Your Guide To All The Wrestling Events Coming To Dallas For WrestleMania 32 Weekend.
It’s finally here. After more than a year of anticipation, WrestleMania 32 is coming to North Texas on Sunday.
Yes, it’s the largest event in professional wrestling. And, yes, it’s treated as such, with more than 80,000 people expected to flock to AT&T Stadium on April 3 to see their favorite wrestlers duke it out on the grandest stage of them all.
But don’t kid yourself into thinking that WrestleMania is the only wrestling event coming to Dallas this weekend. That’s hardly true. For years, the WWE has offered a whole slate of ancillary activities related to its own main event. And, for just as long, the event has served at large as a gravitational force that pulls together wrestlers and fans from all over the world to this one central location where celebrations of everything professional wrestling-related can be found everywhere you’ll look.
Even outside of WWE’s purview, area wrestling fans will this week be treated a slew of other wrestling shows, meet-and-greets and some wrestling conventions too. There’s just a lot out there for people to take in. So, that in mind, we’ve taken on the task of compiling just about everything we could find wrestling-related that will be going on this week.
Check it out.
WWE Divas and Total Divas cast members Natalya and Alicia Fox are going to be at a Cricket Wireless store doing autograph signings. It has yet to be determined if Alicia Fox will be a face or heel at the event.
Jake The Snake Roberts at Hyena’s Dallas.
Jake Roberts is considered one of the best talkers in the history of wrestling and has one of the darkest and twisted personal journeys in the business, as well as one of the most inspiring stories of redemption. Roberts knows better than almost any other wrestler how to captivate an audience with his words. Whether you’re a wrestling fan or not, it’s going to be hard to listen to him speak without feeling something.
Jim Cornette has a been a manager, booker and writer in the wrestling business for more than 30 years. He’s taken this experience to his own podcast, which he will be recording live at the Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth. Cornette is sort of like your angry grandpa of pro wrestling; his intentions are good, but most of the time, his opinions on the product are wildly out of touch and would only make sense if this was still the ’70s. Regardless, he still has some of the funniest rants you’ll ever hear on professional wrestling.
WWE WrestleMania Axxess at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
WrestleMania Axxess is essentially WWE’s very own yearly convention. It’s a four-day event leading up to WrestleMania that offers fans a chance to meet with their favorite wrestlers, and check out some famous memorabilia from the company’s past. Wrestlers that will be at this years Axxess include Dean Ambrose, RIc Flair, Randy Orton, Sting, Seth Rollins and Chris Jericho.
NWA Parade of Champions at the Ridglea Theater.
Yes, the National Wrestling Associaton still exists, barely. Their yearly WrestleMania show consists mostly of former WWE midcarders, such as Charlie Haas and Rob Conway, as well as forgettable indie wrestlers such as Chase Owens and Jax Dane. There will also be a meet-and-greet beforehand with Jim Cornette and older territory wrestlers like Marc Lowrance and Mike McGuirk.
Mickie James at House of Blues.
Mickie James is a former WWE wrestler and, on her off-time, a country music singer. For those that didn’t know about her music career beforehand, well, there’s a good reason for that.
WaleMania 2 at Winstons Supperclub (Sold Out).
For those that didn’t know, Wale is a pretty big wrestling fan — so much so that he’s started putting on his own yearly WrestleMania party. This year will feature a meet-and-greet session with some of AAA and Lucha Underground’s biggest stars, including Pentagon Jr., Fenix and Jack Evans. Afterwards, there will be a live MLW podcast featuring Konnan and Court Bauer, as well as Chris Hero, MVP and Dave Meltzer. Wale will cap off the night with a live performance.
WrestleCon is basically the Comic-Con of wrestling. It’s an annual gathering of some of the biggest legends and independent wrestlers performing today, offering live panels, podcasts, autograph signings and live wrestling shows. Friday’s events include a live Q&A with Scott Steiner (one of the most entertaining people to listen to talk about wrestling), a discussion panel with the cast of Lucha Underground, a live recording of Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast, and Queens of Combat 10 featuring Mickie James vs. Lufisto.
John Cena Autograph Signing at JCPenney.
John Cena is going to be available for autograph signings from 4 to 6 p.m. at the JCPenney on Skillman Street, promoting his new brand of TapOut apparel workout clothing. He won’t be wrestling at this year’s ‘Mania, but you still have an opportunity to meet the face of the WWE here.
Kota Ibushi Meet & Greet at Eddie Deen’s Ranch.
Kota Ibushi is a former NJPW and DDT wrestling star and is currently one of the hottest free agents in wrestling. He’s put on incredible matches with some of NXT’s biggest stars such as Finn Balor and Sami Zayn, and has a great chance in being included in NXT’s cruiserweight tournament this summer. He will be doing autograph signings at Eddie Deen’s Ranch Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m., as
Meet & Greet with Bill Apter at Hyatt Regency Dallas.
