This Sunday is the biggest day of the year for me. It’s not Christmas, nor my birthday or any other holiday. This Sunday is Wrestlemania! If you’re a wrestling fan then this is always the most exciting day of the year.
It’s the one event that is bigger than the sport. People who normally don’t even associate themselves with wrestling will watch Wrestlemania. The aura and pageantry of the event is second to none and there will be more eyes glued to the product that evening than during any other time of the year.
This year’s show is figured to do record business with the main event being a confrontation between two of the biggest stars in company history, John Cena and The Rock (Dwayne Johnson). In the 20 years I’ve been following the sport, this is one of the few dream matches I can ever recall of this magnitude. The match is being marketed as a “once in a lifetime event.” I think few would argue that it ranks highly on any list of the most anticipated matches of all time.
This match is special for the simple reason that most fans (myself included) never thought we’d see Rock in a WWE ring again. Rock has become one of the leading men in Hollywood. He’s starred in blockbusters such as Fast Five, Race to Witch Mountain, Get Smart and the recent Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. He’s currently wrapping up work on the G.I. Joe film due to be released this summer.
The match is a unique battle pitting the biggest star of the current generation against the biggest star of the previous. It’s very rare this kind of match ever happens in pro wrestling and we as fans should be fortunate that we’re going to see it on the biggest stage possible.
Another dynamic which makes this match even the more interesting is that it’s being held at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, which happens to be the hometown of Rock. Being that this show is essentially taking place in Rock’s backyard, many expect this match to be among the most heated in recent memory. I believe it will be one of those encounters which transcends the sport and turns into a match people will remember decades from now.
My friends and I have predicted on what we’ll possibly see that evening. The sports bar we watch Wrestlemania at every year is always filled to capacity, but we have a feeling this show will be on another level from any Wrestlemania we’ve seen. It will also be interesting to see the mixture of Rock and Cena fans and how they react. Rock’s primary fan base is the 25-older male demographic whereas Cena draws his support primarily from the children and female audience. To one group of people, Rock represents an era when wrestling was unpredictable and enjoyed a higher level of mainstream success than in any period before or since. To this group, Rock represents the time when wrestling was hip and edgy. That same group perceives Cena as the embodiment of everything that’s wrong with the current state of things. They view the Cena era as one where there is an overall sense of staleness and no new stars are created often resulting in the same guys on top year after year. It makes for a very special contrast and the fans on that evening will be just as big a part of the match as the two men in the ring. Either way, every fan watching at home, in a restaurant, or live in Miami, will be in for a treat on that evening.
For one day the entire world will have their eyes on WWE. And years from now, I think every fan will be able to look back on the evening of April 1, 2012, as a day history was made.