We’re back with our annual guide to all the wrestling events scheduled for WrestleMania week, from the official WWE events down to the all the indie events, in what is the busiest and largest congregation of pro wrestling in the world for a week long celebration of the sport. Part one looks at the opening night of the week, Thursday April 5, 2018 in and around New Orleans, Louisiana.
Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) and WWN Presents…Matt Riddle’s Bloodsport
3pm, Pontchartrain Civic Center, 4545 Williams Blvd, Kenner, LA 70065, USA
“The King of Bros” Matt Riddle hosts a special night of wrestling, presented by WWN as part of their MoreThanMania week of events, and hosted by GCW. The event’s matches can only be won by knockout or submission.
GCW presents "Matt Riddle's Bloodsport" on Thursday 4/5 at 3pm!
— GameChangerWrestling (@GCWrestling_) January 9, 2018
WWE Presents…WWE WrestleMania AXXESS
6pm, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, 900 Convention Center Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
The opening night of WWE’s AXXESS features Premium VIP signings with 2018 Hall of Fame headliner Goldberg at 8pm and VIP signings with Sasha Banks at 6pm.
WrestleCon Presents…WildKat Sports
6pm, Sugar Mill, 1021 Convention Center Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70130
WildKat Sports & Entertainment is a local indie promotion based out of New Orleans itself, so a great avenue for promotion for this company. Featuring their stable of local performers plus “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn, Jeff Cobb, Hardcore Holly, Rachael Ellering, Stevie Richards, Roy Knight, Luke Hawx and much more.
MLW Presents…WaleMania IV
7pm, Republic NOLA, 828 S. Peters Street, New Orleans, LA, 70130
Major League Wrestling (MLW) hosts this annual event that’s become the biggest podcasting party of the week. This year’s guest panel is hosted by POST Wrestling’s John Pollock and Wai Ting (formerly of Live Audio Wrestling), along with rapper/wrestling fan Wale. Special guests yet to be announced, but it’s always a fun party with lots of wrestling stars, past, present and future stopping by.
WWN Presents…EVOLVE 102
8pm, Pontchartrain Civic Center, 4545 Williams Blvd, Kenner, LA 70065, USA
EVOLVE 102 goes down live at 8pm and will feature EVOLVE Champion Zack Sabre Jr. defending his title against an as yet unnamed opponent – but some other matches are quick to steal the Champ’s spotlight for this show. The announcement of Japanese legends Daisuke Sekimoto and Munenori Sawa returning to the US for the first time in years was a huge announcement, but it’s since been revealed they’re facing the hard hitting duo of wXw‘s RINGKAMPF (WALTER and Timothy Thatcher). EVOLVE 102 also marks the EVOLVE return of Will Ospreay, who will be facing AR Fox. WWN Champion Keith Lee is also scheduled to fight, as well as EVOLVE Tag Team Champs Doom Patrol (Dickinson & Jaka), Fred Yehi, Matt Riddle, Tracey Williams (w/ Stokely Hathaway), Austin Theory (w/ Priscilla Kelly) and Darby Allin.
Inside the Ropes Presents…An Evening With Paul Heyman
8:30pm, The Joy Theater, 1200 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
Brock Lesnar‘s advocate, ECW founder, legendary mouthpiece. Paul Heyman will be at the Joy Theater for a spoken word “evening with…” event.
WrestleCon Presents…WrestleCon Supershow
9:30pm, Sugar Mill, 1021 Convention Center Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70130
Always a veritable who’s who of pro wrestling, featuring Legends and new stars alike, the WrestleCon also throws a super indie show to kick off the week. So far confirmed names include Joey Janela, Flamita, Best Friends (Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor) and Flip Gordon.
WWN Presents…Beyond Wrestling: Lit Up
11:55pm, Pontchartrain Civic Center, 4545 Williams Blvd, Kenner, LA 70065, USA
Beyond Wrestling has been one of the premier indie promotions since they started in 2009 and the Massachusetts promotion is bringing their A-game with an intergender card for the night’s midnight show – so far the only match announced is Matt Riddle (doing triple duty this day with GCW’s Bloodsport and EVOLVE 102) vs. Deonna Purrazzo.