The wonderful world of the WWE has made for many memorable moments down the years that have shocked and surprised even the smartest fan. Wrestling of course is broader than just the confines of the WWE; other wrestling promotions like Insane Championship Wrestling and Progress Wrestling in the UK, or Total Non-Stop Action and Ring of Honour in the States are all available to watch on TV and that's before you explore the wrestling markets in Japan and Mexico. Certain bookmakers like William Hill, Paddy Power and Skybet will take bets on the outcome of a WWE match, allowing sports betting fans to have a punt before the entertainment begins.
But none of them - not one - have the global presence that World Wrestling Entertainment does. The WWE has grown to become a global phenomenon over the last thirty years and they also have revenue streams in music and film. They have created one of the biggest selling pay-per-view events in history with their annual WrestleMania and have also spawned household names like Hulk Hogan, John Cena and The Rock. For the second time in the company's history, they have split the organsiation in two and have two brands. Raw - which has been around since 1993 - emanaes on a Monday night and has been the WWE's flagship show for nearly 1500 episodes. SmackDown Live takes place on a Tuesday night and recently went to a live format. These two brands battle it out in the ratings and are see as in-house competition.
SmackDown Live has been beating Raw in the ratings in recent weeks for the first time in nearly 15 years. Headlined by the likes of the ultr-apopular AJ Styles and John Cena, SD Live seems fresh to wrestling fans and it has a much more digestble two-hour format instead of Raw's three. Now we are firmly on the 'road to WrestleMania' some key storylines are developing. According to the Big Show, he has a date with Shaquielle O'Neal at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando on April 2. Celebrity matchups are nothing new for the WWE, and indeed the Big Show. He has fought Floyd Mayweather and a sumo wrestler at the event in the past, and, interestingly, lost both times.
Randy Orton - who is on SD Live - won the 2017 Royal Rumble to mark the second battle royal win of his career. He looks primed to face running buddy Bray Wyatt in the main event at WrestleMania after the leader of the Wyatt Family won the WWE title from John Cena at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. However, Luke Harper - a now former member of the Wyatt Family - appears to be a spanner in the works and could make the match a triple-threat. John Cena is rumoured to be teaming up with his retiring girlfriend, Nikki Bella, to face The Miz and his real-life wife, Maryse.
On Raw, rumours continue to swirl that Roman Reigns will face the Undertaker, Triple H and Seth Rollins will have a match nearly two years in the making and Brock Lesnar will square off against Goldberg, 13 years on from their WM20 calamity in 2004. Current WWE Universal champion Kevin Owens looks set to face his former best friend and current US champion Chris Jericho to bring one of the most entertaining storylines in recent memory to a spectacular climax.
As for the women, Charlotte Flair - daughter of Ric - is on a tremendous winning streak on PPV and will likely enter with the title at WM33, despite Bayley holding the strap currently. Sasha Banks and Nia Jax are also factors on Raw and a fatal-fourway could be on the cards. On SD Live, Alexa Bliss is the current champ after Naomi was forced to relinquish her title due to injury, but former champion Becky Lynch is breathing down her neck. The recent return of Mickie James, who has been feuding with Lynch, is something to consider as well.
Mick Foley is the current general manager of Raw while Daniel Bryan holds the same role on SmackDown, but their bosses are Stephanie McMahon and Shane McMahon respectively. Speaking of Shane, he is rumoured to have a match with The Phenomenal One, AJ Styles at WM33. After his crazy stunt against the Undertaker at last year's event, who knows what he will do this time around.
WWE Universal champion - Kevin Owens
WWE United States champion - Chris Jericho
WWE Raw Woman's champion - Bayley
WWE Raw Tag Team champions - Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson 'The Club'
WWE Cruiserweight champion - Neville
WWE champion - Bray Wyatt
WWE Intercontinental champion - Dean Ambrose
WWE SD Live Tag Team champions - Chad Gable & Jason Jordan 'American Alpha'
WWE SD Live Woman's champion - Alexa Bliss
Wrestling is a pre-determined form of entertainment. All the winners of the matches on the card of an event are decided beforehand and it's up to the wrestlers to make any eventuality as entertaining as possible. It could be likened to a soap opera with an athletic connotation, as storylines are developed between good and evil, right and wrong - heels and babyfaces.
The idea of this is to create feuds and scenarios where the crowd want to suspend their belief and find out who will reign supreme. Sometimes championships are at stake, sometimes it's nothing more than pride, but whatever may be on the line the WWE does it's best to shock and surprise fans with more twists and turns than a country lane.
But don't think for a moment this is all fake. Far from it, the action is real and injuries can happen at any time. Wrestlers have even died in the ring so never say that wrestlers aren't real sportsmen and sportswomen.
Here's where it gets interesting; you can bet on it! Whilst it's not like other sports where you're watching two opponents compete and anything can happen, the powers that be within the WWE already know what's going to happen - but you don't. Betting on the WWE has grown tremendously in recent years as fans love to see if they can predict what the company will do and see where storylines are going.
Whilst sometimes a fan may think they can telegraph the WWE's plans - like John Cena's 2013 Royal Rumble win which set-up a widely rumoured rematch with The Rock at WrestleMania 29 - WWE chairman Vince McMahon has displayed a cunning habit down the years of shocking the world.
Take Brock Lesnar's victory over The Undertaker at WrestleMania 30. The Undertaker was 1/30 to win that match while Lesnar weighed in at 9/1 and nobody would have believed that Lesnar would be able to halt the 21-0 streak the Deadman had at Wrestlemania, and yet, he did the impossible.
A more recent example of this would be Lesnar's match against Goldberg at Survivor Series in late 2016. Lesnar would lose in under two minutes, but he was the odds-on favourite going into the match.
Although the WWE works on a weekly episodic basis, you can only bet on pay-per-views. However, with some bookmakers, you can bet on much more than just an outcome of a match. Will Ric Flair appear on television? Will The Rock interfere? Will Triple H say "suck it" at anytime?
When it comes to betting on the match itself, things can get a little dicey sometimes. Unfortunately, if a superstar was to interfere in a match and cause a disqualification, then whomever they attacked would win the match. A double disqualification is another tricky one and can often stitch up the punters!