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Fans of sports entertainment brand WWE are in for a treat this Sunday as the wrestling highlight of the year, WrestleMania 33, happens this Sunday. This will be a once-in-a-year chance to see some of the world’s greatest wrestlers face off against each other in the ‘squared circle’.
In its third decade of existence, WrestleMania will take place at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, United States, the second time this venue has hosted the event since 2008. Around 70,000+ fans are expected to fill up the stadium for the highlight of the wrestling calendar. The matches will also be broadcast on the sports entertainment firm’s own WWE Network as well as sports channels across the globe.
Featuring a healthy selection of big names from the locker rooms of the bitterly competitive RAW and SmackDown brands, thirteen matches are scheduled, including title matches for the Universal Championship (RAW) and SmackDown’s WWE Championship. Goldberg will defend the Universal Championship against the seemingly unstoppable and brutal Brock Lesnar and Bray Wyatt will defend the WWE Championship against the famed ‘Legend Killer’, Randy Orton. Already, critics and observers have commended the line-up for the matches, and numerous rumours and predictions are doing the rounds all over the Web.
The following thirteen matches are scheduled to take place around WrestleMania this weekend, with ‘(c)’ indicating the current title holder with their belt on the line:
- 2017 André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal (Battle royal for the André the Giant Memorial Trophy)
- Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries (Singles match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
- Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Randy Orton (Singles match for the WWE Championship)
- Goldberg (c) vs. Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) (Singles match for the WWE Universal Championship)
- The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns (Singles match)
- Seth Rollins vs. Triple H (Non-sanctioned match)
- Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles (Singles match)
- Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax (Fatal 4-Way elimination match for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship)
- Chris Jericho (c) vs. Kevin Owens (Singles match for the WWE United States Championship)
- John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse (Mixed tag team match)
- Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Baron Corbin (Singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship)
- Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (c) vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Cesaro and Sheamus (Triple threat ladder match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)
- Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Mickie James vs. Carmella (with James Ellsworth) vs. Naomi (Six-pack challenge for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Many of the matches are the culmination of storylines in the WWE shows, where wrestlers frequently challenge each other, not only for belts and bragging rights, but also for the hearts and minds of their legions of fans.
The event, often known among fans as the ‘The Ultimate Thrill Ride’ and the ‘Show of Shows’ will take place on Sunday, 2nd April 2017, but will be broadcasting early morning the next day in the United Kingdom due to time differences. British subscribers to the WWE Network can catch the match live, and television viewers can view WrestleMania on Sky Sports Box Office, channels 491 and 492, with the pay-per-view broadcast costing £19.95.
This past Friday, as the build-up to WrestleMania 33 has already reached boiling point, long-time WWE veteran Kurt Angle hosted the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Angle joins Diamond Dallas Page, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Beth Phoenix, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) and Theodore “Teddy” Long in the 2017 class.