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WrestleMania switching to two nights has been a resounding success, no matter which way you look at it. WWE can load up the card without having to run a six-hour show, the company makes more money by having two separate gates, and the crowd is able to maintain a passionate energy level for most of the show.

In the years leading up to the split to a two-night event; it was apparent something would need to change with WrestleMania as the show was getting way too long. In 2018 I advocated for the two night WrestleMania, which the company would eventually implement in 2020 for WrestleMania 36. Towards the end of the one-night WrestleMania concept, the shows were incredibly long and the crowds were getting exhausted, contributing to a series of flat main events that came off poorly.

WrestleMania 36 of course, had no audience and WrestleMania 37 had a limited crowd; which made WrestleMania 38 the first time we had seen a two-night WrestleMania with a large audience. The result was that the crowd remained energized for pretty much the duration of both events. By the time Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar squared off in the main event of the second night of WrestleMania, the crowd was full of energy despite the fact the match was coming at the tail end of an exhausting weekend.

From an aesthetic standpoint, it was a huge improvement for WWE. The crowd gave off the impression that Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns really was the biggest match in wrestling history and made the company look impressive; as opposed to the dead or catcalling crowds that some other WrestleMania main events in recent memory received. Obviously the build and general anticipation for the match plays a factor as well; but making sure the crowd wasn’t exhausted by subjecting them to a never-ending show was a big reason the atmosphere was as lively as it was.

The two nights benefit WWE financially as well. While the company didn’t draw nearly as big of a crowd as it did for one night as WrestleMania 32, the last time the show was in Arlington, TX, the combination of the two live gates from the two shows more than makes up for the smaller individual nights. In that way the split to two nights is a win-win; the product is more watchable and comes across better divided into two separate events, and the company makes more money.

With that in mind; it wouldn’t surprise me if we see the two-night concept expand beyond the two nights of WrestleMania. Could other major PPV events; such as the Royal Rumble or SummerSlam be expanded to two nights as well? It doesn’t seem out of the question when you consider the factors in play.

In 2022, WWE is experimenting with running more stadium shows; with not only the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania in stadiums, but Money in the Bank, SummerSlam and a yet-to-be-announced event in the UK also on the schedule. It seems like WWE is looking to see how many stadium-sized crowds it can garner, and in relation to that, how many events the core WWE fanbase will travel to throughout the year.

If WWE is able to get fans to travel to go to all these stadium shows, it makes more conventional sense to then turn the events into two-day shows, similar to WrestleMania. If fans are going to be flying into town for the weekend; WWE might as well just try to double the gate of the show by running on Saturday and Sunday night.

For the Royal Rumble, the attraction of the show is relatively simple; the company now has two Royal Rumble matches each year, so one match can anchor each night of the event. Realistically, the women’s match would not be the attraction that the men’s match would be most years; but even if the company did say, 18,000 fans for Saturday night and 34,000 fans for Sunday night; it would still be much more financially sound than to do 40,000 fans for one event.

The advantages financially may go beyond the live gate; as WWE is now in the game of selling its live events to streaming services; it would make financial sense to add more content hours to their biggest broadcasts of the year. I’m sure Peacock was very happy that they got two nights worth of WrestleMania viewership, instead of just one. In the future, it wouldn’t surprise me that in WWE’s streaming partnerships, it is agreed that WrestleMania will be two nights.

That same idea could lead to WrestleMania expanding beyond two nights; perhaps it will be three nights. It may sound like a crazy idea; but one thing we’ve learned about WWE is that the more content they are able to produce, the more they get paid for it. Just like how RAW will never again be anything less than three hours, I don’t see WrestleMania ever going back to being one night. What seems more likely is that WrestleMania would expand to Friday night; to get a third night of a live gate and additional eyeballs on the streaming service.

That concept might be years away; but the history of WWE and the television market in general suggests that the company will eventually be headed in that direction.

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