INGLEWOOD — WWE flexed its muscle at SoFi Stadium on Thursday, giving a glimpse of what it will bring to the local community with WrestleMania 39, pro wrestling’s biggest annual event next April.
The launch party for the company featured star guests and in-ring events to entertain the thousands in attendance on Thursday.
Rapper Snoop Dogg, comedian Gabriel Iglesias, and YouTube personality Jojo Siva all participated in some role alongside WWE Superstars throughout the show.
Snoop Dogg exchanged gifts with Bianca Belair, the current RAW Women’s Champion, and Becky Lynch, the former champion. Snoop Dogg presented the duo with “Death Row” chains, and the duo presented the rapper with an individually themed WWE Championship.
Iglesias co-hosted the event alongside Kyla Braxton and Corey Graves. Civa entered the ring for an interview with The Miz, Maryse and WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion Liv Morgan.
Siva and Miz recently attended the MLB All-Star softball game at Dodger Stadium.
The WrestleMania Launch Party gave fans early access to purchase WrestleMania 39 tickets before they go on sale ($350 and up) worldwide the following morning.
Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins won the tag team match by defeating Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo. After the match, Ford and Dawkins were joined by Laker Girls and Rams mascot Rampage, among others, in the ring located on the SoFi Stadium field.
— Rampage (@RampageNFL) August 12, 2022
Titus O’Neil, a wrestler and WWE ambassador, was in attendance at SoFi Stadium for Super Bowl LVI in February and believes the wrestling event could be a much bigger spectacle at the same venue.
“We’re going to be sold,” O’Neill told the Southern California News Group in July. “We have something on the cards for people young and old.”
O’Neill noted that there could also be a few surprises at the event.
“It’s no secret that one of the biggest superstars in WWE history happens to be here a lot in Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson,” O’Neil said. “There’s always this curiosity and the question of whether or not he’ll return to fight Roman Reigns.”
Both Johnson and Reigns, the current undisputed all-around champion, are members of the Anoai family and former NCAA Division I football players.
Not only will WWE take over SoFi Stadium with a two-day WrestleMania event on April 1-2, but they will air both of their weekly telecasts at the Crypto.com arena to bookend the weekend. Smackdown is on March 31st and RAW is on April 3rd.
There will also be a WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, WrestleMania Axxess (meet and greet) and various community events.
The event is expected to have a significant economic impact on the local community, just like this year’s show.
According to a WWE press release, WrestleMania 38 drew 156,352 people to AT&T Stadium last April and generated $206.5 million for the Dallas/Arlington area. This year’s business card featured Stone Cold Steve Austin, Pat McAfee, Logan Paul and Brock Lesnar.
This will be the first time WrestleMania has returned to Southern California since 2005 when Dave Bautista and Triple H competed in the main event of WrestleMania 21 in Los Angeles.
Triple H was named WWE’s chief creative officer after Vince McMahon retired at the end of July. McMahon retired following an internal investigation by WWE’s board of directors and allegations of sexual harassment made by previous employees.
“It’s exciting,” former WWE Champion Seth Rollins said of the recent changes. “This is a completely new world. It’s a lot of the same, but a little bit different, like stepping into a wormhole of some sort of parallel universe where it’s all WWE with the same people you knew, loved and worked with before, but now things are going in a different direction.”
— James H. Williams covers UCLA football (@JHWreporter) August 12, 2022