reigns was ordered to defend his belt. He entered the ring at number one and lasted just under an hour before being eliminated by Triple H – who went on to win the Rumble and be crowned WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Stone Cold Steve Austin holds the record for the most Royal Rumble wins, while Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan, John Cena, Batista, Triple H and Randy Orton have won it on two occasions each. Seth Rollins won it last year after eliminating Brawn Showman.
In 2018, a women’s Rumble match was included for the first time with Asuka dumping out Nikki Bella to go onto the main event at WrestleMania 34. Becky Lynch took the accolade the following year after eliminating Charlotte Flair to get another title shot after failing to beat Asuka earlier in the night.
There is no bigger event in the entire business of professional wrestling than WWE WrestleMania!
Wrestling guru Vince McMahon put everything on the line when he held the inaugural event at Madison Square Garden back in March 1985, and it proved to be a gamble that paid off as A-Team star Mr T teamed up with Hulk Hogan in a main event tag team match that also featured the late, great Rowdy Roddy Piper and boxing icon Muhammad Ali.
Since that night this event has developed an aura and a reputation of its own thanks to a long list of memorable moments that include Hulk Hogan slamming the legendary Andre The Giant, Stone Cold Steve Austin becoming champion for the first time, Mike Tyson ‘knocking out’ Shawn Michaels and the return of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson for a showdown with John Cena.
No longer is the event held in arenas, it is now a stadium affair with fans from every state in America and countries across the globe all descending on the host city for a week of fun and festivities surrounding this spectacular event.
Over 101,000 piled into the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas back in 2016 to set both an attendance record for the venue and one for WrestleMania itself, proving that while WWE may not have the mainstream stars it once had it is still an entertainment juggernaut with WrestleMania still the ‘Super Bowl of professional wrestling’.
History Of WrestleMania
|March 31, 1985||WrestleMania||Hulk Hogan & Mr T beat Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff||New York, New York||19,121|
|April 7, 1986||WrestleMania 2||Mr T beat Roddy Piper||Uniondale, New York||16, 585|
|The British Bulldogs beat Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake||Rosemont, Illinois||9,000|
|Hulk Hogan beat King Kong Bundy||Los Angeles, California||14,500|
|March 29, 1987||WrestleMania III||Hulk Hogan beat Andre The Giant||Pontiac, Michigan||93,173|
|March 27, 1988||WrestleMania IV||Randy Savage beat Ted DiBiase||Atlantic City, New Jersey||18,165|
|April 2, 1989||WrestleMania V||Hulk Hogan beat Randy Savage||Atlantic City, New Jersey||18,946|
|April 1, 1990||WrestleMania VI||The Ultimate Warrior beat Hulk Hogan||Toronto, Canada||67,678|
|March 24. 1991||WrestleMania VII||Hulk Hogan beat Sgt Slaughter||Los Angeles, California||16,158|
|April 5, 1992||WrestleMania VIII||Hulk Hogan beat Sid Justice||Indianapolis, Indiana||62,167|
|April 4, 1993||WrestleMania IX||Hulk Hogan beat Yokozuna||Las Vegas, Nevada||16,891|
|March 20, 1994||WrestleMania X||Bret Hart beat Yokozuna||New York, New York||18,065|
|April 2, 1995||WrestleMania XI||Lawrence Taylor beat Bam Bam Bigelow||Hartford, Connecticut||16,305|
|March 13, 1996||WrestleMania XII||Shawn Michaels beat Bret Hart||Anaheim, California||18,853|
|March 23, 1997||WrestleMania 13||The Undertaker beat Sycho Sid||Rosemont, Illinois||18,197|
|March 29,1998||WrestleMania XIV||Stone Cold Steve Austin beat Shawn Michaels||Boston, Massachusetts||19,028|
|March 28, 1999||WrestleMania XV||Stone Cold Steve Austin beat The Rock||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||20,276|
|April 2, 2000||WrestleMania 2000||Triple H beat The Rock, Big Show & Mick Foley||Anaheim, California||18,034|
|April 1, 2001||WrestleMania X-Seven||Stone Cold Steve Austin beat The Rock||Houston, Texas||67,925|
|March 17, 2002||WrestleMania X8||Triple H beat Chris Jericho||Toronto, Canada||68,237|
|March 30, 2003||WrestleMania XIX||Brock Lesnar beat Kurt Angle||Seattle, Washington||54,097|
|March 14, 2004||WrestleMania XX||Chris Benoit beat Triple H & Shawn Michaels||New York, New York||18,000|
