Friday, February 17, 2012

FINALLY, WrestleMania comes home, sort of

WrestleMania is coming back to the region where it was born, but it will likely never return to its true birthplace ever again.

MetLife Stadium, the home of the New York Giants and Jets, will host the annual wrestling spectacular on April 7, 2013.

Though the stadium is in East Rutherford, N.J., the event is being billed as the NY-NJ WrestleMania, which is no surprise.

But what this announcement does signify is that WrestleMania will likely never be held in New York ever again - unless a football stadium magically drops out of the sky and onto Manhattan's West Side.

Fans of the WWE know that WrestleMania was born in New York City at Madison Square Garden in front of nearly 20,000 people. The 1985 event featured stars like Hulk Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mr. T.

Now, it's safe to say WrestleMania has outgrown 20,000 seat venues, like the Garden.

A real shame since it was the Garden that hosted the inaugural WrestleMania as well as the 10th and 20th anniversaries of the show.

For the last five years, the Super Bowl of professional wrestling has hosted crowds of more than 70,000 fans at various football stadiums - Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. (80,103), Citrus Bowl in Orland, Fl. (74,635), Reliant Stadium in Houston, Tx. (72,744), University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. (72,219) and the Georgia Dome in Atlanta (71,617).

And this year's showdown will take place at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

You can bet that WrestleMania XXX in 2014 will take place at another monstrous stadium, meaning the Garden will have to settle for hosting other big company shows like Survivor Series, Summerslam and the Royal Rumble.

So it's no surprise there is a big "NY" on the event logo because Bergen County, N.J. will be the closest the WWE will get to hosting a WrestleMania.

Still, WWE officials and superstars at Thursday's press conference insisted WrestleMania was returning to its home.

"WrestleMania, on that date next year of April 7, comes home," said WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon.

Not quite, Vince. Not quite.

Other highlights:

The Rock promised he would once again be a part of WrestleMania in 2013.

"It is with great pride and great excitement that I can tell you now that I will come to Wrestlemania 29, and I will electrify MetLife Stadium like it's never been electrified before," he said.

Later, I asked The Rock if he would be wrestling at next year's WrestleMania. He couldn't give me answer. Here's the video:

John Cena told reporters that he'd like to wrestle in the snow.

Here's the video:

Tripe H also pumped up a WrestleMania homecoming.

"Finally, to quote the Rock, Wrestlemania comes home," he said.

WWE superstars Mark Henry, Sheamus and the Bella Twins were also in attendance for the press conference.

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