Each professional sport has its marquee event every year.
Like the Super Bowl for the NFL, this weekend marks the 38th edition of WrestleMania for World Wrestling Entertainment.
“The Grandest Stage Of Them All” has a strong connection to the state of Michigan and will be viewed by millions of people worldwide.
If you aren’t familiar with WWE or WrestleMania, a little history lesson could pay off for you this weekend.
What is WrestleMania?
As mentioned, WrestleMania is the WWE’s biggest event each year.
Typically, the company angles its biggest matches and stories for this one event each year.
It also amps up the pageantry, adding in celebrity appearances and returning stars from the past.
Everything is bigger, louder and feels more important.
This year’s WrestleMania will be a 2-night event, each night being held at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Celebrities competing this year include Logan Paul, Johnny Knoxville, and FanDuel Sportsbook spokesman Pat McAfee.
WrestleMania 38 Info Guide
- What: WrestleMania 38
- When: 8 p.m. ET Saturday, April 2 and 8 p.m. ET Sunday, April 3
- Where: AT&T Stadium
- Night 1 Main Events: Seth Rollins vs. TBA (Vince McMahon’s selected opponent); Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair (Raw Women’s Championship); Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey (Smackdown Women’s Championship); Stone Cold Steve Austin confronting Kevin Owens (it’s a male soap opera, folks)
- Night 2 Main Events: Johnny Knoxville vs. Sami Zayn; Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory; Edge vs. AJ Styles; Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar (World title unification bout)
- How to watch: Stream live on Peacock; at-home PPV provider
DraftKings pool an alternative to WrestleMania betting
Similar to what it did for the Royal Rumble, DraftKings is offering a free-to-play pool for the main event of Night 2, Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar.
They will give out $25,000 in prizes, with a $1,000 prize for first place.
You just have to visit DK’s pool page, find the contest, and provide the answers to the following questions below. The, kick back and watch the Winner-Take-All contest between the WWE Champion (Lesnar) and the WWE Universal Champion (Reigns).
- Who will win: Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar
- Method of victory: Pinfall, Submission or DQ
- Who will have the first pinfall attempt: Lesnar or Reigns
- Which move will be successfully hit first: F5 or the Spear
- How many times will Lesnar successfully hit the F5: Over/Under 1.5
- How many times will Reigns successfully hit the Spear: Over/Under 1.5
- With either title be used as a weapon: Yes or No
- Will an announcers’ table be broken during the match: Yes or No
- Who will Paul Heyman leave with: Lesnar, Reigns, Neither or Both
- Who will physically interfere in the match: Heyman, Jimmy and/or Jey Uso, Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins, Goldberg, or Other/Nobody.
This is the third time these two are closing out a WrestleMania together. Neither prevailed at WrestleMania 31, while Lesnar won at WrestleMania 34.
Michigan’s connection to WrestleMania
Detroit holds a special place in WrestleMania history.
Twice in the event’s history, it has been held in the Detroit area.
WrestleMania 3, arguably the most memorable WrestleMania of them all, was held from the Pontiac Silverdome on March 29, 1987.
An indoor attendance record of 93,173 witnessed Hulk Hogan body slam Andre the Giant to usher in a new era of professional wrestling. To this day, it stands as one of the most iconic moments in the business.
Twenty years later, WrestleMania returned to Detroit for WrestleMania 23 from Ford Field. A total of 80,103 witnessed that event. John Cena defeated Shawn Michaels in the main event, but the show is probably most known for future-president Donald Trump shaving the head of WWE chairman Vince McMahon.
Pontiac held the indoor attendance record for decades until WrestleMania 34 set a new standard with 101,763 from AT&T Stadium on April 8, 2018.
I personally attended WrestleMania 23 and I can attest that it was an experience unlike anything I have seen before. It’s hard to truly grasp what these athletes do on a television screen. The overall scope of the pageantry is truly hypnotizing in person as well.
WrestleMania tips/film study
If you aren’t too familiar with WWE and its product, have no fear.
There are a couple key points to consider when making your picks for the DraftKings pool.
- The main event is meant to be epic: WrestleMania main events are meant to be somewhat of a culmination of a big storyline. That means both competitors tend to bring out everything in their arsenal. Expect a lot of “finishing moves” to be hit to amp up the excitement.
- WWE likes to end on a high note: The closing shot of a WrestleMania is meant to make a point. It solidifies their star for the next year until WrestleMania 39. That used to mean the “good guy” always won. Times have changed, though. Lesnar is the “good guy/face” in this match, with Reigns playing the “bad guy/heel.” However, Reigns is the centerpiece to the WWE right now. He’s their superstar and they have booked him to look strong in almost every instance.
If you are a new fan, or just a former fan that lost touch with WrestleMania, here’s some suggestions from our staff as to what you can watch to get excited for this weekend.
Drew Ellis’ Top 5 WrestleMania Matches
- 1. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker – WM 25: Two of the all-time greats in their prime putting on a beautiful story that had the crowd hooked. Nearly an hour from start-to-finish, the last half is magic.
- 2. Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage – WM 3: Hogan vs. Andre was the main event, but this match is what made me a fan of pro wrestling. A pace and display of athleticism never shown at that time.
- 3. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart – WM 13: WrestleMania is about making stars and this made Steve Austin in a losing effort. Through amazing storytelling, the bad guy became the good guy and vice versa in a matter of 20 minutes.
- 4. Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock – WM 18: This match was like a love letter to 80’s wrestling. Though not the most impressive athletic display, you’ll never hear a crowd more into a single match. It truly was magic.
- 5. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart – WM 12: These two may be the best to ever do it, and they went for over an hour, while somehow keeping the crowd engaged the entire time. The final half hour is a roller coaster.
Paul Costanzo’s Top 5 WrestleMania Matches
- 1. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart – WM 13: This was the match that brought me back into wrestling (the first time) as a freshman in high school. I would catch the occasional PPV with friends before this, but Austin’s crimson mask while in the Sharpshooter made me a regular viewer.
- 2. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Batista – WM 30: I didn’t see this live, as I wasn’t watching WWE at all when it happened. But it was the first match I looked for when I got back into it a year ago, mainly because I wanted to remember what it was like to have an entire crowd get behind a wrestler’s journey to the top, and have it pay off.
- 3. Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan – WM 6: Not high quality wrestling, but 7-year-old Paul painted his face and cheered against Hulk Hogan for the first time, making it significant.
- 4. Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks – WM 37: The match that hooked my then 7- and 9-year-old daughters. It was historic, as it was the first time two black women main-evented Wrestlemania, and it was an excellent match with a hot crowd. But it will always be extra special in our house.
- 5. TLC II; Hardy Boyz vs. Dudley Boys vs. Edge & Christian – WM 17: Nothing personal about this one, it was just a banger.