WWE: WrestleMania 40 Kickoff Event Announced for April 5th, Andre The Giant Battle Royal & More for 4/5 SmackDown, More on NXT March 26, 2024 Viewership, More News

WWE Announces Another WrestleMania 40 Kickoff Event for Next Week

Friday’s WWE SmackDown show in Uncasville, Connecticut featured the official announcement of WWE holding another WrestleMania 40 Kickoff event on April 5th at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

It was announced that Michael Cole and Pat McAfee will be the hosts of this upcoming event and it will be airing live starting at 5PM EST on Peacock and WWE’s social media platforms.

WWE CCO Paul “Triple H” Levesque, Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Rhea Ripley, Becky Lynch, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Gunther, and Sami Zayn are currently advertised to be making an appearance at this upcoming event.

Andre The Giant Battle Royal & More Announced for Card of April 5th SmackDown Show

WWE recently announced five new matches for the card of next week’s SmackDown show on April 5th at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Among the new matches includes this year’s Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. This upcoming match is currently advertised to be featuring Cedric Alexander, Ashante “Thee” Adonis, Kit Wilson, Elton Prince, Cameron Grimes, Veer, Sanga, Julius Creed, Brutus Creed, Ivar, Akira Tozawa, Otis, JD McDonagh, Apollo Crews, Andrade, Ricochet, Chad Gable, Bronson Reed, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Omos.

Current card for April 5th WWE SmackDown show:

  • Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
  • Solo Sikoa vs. Jey Uso
  • New Catch Republic (Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate) vs. Austin Theory & Grayson Waller
  • Zelina Vega vs. Elektra Lopez
  • KO Show with Randy Orton

More on NXT Viewership for March 26, 2024

The March 26th episode of WWE NXT saw NXT gain a large increase in overall viewership but suffered a slight decline in key demographic ratings and key demographic rankings.

NXT drew 601,000 viewers and a 0.17 key demographic rating on USA Network. NXT’s key demographic ranking was 10th place.

Detailed key demographic viewership breakdowns were not available in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Dave Meltzer reported that the main reasons for NXT’s mixed results this week was due to the large gains from their Over 50 viewership group, which its percentage was not given. This reportedly mostly offset the small decline from their overall key demographic viewership group, which was down 0.9% compared to last week’s show.

In terms of notable head-to-head competition, the NBA game of Los Angeles Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks drew 1,431,000 viewers on TNT, the 2024 Men’s NIT Basketball Tournament game of Georgia vs. Ohio drew 1,029,000 viewers on ESPN, the 2024 Men’s NIT Basketball Tournament game of Cincinnati vs. Indiana State drew 1,018,000 viewers on ESPN, Vanderpump Rules drew 959,000 viewers on BRAVO, The Valley drew 530,000 viewers on BRAVO, Curse of Oak Island drew 2,504,000 viewers on History Channel, Love & Hip Hop Atlanta drew 315,000 viewers on MTV, and Little People Big World drew 855,000 viewers on TLC.

In terms of key demographic viewership, NXT had 226,000 viewers. Meltzer reported that NXT’s males/females viewership skew was 68.1% in favor of males.

In terms of peak viewership, NXT’s peak overall viewership was 660,000 viewers for their second quarter hour featuring the end of the Dijak vs. Shawn Spears match, the Chase U, Edris Enofe & Malik Blade, Hank Walker & Tank Ledger, & Meta-Four backstage segment, and the start of the Thea Hail vs. Jazmyn Nyx match. NXT’s peak key demographic viewership reportedly was 242,000 viewers for the same quarter hour. NXT’s overrun reportedly drew 550,000 overall viewers and 198,000 key demographic viewers for the Baron Corbin & Bron Breakker vs. Alpha Academy tag team match. Meltzer reported that NXT’s overrun generated the rare instance of them losing and not gaining viewers in regards to key demographic viewership due to their eight quarter drew 212,000 key demo viewers.

In terms of yearly comparisons, NXT was down 3.1% in overall viewership but up 11.9% in key demographic viewership.

