One of the biggest unanswered questions for WWE fans in the UK and Ireland is whether they will ever see a WrestleMania take place in their home country?
Recently it was announced WrestleMania 35 will be held in New Jersey, but the venues beyond that have yet to be confirmed.
The fans have been desperate for the WWE to bring WrestleMania to Britain for a long time and the case for that to happen is arguably now stronger than it has ever been.
First and foremost, there are plenty of arenas in the UK and Ireland that could do justice to an event the size of WrestleMania.
On Sunday night, 78,133 fans packed into the Mercedes-Benz SuperDome for WrestleMania 34.
Over the past decade, more than 80,000 fans have filled Wembley Stadium for the NFL International Series. In Cardiff, over 78,000 were in the Principality Stadium for Anthony Joshua’s recent fight with Joseph Parker.
In essence, this shouldn’t be a barrier. We have arenas capable of holding crowds to match those in the United States.
The UK’s last major pay-per-view event took place in 1992 when SummerSlam was staged at Wembley Stadium in London.
To date, not only is it still recognised as one of the greatest events in WWE history, but it was also attended by one of the biggest crowds in WWE history, and they enjoyed one of the best matches in WWE history when the British Bulldog defeated Bret Hart for the Intercontinental title.
A report in 2017 estimated the UK and Ireland to have the second biggest WWE market in the world, second only to the United States.
Again we have what’s required here.
British and Irish talent has excelled in WWE over the years.
Irish duo Finn Balor and Sheamus both competed in title matches at WrestleMania, while Paige sent shockwaves through the women’s division during her time in the ring, with a character that went against the grain of the traditional WWE diva, yet still proved a big hit with fans.
Such is the level of talent growing here, NXT now has a United Kingdom Championship and Tyler Bate, Trent Seven and Pete Dunne are making big strides in WWE’s developmental territory.
Dunne and Bate’s clash at TakeOver: Chicago won critical acclaim around the world, so much so that WWE’s official website recognised it as the third best match of 2017.
The UK Championship tournament is returning for a second time in 2018.
We’ve got more than enough budding UK wrestlers coming through the ranks here.
This is the tricky one and probably the biggest barrier.
One of the main arguments going against the UK or Ireland hosting WrestleMania would be the time difference and how it could affect broadcast in the United States.
London sits eight hours ahead of the west coast of the United States. So for example, if a WrestleMania here began at 6pm (the same time WrestleMania 34 began on Sunday), it would be a 10am start in Los Angeles. That does create some issues.
First, it could limit the number of fans tuning in overseas. Of course, there would be the option for an as-live broadcast later in the day but it does run the risk of spoilers impacting the number tuning in.
Second, while of course WWE is sports entertainment, it is still violent which does impact on when a programme can be shown.
If, for example, you watch a WWE event on Sky Sports in the afternoon, our watershed in the UK means the camera will often pan to the audience should a weapon be used or someone is put through a table.
However, is that really a viable reason for the WWE to deny some of its most loyal and long-serving fans the chance to be part of one of the biggest sporting events of the year?
We already host two episodes of Raw and SmackDown in a calendar year and the stars of NXT came to London for a Takeover event in 2015. Each continue to be hugely successful and rumours would suggest the WWE is open to the idea of a WrestleMania in the UK.
So, do we deserve WrestleMania?
In the words of Stone Cold Steve Austin: “Hell yeah!”. Hopefully it is not a question of if, but when.
Would you like to see WrestleMania come to the UK or Ireland? And where do you think it should be held? Let us know using the comment facility below.