|April 3, 2005||WrestleMania 21||Batista beat Triple H||Los Angeles, California||20,193|
|April 2, 2006||WrestleMania 22||John Cena beat Triple H||Rosemont, Illinois||17,159|
|April 1, 2007||WrestleMania 23||John Cena beat Shawn Michaels||Detroit, Michigan||80,103|
|March 30, 2008||WrestleMania XXIV||The Undertaker beat Edge||Orlando, Florida||74,635|
|April 5, 2009||WrestleMania XXV||Triple H beat Randy Orton||Houston, Texas||72,744|
|March 28, 2010||WrestleMania XXVI||The Undertaker beat Shawn Michaels||Glendale, Arizona||72,219|
|April 3, 2011||WrestleMania XXVII||The Miz beat John Cena||Atlanta, Georgia||71,617|
|April 1, 2012||WrestleMania XXVIII||The Rock beat John Cena||Miami, Florida||78,363|
|April 7, 2013||WrestleMania 29||John Cena beat The Rock||East Rutherford, New Jersey||80,676|
|April 6, 2014||WrestleMania XXX||Daniel Bryan beat Batista & Randy Orton||New Orleans, Louisiana||75,167|
|March 29, 2015||WrestleMania 31||Seth Rollins beat Brock Lesnar & Roman Reigns||Santa Clara, California||76,976|
|April 3, 2016||WrestleMania 32||Roman Reigns beat Triple H||Arlington, Texas||101,763|
|April 2, 2017||WrestleMania 33||Roman Reigns beat The Undertaker||Orlando, Florida||75, 245|
|April 8, 2018||WrestleMania 34||Brock Lesnar beat Roman Reigns||New Orleans, Louisiana||78,133|
|April 7, 2019||WrestleMania 35||Becky Lynch beat Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair||East Rutherford, New Jersey||82,265|
SummerSlam is officially ‘The Biggest Party of the Summer’ in the world of professional wrestling. SummerSlam will always be seen as one of the four original pay-per-views, alongside Royal Rumble, WrestleMania and Survivor Series.
The first ever SummerSlam event was held in 1988 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The main event featured Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage as the Mega Powers taking on the team of Andre the Giant and Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase – the Mega Bucks in a tag team match.
The following year saw the WWE mix wrestling with Hollywood as the main event saw Hulk Hogan team with Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake against Randy Savage and a 6ft 5in giant known as Zeus. Hogan and Zeus had recently been a part of a WWE financed movie called ‘No Holds Barred’ that saw Hogan’s character defeat Zeus, so the WWE kept that rivalry going at SummerSlam.
SummerSlam opted to take this party out of the United States in 1992 when they hosted the event at Wembley Stadium in England. At the moment, it is still the only pay-per-view event that has been staged in England and with its attendance of 80,355 it’s the fifth biggest crowd in the history of World Wrestling Entertainment.
That show at Wembley saw the British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith battle his brother in law Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart in the main event with the Wigan-born wrestling winning the Intercontinental title belt to close the show.
In 1994, we were treated with a brother versus brother match, Bret Hart took on his brother Owen Hart in a steel cage at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Bret was the champion and he retained his title in an incredible match that showcased both of their talents. Bret escaped the cage first to keep hold of his championship belt.
The only other times SummerSlam has not been staged in the US was in 2004 and 2019 when it was staged in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The main event in 2004 saw Edge defeat Batista and Chris Jericho in a triple-threat match for the Intercontinental title, while Randy Orton beat Chris Benoit to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
In 2019, Seth Rollins won the Universal Champion for the second time in his career after beating former UFC champion Brock Lesnar by pinfall. Other matches in Canada saw Charlotte Flair defeat WWE legend Trish Stratus, while Bailey retained her Smackdown Women’s Championship by defeating Ember Moon.
There have been two occasions during SummerSlam that superstars have cashed in their Money in the Bank briefcases to win the title. In 2011, Alberto Del Rio cashed in seconds after CM Punk defeated John Cena for the WWE Championship. In 2013, Randy Orton cashed in with the help of HHH after Daniel Bryan had beaten John Cena for the WWE Championship.