WWE News & Notes

WWE recently announced that this Monday’s WWE RAW show on April 1st will be featuring the first hour to air as commercial free.

In a recent Fanatics Live event, AJ Styles teased that he will be debuting a new entrance theme at next weekend’s WrestleMania 40. Styles stated “You will be surprised come WrestleMania when it comes to music. Not to let the cat out of the bag. It’s big because my music is freaking awesome, but it doesn’t suit the AJ Styles people are seeing at this moment.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)

In a recent interview with the Stay Busy with the Armon Sadler podcast, Becky Lynch revealed that she will be having a special “book-style” entrance for her match against Rhea Ripley for the WWE Women’s World Championship at WrestleMania 40. Lynch stated “It feels poetic in that the book is coming out. I will have a book-style entrance, which I’m very excited about, and it’s the story of my life, and I feel like this is the culmination of it. Somehow, despite all I have done in the industry and despite being the backbone of the women’s division for the last year and being a catalyst for change, somehow, I am still overlooked and looked at as the underdog. This is where I thrive. This is where people doubt me and don’t think I can do. It’s proving people wrong.

In a recent interview with QFM 96’s The Torg & Elliott Show radio show, Drew McIntyre gave his thoughts about the promo segment he had with CM Punk and Seth Rollins at this past Monday’s RAW show in Rosemont, Illinois. McIntyre stated “This week, a lot of stuff, if you watch that interview with myself, CM Punk, and Seth Rollins, I’m sure you could feel the tension … Basically, the whole thing, if it felt uncomfortable, it’s because there was an outline and it’s three guys going out there who may not like each other and may have personal feelings, but also are good at their job and we go out there and tear into each other verbally without it on a piece of paper because it’s stupid writing everything down to deliver it to a live audience.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)

In a recent interview with Metro, Bianca Belair gave her thoughts about the online racism incident against her earlier this month revolving around her being one of the cover stars for WWE 2K24. Belair stated “That’s why representation, I always say it’s not a request, it’s a requirement, you know? It’s very important for people to see representation to show them their possibilities, because representation is where they fit in the world, it’s what is perceived as where they fit in the world. The negativity never actually got through to me. I’m not one that goes in searches or vanity searches my name anyway. But I’ve still to this day never actually seen what was actually said. I’m 35 years old, and I’m able to handle that. But kids, that’s what kids are going through now. So we have to make sure that we stand up for that type of stuff.

In a recent interview with NewsNation, Martha Hart gave her thoughts about the recent sex trafficking and sexual abuse lawsuit allegations against Vince McMahon. Hart stated “Yes, well Ashleigh (Banfield), thank you so much for inviting me on the show and you’re right, I was a little reluctant to come on but I thought it’s such an important topic that I just wanted to be able to contribute to that. No, I was not surprised when I heard there was yet another lawsuit (against Vince McMahon & WWE). Over the years, the WWE, they’ve had many lawsuits and they’ve had a lot of bad press and I tell you, I read all of the 67 pages in that complaint and it is absolutely horrific and I have to say that the level of wickedness that’s described is beyond the pale in that complaint and anyone with a shred of humanity would find the indignant acts just incomprehensible, frankly. So, it wasn’t a shock that there was another lawsuit but the level of, I guess, depravity there certainly was and I’m a doctor in mental health and I’m also the founder and director of the Owen Hart Foundation so no matter what hat I’m wearing, I always work with at-risk people and I can tell you that it’s the — anyone that takes advantage of a vulnerable person is the most despicable type of person because these are people that need to be supported and protected, not exploited and by Janel Grant’s own admission, she was a vulnerable person. She was unemployed, her parents had passed away, she was suffering with grief and she was also just on the cusp of financial collapse. So these are all the makings of a very vulnerable person.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)

WWE announced one new match for the card of their April 1st WWE RAW show in Brooklyn, New York:

  • Maxxine Dupri & Ivy Nile vs. Indi Hartwell & Candice LeRae