Several sources are reporting what has been rumored for a while now, that MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey will host WrestleMania XXIX in 2013. This year WrestleMania, the signature event for the WWE, will be on April 1st at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. The main event was booked at last year’s WrestleMania, and will put current poster boy John Cena against Hall of Famer, The Rock. WWE is likely hoping this match draws as much hype as when The Rock went against Hulk Hogan 11 years ago. Also rumored to be on the card is Chris Jericho vs CM Punk (likely to be a much better match), Triple H trying to end the Undertaker’s WrestleMania undefeated streak (for the 3rd time), and Big Show vs Shaquille O’neal (ugh).
With the main facts for this year’s event out there it leaves plenty to speculate on for next year in New Jersey. First off, WWE has had no problem scheduling big events outdoors, Safeco Field in Seattle, Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and so on. However WrestleMania has always been an early April/late March event and anyone that’s been to a Yankees or Mets opening day game can tell you it can get pretty cold outside. Throw in the fact that this 3 hour event will be starting at 8:00pm and you can bet WWE blankets will be a big seller (forget about the oiled up dudes wrestling in their underwear). March 31st is the most likely date for WrestleMania, but I’m curious if they push it up to April 7th, or even the 14th to at least take snow out of the question. As someone who got married outside in late March, I can’t bring up the weather factor enough.
Next is the card itself. It’s possible that we get some news on a main event as early as this April, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make some guesses now. Coincidence or not, recently some of the booking in WrestleMania seems to relate to the venue. Shawn Michaels first took on the Undertaker in his home state of Texas, CM Punk got his biggest push at Money in the Bank in his native Chicago, and this year the Rock, a former Miami Hurricane, will headline against John Cena in his home town. No, I don’t think that Long Island’s Zach Ryder will headline. However Mick Foley could play a big part in it. Maybe a guest referee as he isn’t exactly in ring shape. You can bet that the usual suspects will all have roles. Triple H is the closest thing to a local superstar. Cena and Punk both get huge reactions (although for different reasons). More than any other event, WrestleMania feeds off of nostalgia. If the Undertaker’s streak is still alive (which would be smart, but something tells me it’s not going happen), Chris Jericho stands out as a name that could draw headlines, since no young lion is ready right now.
The other question is celebrity appearances. WrestleMania has always been full of those, and often they are in the ring. Snookie, Floyd Mayweather, and Lawrence Taylor have already had matches, with Shaq likely next on the list. Could Mike Tyson, who’s being put into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame make an appearance? Jay-Z will pretty much do anything for a check. I think the most likely celebrity to actually be in a match however is former Giant Michael Strahan. He is not that far past his retirement, he’s in great shape, and he would get a huge push from fans in his team’s stadium. All he needs is someone to make him look good (hello Jack Swagger!) and we’re set. Have any predictions of your own? Think I’m out of my mind? Leave a comment and be heard!