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WWE’s WrestleMania 39 takes center stage in Southern California

LOS ANGELES — Professional wrestling has taken over Southern California, installing Inglewood as its temporary headquarters leading up to the WWE’s WrestleMania 39 event this weekend.

WrestleMania serves as the main attraction, but the company has built a whole week of events around its biggest annual event of the calendar year.

“It’s not just WrestleMania, which will be two spectacular nights but it will be a week-long event,” said Bianca Belair, the RAW Women’s Champion. “It’s going to be super fun and fans from all over the world have already made plans to come and attend the events. I’m just excited to be a part of it.”

The big event will take place at SoFi Stadium on April 1-2. Arena will host three events, including Smackdown (March 31), NXT Stand and Deliver (April 1) and RAW (April 3).

RAW, Smackdown and NXT make up WWE’s weekly television programming each week.

“Los Angeles will see something special,” said WWE Global Ambassador and performer Titus O’Neil. “We take the Super Bowl and we magnify that by about five or 10 times with the pyro, the production value and everything in between.”

Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns will defend his title against Cody Rhodes in the main event match on April 2.

Both men share a common bond as sons of former pro wrestlers. Cody Rhodes is the son of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. Sika, one half of “The Wild Samoans” tag team in the 1980s, is the father of Reigns.

WWE announced that WrestleMania 39 had already set the event’s all-time gate record in January before a match was announced. The gross amount is more than $18 million. The company’s previous mark of $17.3 million was set in 2016 for WrestleMania 32 held AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The $5 billion, 70,000-seat sports and entertainment stadium was originally scheduled to host WrestleMania 37 in March 2021 but was rescheduled for 2023 as a result of the pandemic.

It will be the first time WrestleMania has returned to Southern California since 2005, when the event attracted a crowd of 20,193 people and set a Staples Center attendance record at the time.

The main event featured Paul “Triple H” Levesque, the current head of creative at WWE, and Batista, who is known outside of WWE for his role as Drax from the Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy series.

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