WWE is reportedly set to return to The Land Down Under on The Road to WrestleMania 40.
There has been talk of WWE holding another big Premium Live Event in Australia for months now. It was reported back in February that WWE officials were talking with their representatives in Australia to gauge interest in returning for a PLE. It was then reported in the Spring how WWE was negotiating with the State Government of Western Australia to run a major stadium show in Perth.
In an update, The Sunday Times reports that there are plans for WWE to run a big Premium Live Event at Optus Stadium in Perth, some time in March 2024 before the Australian Football League begins its new season in mid-to-late March. Officials from the Cook Government are reportedly set to appear with WWE officials and Superstars next week for the big announcement.
The Sunday Times noted that there will be “more than a dozen events leading up to the bumper weekend” going into WrestleMania 40, but it wasn’t clear if this is a reference to the annual Road to WrestleMania-branded tour of events, or if this is something new that has not been announced yet.
WWE Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley was spotted on the other side of Australia on Friday night, to watch the Carlton Football Club play football, along with her fiancé and fellow Aussie – AEW star Buddy Matthews. Local media is speculating that Ripley is back home to help with a big WWE announcement next week. Ripley’s appearance came as The Sunday Times reported that top WWE talents are to fly into Perth within days to be a part of a formal announcement.
It was noted that WWE officials visited multiple facilities when they visited the country in April, including Optus Stadium. The stadium was completed in late 2017 and opened up in January 2018. The capacity is 61,266 people, including standing room, which makes it the third-largest stadium in Australia. However, the stadium can be extended up to 65,000 seats for rectangular sports, and 70,000 for concerts. The current attendance record for Optus Stadium is 73,092 for the Ed Sheeran concert on March 12, 2023. The stadium, which sets on the banks of the Swan River, has a fully-enclosed, open-roofed dome. The roof, known as Falcon’s Nest, can be adjusted for weather control, but the average Perth temperatures in March are a high of 84°F and a low of 65°F.
The previous Western Australia government hosted WWE officials earlier this year after setting aside around $70 million in the State Budget to secure big events. Local media reported that representatives from WWE met with local tourism officials to begin discussions on possibly bringing WrestleMania to Perth, but WrestleMania would be a long shot.
The then-government wanted to bring WWE to Perth, specifically the Optus Stadium, to cement Western Australia as the sports capital of Australia. Officials were inspired by UFC 284 in February, which was held at RAC Arena in Perth. WWE’s Logan Paul was in town to promote his Prime brand, which is a UFC sponsor, and to record a live podcast. Paul’s Perth praise brought significant attention online, and then-Tourism Minister and current Premier Roger Cook put Paul at the top of the list of WWE Superstars he wanted to return with WWE.
“We all saw how the phenomenal success of the UFC transformed the city last weekend and sold Perth to a global audience. How good was it to have Logan Paul as well doing a quokka selfie for his millions of followers then talking up how great Perth is on his popular podcast? I would love to see Logan back here next year in action with the WWE leaping off the top rope at Optus Stadium in front of tens of thousands of fans,” Cook said earlier this year. He added, “WWE has enormous global fan base like UFC and Logan has already shown his wrestling ability in the WWE. UFC has put Perth on the map for global sporting bands so we’ll be looking to capitalize on that momentum. We want to make WA the sport and entertainment capital of Australia.”
Cook spoke with reporters at a rally this weekend but would not confirm if the State Government has secured a WWE event, but did say they are “working hard on great events.”
“We’re always in the market to try to get great new events for Western Australia” Cook said this weekend. “They do three things — they bring people to Western Australia, it gives everyone a great time and continues to showcase our great state, so if we have the opportunity to bring WWE to WA, we’ll certainly take that opportunity.”
The last major WWE event to take place in Australia was Super Show-Down 2018, which was held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, headlined by a No DQ match between WWE Hall of Famers Triple H and The Undertaker, with The Game getting the win. WWE usually runs at least one main roster tour in Australia per year, but they have not been there since holding three live events in October 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. WWE NXT ran its first-ever tour of Australia in 2016.
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