Bill Apter has been covering wrestling for almost 40 years. He helped found Pro Wrestling Illustrated and has provided insight into the inner-workings of wrestling for decades He has a wealth of knowledge on the wrestling industry, and when meeting him, you will also receive an autographed copy of his new book and an autographed baseball cap.
Evolve Wrestling 58 at Eddie Deen’s Ranch.
Evolve is an independent wrestling promotion run by Gabe Sapolsky, a protege of Paul Heyman and founder of Ring of Honor. They’re performing two days in a row over the weekend at Eddie Deen’s Ranch. And the card looks pretty damn good. This event features a main bout between Zack Sabre Jr. and Will Ospreay, two of the best wrestlers in the world right now not signed to WWE. Several other fantastic wrestlers are also scheduled to appear, including Chris Hero, Sami Callihan, Draw Galloway and Johnny Gargano.
ROH Supercard of Honor X Night One at Hyatt Regency Dallas
Ring of Honor is either the second or third biggest wrestling promotion in the company, depending on who you ask, and they’re putting on their annual WrestleMania event head-to-head with WWE’s NXT showcase. And, no matter which event you go to, you’re in for a great time. The card features a dream match between The Young Bucks and the Motor City Machine Guns, as well as ROH World Champion Jay Lethal defending his belt against Lio Rush. These are the wrestlers that WWE wishes they could sign.
NXT Takeover: Dallas(Sold Out) at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
We’ve talked at length about this show already. This is basically a best-of-the-indies supershow under a WWE name. For the first time ever, we’re going to see Shinsuke Nakamura take on Sami Zayn, as well as Finn Balor against Samoa Joe II. The fact is, if you had told a wrestling fan that a show like this would be happening five years ago, it would have sounded like a ridiculous pipe dream. It’s really incredible that we’ve been gifted such an incredible showcase of wrestling from WWE.
Combat Zone Wrestling at Eddie Deen’s Ranch.
CZW was a wrestling promotion created in the dying days of ECW sort of as a substitute. There’s a lot of deathmatch wrestling, weapons, and blood. In the past few years, they’ve actually strayed away from their gory past and been putting on some pretty good shows. This card features some good-looking matches, including Masada vs. Matt Tremont and Tim Donst vs. Joe Gacy.
Kaiju Big Battel at Eddie Deen’s Ranch.
So, this doesn’t actually have any matches set. It doesn’t even have a description. It’s just a poster so far. So, if you have nothing to do at midnight on Friday. maybe check it out, I guess?
Kevin Nash Presents: Shenanigans VIP Party: Dallas at the Iron Cactus.
Kevin Nash is hosting his annual WrestleMania party. If you’ve never watched a Kevin Nash interview, know this: No wrestler parties harder than Kevin Nash. There’s going to be a shitload of wrestlers at the party doing autograph signings, including Billy Gunn, Scotty 2 Hotty, Shane “Hurricane” Helms, Chris Masters and Ring of Honor Wrestlers. How cool would it be to say you partied with Big Sexy?
Del Closed Fist at Dallas Comedy House.
So you like to laugh and you’re a wrestling fan? This even promises an hour’s worth of improv comedy featuring a roster of as-yet-unnamed professional wrestlers. Past performers have come from the ranks of WWE, NXT, Lucha Underground, ROH, NJPW and Dragon Gate, so your guess as to who shows to this thing is as good as ours.
The second day of WrestleCon features more panels and Q&As, including a panel with former WWE Divas Stacey Carter, Terri Runnels, Debra McMichael and Jackie Haas. Lance Storm and Missy Hyatt will also be making their WrestleMania predictions, and Colt Cabana will be recording another live edition of the Art of Wrestling podcast. Capping off the night will be WrestleCon’s annual Supershow, which we’ll get to next.l
WrestleCon Supershow (Sold Out) at Hyatt Regency Dallas.
This year’s show features a mix of dream matches as well as really bizarre matches that could be really bad or even hilarious. The card includes Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurll, a five-way monster’s ball match between Trevor Lee, AR Fox, Abyss, Andrew Everett and Jeff Hardy. Expect a lot of flippy shit.
Evolve Wrestling 59 at Eddie Deen’s Ranch.
Evolve’s second day of action includes a dream match between two of the best high-flyers in independent wrestling today: Ricochet and Will Ospreay. There have yet to be any other matches announced yet, but expect to see Evolve regulars including Timothy Thatcher, Chris Hero and others mentioned in the night before.
ROH Supercard of Honor Day 2 at Hyatt Regency Dallas.
This card might actually be better than the night before. The main event is a no holds barred match between Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly, basically the current Rock-Austin of the independent wrestling scene. These two put on a hell of a match every time they step in the ring together. Also on the card will be Roderick Strong vs. Bobby FIsh, and the All Night Express vs. Matt Sydal and ACH.
SHIMMER 80 at Eddie Deen’s Ranch.
