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WWE’s WrestleMania London plan might be working

With Money in the Bank taking place in London, WWE brought John Cena in for the show to promote the idea of bringing a WrestleMania to the city (and to get Grayson Waller on the show, but the ‘Mania thing seems like the main reason for Cena’s presence).

It made us think they must be pretty close to bringing their signature event to the United Kingdom’s capital, but then Triple H downplayed the idea in his post-show press conference appearance.

So what was the deal with Cena’s promo then?

One explanation that’s been floated is that WWE was attempting to get people in the UK excited about the possibility of the Showcase of the Immortals emanating from Wembley Stadium* to create pressure on lawmakers and other political decision-makers to bid on the event.

We know WWE has been moving to a model similar to the one used by the Olympics, the World Cup, and the Super Bowl for their big shows, where cities offer money and other incentives to host those events in exchange for the prestige of doing so and promises of the “economic impact” they’ll bring. Reports indicated that Clash at the Castle happened in Cardiff, Wales instead of London last year because Welsh government officials made an offer after London declined to. Would they be able to refuse if thousands of local pro wrestling fans were fired up about WrestleMania coming to The Big Smoke?

If this story from BBC Newsbeat is any indication, WWE succeeded in firing up that conversation:

It includes this:

... after Cena’s appearance at the O2, it seems like it’s going to be hard to contain the excitement among fans about what could be next.

“I felt like I was going to cry. It felt unreal,” Jessica told Newsbeat after the show.

Another fan, Kieron, said: “We always talk about that moment of going to WrestleMania and it being a bucket list moment so for it to be in the UK would be everything.”

Which is probably inspiring Members of Parliament (MPs) like Alex Davies-Jones, a Welsh Labour Party member who represents Pontypridd and serves as the co-chair of the (checks notes) All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wrestling, to say things like...

“It [Cena’s appearance] was utterly incredible and got the whole place buzzing with excitement about the possibilities of what that could mean for wrestling fans, but also for the UK economy and also for future fans as well.”

... and...

“I would love for it to happen. The APPG have already been talking about how we can help to make that happen in whatever way we can in terms of facilitating some conversations.”

... and...

“Whatever we can do to make the UK attractive to host wrestling on the world stage we are more than happy to help facilitate. We would use our contact and negotiating skills to try and reach out to WWE, making conversations happen to try and promote the UK as a premier destination for world-class wrestling.”

Davies-Jones is just one MP, though. She can’t bid on WrestleMania herself, so there is still work to be done before WrestleMania London is announced.

We imagine Nick Khan’s smiling though, and maybe even channeling his inner George Peppard.

* They could bring ‘Mania to London Olympic or Tottenham Hotspur or Emirates, but it’s hard to see them passing up the opportunity to pack London’s most iconic stadium.

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