The world’s largest professional wrestling company, WWE, has been on absolute fire throughout the last year. Their last four Premium Live Events have shattered records and Sofi Stadium’s recent hosting of WrestleMania was the highest-grossing and most-viewed ‘Mania of all time. And with the risks that the superstars take in the squared circle, it will come as no surprise that plenty of professional wrestlers love themselves a game of poker now and then.
What may come as a surprise to some however is the fact that you can actually bet on professional wrestling matchups, despite the fact that the outcomes are predetermined. There are a number of establishments all over the globe that provide WWE betting, and sometimes, the bookmakers even get it wrong, despite the fact that in theory, they should already know the result. One such example came at the aforementioned WrestleMania 39 in Los Angeles.
The main event at the Showcase of the Immortals this year was a titanic clash between Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and 2023 Men’s Royal Rumble Match winner Cody Rhodes. Heading into the bout, online bookmakers made the challenger a -300 favorite to secure his first-ever world title. However, it was the underdog Tribal Chief that managed to retain his crown, and he is now set to clear 1,000 days as champion.
But it isn’t just the matchups themselves that one can bet on. WWE released its own slot game named WWE Legends, which proved to be extremely popular amongst both fans and punters alike. They still have some way to go until they can provide top-notch casino games, though, but they’re making some progress along the way.
What’s Currently Happening in WWE?
The professional wrestling landscape has been dominated by one man in the last few years. That man is the Head of the Table, Roman Reigns. Ever since he aligned with perennial bad guy Paul Heyman in the summer of 2020, the Tribal Chief has been on a roll, unlike anything we have ever seen before.
The Pensacola, Florida native won the Universal Championship at Payback in August 2020 and he has held the title ever since. He unified his strap with Brock Lesnar’s WWE Championship at WrestleMania 38 in Dallas, Texas last year, and he hasn’t looked back, smashing everyone before him en route to a 1,000+ day title reign, the fifth longest in company history. He has formed the fearsome Bloodline faction alongside real-life cousins Solo Sikoa, Jimmy, and Jey Uso, and the group has decimated everything before them.
In fact, Reigns has dominated to such an extent that the company has had to introduce a third world championship for the first time in WWE history. Seth Rollins and AJ Styles will face off in Saudi Arabia to be crowned the inaugural World Heavyweight Champion, and it remains to be seen what happens to the world title picture.
Elsewhere, Cody Rhodes was brought back down to earth with a bang following his first-ever WrestleMania main event. He was greeted with multiple F5s delivered by former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar the night after his defeat to reigns, and that pair look set to feud into the summer. But that’s enough about the current WWE landscape, let’s take a look at two WWE superstars that love to play poker.
Nowadays he is featured more in Hollywood blockbusters, however, John Cena is perhaps the biggest star the WWE has ever produced. He is a record 16-time world champion (tied with Ric Flair for most all-time) and between 2005 and 2014, he was the company’s undisputed number-one attraction. He battled The Rock in back-to-back WrestleMania main events in 2012 and 2013, losing the first but then gaining redemption in the second.
In a 2006 interview with Bluff Magazine, Cena stated that he had “caught the poker bug” after watching the World Series of Poker. He has never competed in the coveted competition. Yet, it is thought that he engaged in hundreds of video poker casino games during his WWE heyday. So, with such history and background, it’s plausible that the star still engages in poker games, either online or in brick-and-mortar locations, striving to advance his skills to the level of his WWE career.
While John Cena has one foot out of the door, his former rival The Miz is very much still a regular staple within the world of professional wrestling. The Awesome One is a former WrestleMania main eventer in his own right and he actually managed to defeat the aforementioned Cena at WrestleMania 27 back in 2011. He is a two-time WWE Champion and he has been commended for being one of the most reliable superstars of all time.
In a 2008 interview with WWE.com, The Miz stated that he loved playing poker. He stated that his father used to host high-stakes poker games every Sunday at his family home. He also played in a charity poker game later that same year.