WWE will hold its biggest event of the year, WrestleMania 37, this weekend. For the superstars who will appear on the show, it’s a very big deal.
“It’s our Super Bowl, it’s our World Cup, it’s our Olympics,” Bobby Lashley, the current WWE Champion, said.
Lashley’s opponent for WrestleMania 37, Drew McIntyre, described it in similar terms.
“Your goal when you get into this industry is to make it onto a card at WrestleMania,” he said.
Not only are Lashley (nickname: “The All Mighty”) and McIntyre (real name: Andrew Galloway) on the card, but they will headline the first night of what will be a two-night event. To both, it’s a dream come true, as they explained in separate interviews with TODAY.
“It was my goal and my dream” to compete in a WrestleMania main event “since I got into the business” Lashley said. “And if you don’t have that goal or dream, you’re in the wrong business. We want to be on the top. Ever since I came in” to the WWE, “I knew that I had all the tools to be on the top. It was just the timing, and it was just the opportunity. So this year gave me the timing and opportunity, and everything just came across just perfectly.”
McIntyre finds himself in a similar position to the one he was in at last year’s WrestleMania — challenging for a championship. But unlike last year’s event, there will be fans in attendance at WrestleMania this weekend.
“The idea of not only being on WrestleMania, which is big enough, but being part of one of the main events competing for the championship is unbelievable, and for me personally, that was literally my dream since I was 5 years old,” he said. “And to do it last year, be it unique circumstances, and getting a chance to do it this year again with fans back in the building, it’s unbelievable.”
Read on for more details about WrestleMania 37: what time it will take place, where it will take place, how you can watch it and how celebrities including Bad Bunny will play a role in the show.
When is WrestleMania 37?
WrestleMania has traditionally been a one-night-only extravaganza, but WWE shook up the format last year by staging it as a two-night event. WWE is sticking to that format this year, with the first half of WrestleMania 37 scheduled for Saturday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and the second half set for Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Where will WrestleMania 37 take place?
Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida — home of the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers — will host WrestleMania 37. The venue had been designated as the site of last year’s WrestleMania before the pandemic caused WWE to move the event to its performance center in Orlando, Florida, without fans.
WrestleMania 37 will mark the first time WWE will have fans in the seats in over a year, with capacity limited to approximately 25,000 people for each night.
Both Lashley and McIntyre are looking forward to performing in front of a live crowd again.
“At the end of the day, our business is our business because of the fans,” Lashley said. “We’re sports entertainers. We love the fans. We love the energy that we get from the fans.”
For McIntyre, the presence of fans in the stadium will be especially meaningful after the Scotland native won the WWE Championship for the first time in an empty performance center during last year’s WrestleMania.
“Now that I get a redo in my American hometown, Tampa, Florida, Raymond James Stadium, with the fans going to be there, I’m so excited,” he explained. “I’ve told the other superstars, just brace yourself. We’ve not had fans in the building — we’ve had them virtually, we could hear them in the ThunderDome (WWE’s setup for its TV shows during the pandemic) — but it’s going to take you back. You’re going to have to compose yourself because when I walk out there, I’m mentally ready just to absorb that reaction, not let it throw me off my game because it’s going to be an emotional moment for not just the fans, but for the superstars also.”
How can I watch WrestleMania 37?
WrestleMania will stream live on Peacock Premium. (Peacock is part of NBC News’ parent company, NBCUniversal.) Peacock is currently running a deal for new Premium subscribers — $2.50 per month (more specifically, four months for $9.99), a 50% discount. But you’ll have to hurry, since the offer expires Friday.
As for why you should watch WrestleMania 37 on Peacock — particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the current WWE product — McIntyre said it will be a “feel-good show.”
“You check out the show, you’re going to find yourself having a great time. And the visual of that crowd there, the fans there, it’s going to make you feel really good in the sense that we’re really getting back to normal finally,” he added.
What are the matches for WrestleMania 37?
It depends on which night you’re watching WrestleMania. The WWE Championship match between Lashley and McIntyre will take place on the first night. It’ll be a clash of the titans — WWE lists Lashley at 6 feet, 3 inches tall and 273 pounds, and McIntyre at 6 feet, 5 inches tall and 265 pounds.
Both are complimentary of the other — to a point. Lashley conceded that McIntyre “had a great year. He’s a great champion. He’ll go down as one of the greatest champions in WWE history, without a doubt.” And McIntyre described Lashley as “an absolute machine. He’s a high-level MMA fighter. He’s strong, powerful, can do it all.”
Having said that, they disagree (obviously) on how their match will turn out.
Lashley said of his opponent, “He had his time, and it’s my time. I like him as an opponent. Right now, it’s the ‘All Mighty’ era. It’s a bad time for Drew but a good time for me.”
McIntyre’s response: “At WrestleMania he’s going to find out I’m just as big, just as fast, just as dangerous and very experienced, and also just like him, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to win.”
Putting the trash talk aside, both Lashley and McIntyre believe their match will be entertaining.
“We’re going to put on an absolute spectacle for everybody. A bit of a throwback to the wrestling events of yesteryear when it used to be two heavyweights battling it out in the main event, except these are two heavyweights that can move around,” McIntyre said.
Lashley and McIntyre can’t wait to check out their fellow superstars in action this weekend, too. When asked which matches they’re most looking forward to, they both mentioned the “SmackDown” Women’s Championship match between Sasha Banks (the current title holder) and Bianca Belair first.
“We want to see how good Bianca is; she’s had an amazing year. And Sasha is like the queen, Sasha has been at the top forever,” Lashley said. “So it’s really cool to see someone that’s been on the top for a long time, to somebody that’s up-and-coming and is extremely hot right now.”
Lashley and McIntyre also highlighted the match between Cesaro and Seth Rollins as one with great potential.
The Banks-Belair and Cesaro-Rollins matches are part of the first night of WrestleMania 37. The headline match for Night Two is a triple-threat match pitting Universal Champion Roman Reigns against Edge and Daniel Bryan (whom non-WWE fans may recognize as the husband of Brie Bella). You can check out the full WrestleMania 37 lineup here.
Which celebrities will appear at WrestleMania 37?
Reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny not only will appear at WrestleMania 37, but he actually has a match on the card. Seriously. He will team up with Damian Priest to face off against The Miz and John Morrison during the show’s first night.
Bad Bunny has been making regular appearances on WWE’s Monday night program, “Raw,” this year, and according to McIntyre, the musician “seems to be having the time of his life.”
“That’s the coolest thing about it, just observing him. He’s clearly a fan. He clearly wants to do a good job, and he’s dedicating a lot of his time to being on TV every single week to promote this match,” McIntyre shared.
He added, “Outside the ring I’ve been hearing how much work he’s putting in. I’m very excited to have him part of the show, very excited to have him part of WrestleMania. I think he’s going to shock a few people with his performance.”
YouTuber Logan Paul isn’t scheduled to compete in the ring, but he is expected to attend the second night of WrestleMania 37 as a “guest” of Sami Zayn, who has a match against longtime rival Kevin Owens.
WrestleMania 37 will include performances by musical artists Bebe Rexha and Ashland Craft — who will perform “America the Beautiful” on the first night and second night, respectively — plus Wale and Ash Costello.
WWE is also bringing back a WrestleMania legend, Hulk Hogan, to co-host this weekend’s event with veteran superstar Titus O’Neil.
This story was originally published on TODAY.com.
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