KR: The BIG Statement with a BIG Show
by Robert Heard on 29 March 2008
So WrestleMania, the biggest event on the calendar for wrestling fans will be a huge event. It will be the second ever to be held completely outdoors. It is reported it will pump twenty five million into the local economy and bring 60,000 people to Orlando as well.
It is a show of force in the profession by Vince McMahon to his rivals and detractors as well. IMPACT! is filmed in the city as have several TNA pay per views but they have no where near the drawing power, the prestige and the ability to do something like this.
Just put this into perspectiveâ€¦
The WWE is building a rig that will allow for lighting in the stadium, it is build two giant screens to ensure no fan in the stadium will miss out on anything, their will be seven massive generators powering the show and the steel work was custom built in Belgium and shipped over.
In addition to that their will be a 40,000 square feet mini city built as a backstage area that have air conditioning, trailers for talent and production staff, rest rooms, VIP areas and shower areas for talent that are not quite at the level where a trailer is given.
Imagine TNA trying to pull that off and the fact is you can’t, but the WWE are doing it right in the Jarrett and Carter companies backyard, not that has gotta hurt.
But there is of course one thing WrestleMania wouldn’t be complete without and that is the celebrity involvement. There will be a B-Movie or TV star in the crowd with their kid and of course someone doing their thing in the spotlight of the camera trying to earn all the publicity and money they can.
From the good (Trump, Lawrence Taylor, Pete Rose) to the bad (Saliva, Akebono, Butterbean) in the past there is one sure thing about this years Mania – there will be a big name somewhere in the mix either musically or professionally.
This year there will be Snoop Dog, who will be the ‘Master of Ceremonies’ for the Playboy BunnyMania match, John Legend will sing America the Beautiful, Kim Kardashian (the socialite whose father helped get OJ Simpson off for murder) will also be there as the shows ‘guest hostess’ but there is one person who every fan and outsider is taking aboutâ€¦
Like every year there is one name who the press will make a big deal about, one person who will stand out as the person who will define the card. Last year it was Trump, in the past there has been Tyson and this year it really is a BIG deal as Big Show (see what I did thereâ€¦ terrible I know) will take on the best pound for pound boxer in the world Floyd ‘Pretty Boy’ Mayweather.
Now as a fan of boxing and a fan of wrestling you’d think I’d be over the moon but I’m not. Show has just come back from a long time off and has been put in the mix straight way in a big promotional event with a big push attached and Mayweather has just proved to the world how good he is by beating Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton back to back and has a lot of face to lose by being involved with what all boxing purists see as a ‘fake’ sport.
Plus remember Piper v Mr. T? Or maybe you’ve seen Piper v Bagwell or Butterbean v Bart Gunn perhaps? If not maybe you’ve seen Ali v Inoki? A fight that Vince was also heavily involved in promoting, going so far as having his dad broadcast in on Closed Circuit TV during a Showdown at Shea Stadium event in 1976.
All of these stunk to high heaven and of course most where worked (although Ali v Inoki wasn’t, nor Butterbean v Gunn) as I am sure this one will be as well. Mayweather has a big re-match with De La Hoya planned for September so there is no way he is losing this, never mind the reported and extortionate fee he is being paid.
So trust meâ€¦ we will see the spectacle of a man who is five foot seven inches tall and about a hundred and sixty pounds knock out a man who is seven foot plus and around five hundred pounds. It’ll be over quick and painfully for Show (Mayweather broke his nose at No Way Out with one of the punches he threw after all) but what will it achieve in the long run?
Nothing that’s what, a big pile of nothing bar the publicity and interest which Vince hopes will more then pay back the fee he is signing over to Floyd.
I hope I’m wrong and it is an enjoyable tussle (even though it will still be quick and Show will not land a single wrestling move on the ‘Pretty Boy’) and it will go down as a spectacle and defining moment in the history of WrestleMania for the right reasons.
Failing that I’d love Ricky Hatton to run in and posts Mayweather before dropping him with a DDT on a chair whilst Show laughsâ€¦ setting up a rematch at Wembley with Show as the special guest referee.
Or maybe I’m hoping for too much?