The city of Tampa, strongly known for its love of hockey, will have to embrace their love for wrestling next year. The Tampa Bay Times broke the news earlier today that WrestleMania 36 will be held in the city’s Raymond James Stadium, home to NFL team Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The location was rumored by various news outlets such as Wrestling Inc. just last week.
WWE have been planning to use Tampa as a WrestleMania host city for some time, however, it is coming earlier than expected: previously it was thought to be on the cards for some time between 2023 to 2025. The Tampa Bay Sports Commission submitted the bid to host the event 10 months ago. This will be the first time the Stanley Cup of wrestling will be hosted in this city. Wrestling already has a strong presence in Tampa: it is the home of SHINE Wrestling, based in the Ybor City neighbourhood, as well as many WWE superstars.
This will be the fourth time in the history of WWE that the show of all shows will take place in the Sunshine State. Orlando first hosted the event in 2008, followed by Miami in 2012. WrestleMania returned to Orlando in 2017.
The development of women’s wrestling in WWE can be seen from the two years WrestleMania was hosted in Orlando. In 2008, the women’s match saw Beth Phoenix and Melina vs. Ashley and Maria in a Playboy BunnyMania Lumberjill match. Less than a decade later, 2017 saw a fatal four-way match where Bayley successfully retained the RAW Women’s Championship by defeating Nia Jax, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte Flair. Naomi also won the SmackDown Women’s Championship in a six-pack challenge match to become a two-time champion.
The next step in the evolution of women’s wrestling in WWE may take place at this year, when a hotly anticipated triple threat match between Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey and her rivals Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair is expected to be the first women’s match to main event WrestleMania. The official WWE announcement of WrestleMania 36’s location will take place on March 7 at 11 a.m. ET.
Check back with Diva Dirt for further news on WrestleMania 36.