NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 04: The Rock, Vince McMahon, John Cena, CM Punk attend the WrestleMania 29 Press Conference at Radio City Music Hall on April 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)2013 Getty Images
Radio City Music Hall was taken over Thursday and most of the attendants had WrestleMania 29 fever.
“Are you ready?,” a suit-clad Triple H, a performer whose real name is Paul Levesque and is the company’s COO, asked the press gathered in midtown Manhattan.
The crowd responded the second time around.
“We do press conferences a little bit differently,” Triple H said.
For the past 29 years, Vince McMahon, who took his father’s company from a regional promotion to a worldwide brand, has presented an event filled with professional wrestlers, celebrities and spectacle.
The first WrestleMania used to be held at Madison Square Garden but in recent years the event graduated to football stadiums.
Last year’s event was held at Sun Life Stadium in Miami and held over 78,000 people.
This year the event will be staged at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey — next year WrestleMania 30 will go to the Superdome in New Orleans and after that to Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.
The WWE will fit over 75,000 screaming fans in MetLife Stadium Sunday to see Superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, a bona fide movie star now, face John Cena,a cultural icon who’s replaced Fred Flintstone on the Fruity Pebbles cereal box.
The show is now a weeklong celebration in each host city.
The Latino audience has also not been forgotten.
“I was born in Mexico but I was made in America,” world heavyweight champion Alberto Del Rio said in English after addressing his Latin American audience in Spanish.
In years past, Latinos like the late Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio resonated with all and took premier spots on the PPV broadcast.
WWE broadcasts in 130 countries and has a strong Latino following.
“So far we’ve seen a stripped down dancer, a husband and wife kind of stripped down, a Mexican announcer with one leg, a rather average looking pedestrian saying he’s going to end the undefeated streak of a dead man, and a movie star who also poses as in inanimate object kind of talk about his match at WrestleMania,” said Cena, describing all those who participated in the press conference.
As for the music spectacle, this year Diddy will be performing at the event, as well as legendary band Living Colour, who has had their hit song “Cult of Personality’ reenergized since superstar C.M. Punk decided to use it as his entrance song.
In the past the event has had iconic singers, including Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, sing America the Beautiful. This year’s artist is still being speculated, but Stephanie McMahon announced Coldplay would perform and a list of other celebrities.
As for a Latino presence, in addition to Del Rio wrestlers, the Bella Twin Nicole and Brianna will be involved, and Charlie Sheen is one of the many social media ambassadors.
“There’s nothing like [WrestleMania] in the world,” WWE CEO and Chairman Vince McMahan told the press. “This is a dream come true.”