Backstage Notes On WrestleMania Matches, Traditional PPV Changes, And WWE Talking With ESPN

Backstage Notes On WrestleMania Matches, Traditional PPV Changes, And WWE Talking With ESPN

It was reported back in January a lot of this year’s WrestleMania card had yet to be finalized with matches either getting changed or coming together over the past couple weeks.

Last month, John Cena was reportedly scheduled to face Elias, but his opponent is now Bray Wyatt. For Wyatt, he was originally scheduled to defend the WWE Universal Championship against Roman Reigns, but now Reigns is wrestling Goldberg for that title.

On the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, it was discussed how little was planned out long-term for this year’s WrestleMania as Goldberg wasn’t even scheduled to be on the show, but Vince McMahon “changing his mind” brought Goldberg into the mix.

Dave Meltzer reported that whenever a match go out—like AJ Styles vs. Undertaker in February—that’s pretty much when WWE decided to go with that match. Elias vs. King Corbin was reportedly another newly added match to the PPV.

Although not officially announced, Meltzer said Otiz vs. Dolph Ziggler has been on the books for a month. WWE RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler is one of the few matches that has not been changed, originally planned as far back as a year ago.

Earlier this week, WWE announced WrestleMania would not only be moved to the WWE Performance Center, without an audience, due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it was going to be a two-night event. Cable/satellite providers were informed of the change at the same time fans were. Meltzer noted those companies will be selling the PPV differently—some will do individual nights, others will sell both nights for one price.

Back in February, Vince McMahon discussed the possibility of WWE selling the rights of their major PPVs to another streaming service in an effort to bring in more revenue. Meltzer said ESPN and WWE have been talking, but they are “far apart on money.” Vince reportedly wants a higher number than what UFC received from ESPN. The specific number wasn’t provided, although it wasn’t expected to be a big $100+ million deal, mainly due to the current unsteady climate and how many advertiser dollars would be rolling in for ESPN.

Earlier this week, ESPN announced it would air previous WrestleMania events, beginning tonight at 7 pm with WrestleMania 30 from 2014.


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