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'Live' SmackDown, Andre the Giant Battle Royal to air on USA Network as part of WrestleMania week

USA Network

WWE is gearing up for the biggest WrestleMania ever with the biggest broadcasting plan ever for their annual Spring extravaganza.

Their streaming service, WWE Network, where new subscribers can get the Showcase of the Immortals free in 2016, will have seven straight hours of Mania coverage on Apr. 3. The four hour broadcast will be lead into by two hours of pre-show, and followed by a 60 minute post-show.

USA Network, now the television home of both Raw and SmackDown, is planning a whole week of WWE-themed and WrestleMania-related programming. Kicking off with a Thursday night 'go home' show with "live segments" on Mar. 31, the centerpiece of that plan will be an hour of Mania pre-show from 6PM Eastern to the official start at 7PM - including the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

Here's the announcement on that, which also features an edited version of the Hall of Fame the Thursday after the Show of Shows, and an afternoon-of movie marathon of Dwayne Johnson flicks, whose Rock character will have an undecided-as-of-yet role in Arlington, Texas on the first Sunday in April:


Special SMACKDOWN with Live Segments from AT&T Stadium to Air Thursday, March 31 and WWE HALL OF FAME Special to Premiere Thursday, April 7

NEW YORK - March 18, 2016 - For the first time ever, USA Network, the exclusive cable home to WWE's marquee properties, announces expanded access to WRESTLEMANIA, WWE's biggest event of the year. Between March 31 and April 7, the network will feature multiple events, including a live, one-hour broadcast of the official WRESTLEMANIA KICKOFF SHOW, a special SMACKDOWN episode with live segments, the one-hour WWE HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY, and a movie marathon celebrating Dwayne "The Rock®" Johnson.

On Thursday, March 31 from 8-10PM ET/PT, SMACKDOWN will feature live segments from AT&T Stadium just days before WRESTLEMANIA 32.

On Sunday, April 3, USA's live hour of the WRESTLEMANIA KICKOFF SHOW will start at 6PM ET/3PM PT and include the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, featuring 20 WWE Superstars. WRESTLEMANIA 32 will broadcast live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. And leading in and out of the live kickoff show, USA Network will celebrate with a movie marathon featuring WWE homegrown star Dwayne "The Rock®" Johnson, with films including The Rundown, Faster, Fast Five and GI Joe Retaliation.

The night after, on Monday, April 4, an all-new WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW will feature the fallout from the action of WRESTLEMANIA 32.

Then on Thursday, April 7 at 10PM ET/PT, immediately following SMACKDOWN, USA will broadcast the one-hour 2016 WWE HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY special. WWE Legends including Sting, Big Boss Man and The Fabulous Freebirds will be immortalized for their accomplishments and contributions to sports entertainment in this year's WWE Hall of Fame class.

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