For fans of women’s wrestling, SHIMMER features some of the best female independent wrestlers out there. There are no matches announced yet, but the advertising guarantees appearances by Cheerleader Melissa, Candie LeRae, Veda Scott and several others. They will be competing in six different first-round tournament matches, three second-round matches and a three-way tournament final to crown the inaugural Heart of SHIMMER Champion
Jim Ross at House of Blues.
Announcer Jim Ross has kept busy since getting sacked from WWE a few years ago. Arguably the greatest wrestling commentator of all time, he’s taken his ability to NJPW, commentating for this American show on AXS TV. He’s also been recording his very own podcast, where he often gives very dated opinions on the wrestling industry. He’ll be in Dallas this weekend doing several live shows at the House of Blues, including two on Saturday and one on Monday night, each with a different guest that he’ll be talking professional wrestling with.
WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony at American Airlines Center.
WWE is holding its annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony the night before WrestleMania, where they honor legendary wrestlers from the past. This year features a large amount of local wrestlers, including Dallas resident and WCW legend Sting, The Fabulous Freebirds, Big Boss Man, The Godfather, Stan Hansen and Jacqueline Moore. Joan Lunden will also be receiving the Warrior Award, a bastardized award originally intended to be for WWE workers who helped in production, that was turned into the cancer award because WWE is desperate for PR, which is also the reason they’re inducting Snoop Dogg into their celebrity wing of the Hall of Fame.
WWN Supershow-Mercury Rising at Eddie Deen’s Ranch.
WWN’s crowning show of the weekend, Mercury Rising, features yet another solid lineup from the same guys that are bringing you the Evolve shows. The main event is a six-man tag match that pits TJ Perkins, Johnny Gargano and Kota Ibushi against Tommy End, Will Ospreay and Marty Scurll. It’s sort an old-school vs. new-school match that should have a lot of great spots in it. Also on the card will be Timothy Thatcher defending the Evolve Championship against Sami Callihan, and Zack Sabre Jr. vs Chris Hero. Expect great things.
WWN Live Experience: Wrap-Up Party at Eddie Deen’s Ranch.
This one is a little unclear other than that it’s a party for those that bought a package admission to all of the WWN shows for the WrestleMania weekend.
Extreme Midget Wrestling at Tailgate Tavern.
It’s midget wrestlers putting themselves through ridiculous stunts and belittling themselves for others’ amusement. Please don’t go to this.
Cheap Heat Podcast Meet and Greet at Off The Record.
The hosts of the once-Grantland-run, now-ESPN-held wrestling podcast — David Shoemaker, Peter Rosenberg and Stat Guy Greg — will stop by this Deep Ellum spot from 5 to 7 pm to chop it up with fans about wrestling and, presumably, pop culture.
The last day of WrestleCon will feature a sold out brunch where you will be seated with a random wrestler for a conversation with them. Guests include Lex Luger, Colt Cabana, Lance Storm, Shane Helms and Matt Striker, as well as several unannounced wrestlers. There will also be a party bus trip taking you straight to WrestleMania, which is also sold out.
Terry Funk Tailgate Party at Collins Entertainment Center.
Terry Funk will be hosting a tailgate and BBQ party in the afternoon at Collins Entertainment Center across from AT&T Stadium. This gives you the chance to meet a true legend of wrestling and enjoy some BBQ before WrestleMania.
Ric Flair WrestleMania Pre-Party (Sold Out) at Fishbone Grill & Sports Bar .
Much like Kevin Nash, Ric Flair is known as one of the biggest partiers in wrestling. He really lives the gimmick. Hang out at the Fishbone Grill & Sports Bar and probably hear some of Ric Flair’s insane stories of life as a wrestler.
WrestleMania 32 at AT&T Stadium.
Of course, here’s the event that’s causing all of this to happen. As has been mentioned above, WrestleMania is kind of a big deal. It’s already broken the attendance record for the largest-attended wrestling event ever, and it has some pretty sick matches on the card. Expect tens of thousands of people, an obscene amount of fireworks, gigantic LED screens, and larger-than-life performers. There’s no spectacle out there quite like WrestleMania.
VIP Wrestling After Party at The Rail Club.
If you’re still hankering for wrestling after the extravaganza that is WrestleMania, there actually is more wrestling for you that night. VIP Wrestling, a local promotion in Arlington, is holding a post-WrestleMania event, and the card looks solid so far. The main event will be Sami Callihan vs. Ray Rowe vs Andy Dalton for the VIP Championship. Also in action will be the Killer Elite Squad, Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr., against Pretty Boy Killers, Keith Lee and Shane Taylor, as well as AR Fox vs. Brian Cage.
Oh, you thought WWE would immediately leave Dallas after ‘Mania? Not so fast. They’ll be having their Raw after WrestleMania at the American Airlines Center. The Raw after WrestleMania is always special, not just because it’s where they kick off their next big storyline, but because the crowd is almost entirely the same people that were at WrestleMania — as in a lot of British people. It’s always fun to see how the crowd reacts at this show, because they’re not afraid to shit all over a match or segment if they don’t like it.