History of SummerSlam
|August 29, 1988||SummerSlam||The Mega Powers beat The Mega Bucks||New York, New York||20,000|
|August 28, 1989||SummerSlam||Brutus Beefcake and Hulk Hogan beat Randy Savage and Zeus||East Rutherford, New Jersey||20,000|
|August 27, 1990||SummerSlam||Ultimate Warrior beat Rick Rude||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||19,304|
|August 26, 1991||SummerSlam||Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warriors beat Col. Mustafa and Sgt. Slaughter||New York, New York||20,000|
|August 29, 1992||SummerSlam||The British Bulldog beat Bret Hart||London, England||80,355|
|August 30, 1993||SummerSlam||Lex Luger beat Yokozuna||Auburn Hills, Michigan||23,954|
|August 29, 1994||SummerSlam||The Undertaker beat The Undertaker||Chicago, Illinois||23,000|
|August 27, 1995||SummerSlam||Diesel beat King Mabel||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||18,062|
|August 18, 1996||SummerSlam||Shawn Michaels beat Vader||Cleveland, Ohio||17,000|
|August 3, 1997||SummerSlam||Bret Hart beat The Undertaker||East Rutherford, New Jersey||20,213|
|August 30, 1998||SummerSlam||Steve Austin beat The Undertaker||New York, New York||20,000|
|August 22, 1999||SummerSlam||Mankind beat Steve Austin||Minneapolis, Minnesota||17,370|
|August 27, 2000||SummerSlam||The Rock beat HHH||Raleigh, North Carolina||15,000|
|August 19, 2001||SummerSlam||The Rock beat Booker T||San Jose, California||15,293|
|August 25, 2002||SummerSlam||Brock Lesnar beat The Rock||Uniondale, New York||14,797|
|August 24, 2003||SummerSlam||HHH beat Goldberg, Chris Jericho, Kevin Nash, Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels||Phoenix, Arizona||16.113|
|August 15, 2004||SummerSlam||Randy Orton beat Chris Benoit||Toronto, Ontario||16,640|
|August 21, 2005||SummerSlam||Hulk Hogan beat Shawn Michaels||Washington DC||18,176|
|August 20, 2006||SummerSlam||Edge beat John Cena||Boston, Massachusetts||16,168|
|August 26, 2007||SummerSlam||John Cena beat Randy Orton||East Rutherford, New Jersey||17,441|
|August 17, 2008||SummerSlam||The Undertaker beat Edge||Indianapolis, Indiana||15,997|
|August 23, 2009||SummerSlam||CM Punk beat Jeff Hardy||Los Angeles, California||14,116|
|August 15, 2010||SummerSlam||Team WWE beat Team Nexus||Los Angeles, California||17,463|
|August 14, 2011||SummerSlam||CM Punk beat John Cena||Los Angeles, California||17,404|
|Alberto Del Rio beat CM Punk (Cashed in)|
|August 19, 2012||SummerSlam||Brock Lesnar beat HHH||Los Angeles, California||14,205|
|August 18, 2013||SummerSlam||Daniel Bryan beat John Cena||Los Angeles, California||17,739|
|Randy Orton beat Daniel Bryan (Cashed in)|
|August 17, 2014||SummerSlam||Brock Lesnar beat John Cena||Los Angeles, California||17,357|
|August 23, 2015||SummerSlam||The Undertaker beat Brock Lesnar||Brooklyn, New York||15,702|
|August 21, 2016||SummerSlam||Brock Lesnar beat Randy Orton||Brooklyn, New York||15,974|
|August 20, 2017||SummerSlam||Brock Lesnar beat Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe||Brooklyn, New York||16,128|
|August 19, 2018||SummerSlam||Roman Reigns beat Brock Lesnar||Brooklyn, New York||16,169|
|August 11, 2019||SummerSlam||Seth Rollins beat Brock Lesnar||Toronto, Ontario||16,904|
AEW: All Elite Wrestling
Professional wrestling received a major shake-up in 2019 with the launch of All Elite Wrestling, and as the fledgling company prepares to make its weekly television debut in early October the bookmakers have decided it is time to ‘be elite’.
World Wrestling Entertainment, more commonly known as WWE, has had a stranglehold over the business of professional wrestling since early 2001 when Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) folded due to financial difficulties and AOL-Time Warner’s desperation to get rid of World Championship Wrestling resulted in the company selling WCW to WWE supremo Vince McMahon.
Since that date no company has managed to provide competition to the WWE, but that all changed in late 2018 when former WWE star, Cody Rhodes, teamed up with Nick and Matt Jackson, known collectively as The Young Bucks, to run a huge independent show in Chicago called ‘All In’. The event was a critical and commercial success and it earned the interest of the Khan family, known for their ownership of the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team and English soccer side Fulham.
Trademark filings surrounding the name All Elite Wrestling soon made their way into the press and in early 2019 the announcement was made – AEW would run its first official show in the second quarter of 2019 with Tony Khan, son of Jaguars and Fulham owner Shahid, heading up the company as president and CEO, with Rhodes and the Jacksons, alongside Kenny Omega, playing the roles of executive vice president while also featuring as in-ring performers.
AEW quickly swooped to sign up some of the top independent talent in the world of professional wrestling to put together a supremely talented roster, but the blockbuster signings that helped the group make a major splash were the captures of former WWE and WCW star Chris Jericho and one of WWE’s headline performers in recent years, Dean Ambrose, aka. Jon Moxley. Jericho debuted in the closing moments of the press conference to announce AEW’s launch, while Moxley ended months of speculation about him making the jump from WWE when he performed a post-match run-in during the company’s inaugural event, Double Or Nothing, in Las Vegas.
In that time All Elite Wrestling also announced blockbuster television deals with TNT, the former home of WCW, in the United States, as well as a deal with ITV in the United Kingdom, meaning AEW would have the opportunity to reach more viewers than the WWE in the UK! The launch of the show would not be for several months, so it was up to AEW to build up momentum ahead of the debut and it did just that with its maiden PPV, ‘Double Or Nothing’ and follow-up ‘All Out’ proving to be critical and commercial success.
The question is can they now help usher in another golden period for professional wrestling, the likes we have not seen since WWE and WCW went to war between 1995 and 2001 and lit up an entire industry with record-breaking television ratings, sky high PPV buy rates and a long list of stars who became household names.
Will AEW truly be elite?