The emergence of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in North America over the past few weeks has caused the cancellation of just about all organized activities that involve the gatherings of more than 50 or so people. With WrestleMania 36 less than three weeks away, and with over 75,000 expected to be in attendance at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, why hasn’t the Super Bowl of wrestling been canceled like so many other high profiles events?
CEO and founder of WWE, Vince McMahon, was quick to terminate the remainder of the XFL season after only five weeks of play, potentially causing severe damage to the league’s future endeavors. ESPN is reporting that Hillsborough County may take the decision out of the WWE’s hands and “pull the plug” on WrestleMania 36.
“I’m hoping that Vince McMahon and WrestleMania and WWE make the call themselves, but a week from now, if they’ve not done that and we’re still in the situation we’re in, we’ll probably have to pull the plug on that,” said Hillsborough County commissioner Lee Miler.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has suggested that citizens should avoid large gatherings over the next 30 days, a window of time that includes WrestleMania 36. The WWE has stated that the event is still on schedule to occur, and it has been rumored that McMahon is waiting for Hillsborough County to force him to cancel the event so that insurance coverage triggers can soften the financial blow.
The WWE has also stated that is has a contingency plan in place in the event that WrestleMania 36 is canceled. Let’s take a look at the odds placed on WrestleMania 36 and examine the lines.
Odds provided by MyBookie.
RAW WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
- BROCK LESNAR +200
- DREW MCINTYRE -260
Brock Lesnar continues to exist as the only current WWE roster member that features any real drawing power. Sure, periodically, they may bring in a wrestler from the past that can fill a large arena. Still, regarding the regular roster, Brock is the only real superstar that transcends wrestling. That said, why is he an underdog to Drew McIntyre?
Brock is comfortably wealthy and can return to compete in the UFC again at any time he chooses. The WWE needs Lesnar more than Lesnar needs the WWE, and both parties are aware of this. Lesnar is paid per appearance, and his schedule is sparse throughout the year. Other high-profile wrestlers have had similar contracts in the past, but never for a standing champion.
Could Lesnar be angling to exit the business for a while? That possibility is always present when it comes to Lesnar, and it is affecting the odds. Bet on Brock, but pay attention to the latest in USA sportsbook developments, as more could be revealed in the coming days regarding Lesnar’s future.
SMACKDOWN WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP
- GOLDBERG +600
- ROMAN REIGNS -1000
WRESTLEMANIA SINGLES MATCH
- JOHN CENA +140
- BRAY WYATT -180
Speaking of marquee wrestlers who don’t work full time, John Cena and Bill Goldberg have recently re-joined the company in time for a WrestleMania run. Both wrestlers are also favored to lose, indicating that their series of appearances with the company will end at the pay-per-view. We agree with the favorites. Although it would seem that Goldberg should have better odds of winning, US sportsbook sites have likely keyed into his contractual status and view him as a certain loser.
WILL TYSON FURY APPEAR AT WRESTLEMANIA
- YES -300
- NO +200
WILL CONOR MCGREGOR APPEAR AT WRESTLEMANIA
- YES +800
- NO -1500
WILL CAIN VELASQUEZ APPEAR AT WRESTLEMANIA
- YES -120
- NO -120
WILL ROB GRONKOWSKI APPEAR AT WRESTLEMANIA
- YES +250
- NO -350
WILL ‘THE ROCK’ APPEAR AT WRESTLEMANIA
- YES +1500
- NO -2500
These prop bets involve special celebrity appearances, which always occur at WrestleMania events. From Liberace to Donald Trump, WrestleMania has always attracted the attention and participation of major celebrities, politicians, and professional athletes. Some are just looking for a quick payday and some publicity, while others intend to parlay it into a professional wrestling career.
All of these performers have either appeared at a WrestleMania before, have teased their potential involvement, or have been attached to fan rumor and speculation. Many signs point to Rob Gronkowski appearing at the big event, but the odds do not reflect this. A $100 bet on Gronk to show up will earn a payout of $250. Take advantage of these odds before top online sportsbooks get wise and adjust them.