WWE Special Announcement: WrestleMania 30 date and location, The Rock and John Cena appear
WWE broadcast a special announcement via live stream on Monday. The following is live coverage of the broadcast. You must refresh the page for the latest updates.
Josh Mathews and Matt Striker hosted the live broadcast. Alberto Del Rio showed up and spoke about being World Hvt. Champion heading into WrestleMania 29. He vowed that Dolph Ziggler would become the second man to fail when he cashes in his Money in the Bank contract.
A WrestleMania 29 video aired. The announcers set up a WrestleMania 28 highlight video. Mathews and Striker said they were just moments away from the special announcement. They shifted the focus to the stage inside the venue. Another video package aired on the big screen on the stage that featured celebrities and the anti-bullying campaign.
Brodus Clay's music. Clay, Cameron, and Naomi danced onto the stage and did their usual entrance routine. The media members did not stand up and dance.
John Saboor, WWE Senior VP of Special Events, asked for a round of applause for Clay and the dancers. He noted that there were at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. He introduced New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu, who had his own entrance music. "I like it," he said.
Landrieu spoke about the incredible run that New Orleans is on. He said they have hosted 25 of the biggest events over the last 14 months. He spoke about the upcoming events that are coming to the city.
"We are happy to announce that New Orleans will host WWE's premiere event WrestleMania," he said. The event will be held on April 6, 2014 at the Superdome. Vince spoke about putting smiles on people's faces. He spoke about New Orleans being a city of celebration and how it's a great fit. "Let the good times roll," Vince concluded.
Saboor took the podium and said he works for "a pretty amazing guy and a place where you really do smile a lot." He praised the mayor of New Orleans. He also said WrestleMania 30 would not have occurred in the Superdome had it not been for the the NFL's New Orleans Saints.
Saints executive Rita Benson Leblanc was introduced. She also got a kick out of having entrance music. She said they've been keeping this a secret for some time.
R-Truth's music played. Truth walked onto the stage and asked the attendees to loosen up and help him. He performed his entrance song and tried to get the people in attendance to deliver the "What's Up" line. Um, not much luck. He did get a polite round of applause afterward.
Saboor spoke about the WrestleMania Fan Axxess, the Hall of Fame Ceremony, and Raw being held in New Orleans. He introduced the Superdome general manager Alan Freeman. He thanked WWE for bringing "their event" to the New Orleans Arena on Sunday and said the event was sold out with over 13,000 fans in attendance.
Freeman said they first bid on WrestleMania in 2009. He ran through the recent and the current WrestleMania host stadium. He stated that they are all NFL stadiums and they all sold out for WrestleMania. He noted that they submitted their first proposal in 2009 and waited a long time to hear anything.
Freeman said they were called to the corporate offices in 2011 and he felt they delivered a strong presentation and asked if anyone had any questions. He said Vince McMahon said he felt he'd seen enough and told them on the spot that they would be the host city. He noted that was 15 months ago and they weren't allowed to say anything.
Saboor took the podium again and said they intend to work very closely with the partners who had spoken to create pro social events. He said they will also use their social media platforms to reach out to fans around the world. Saboor introduced Stephanie McMahon, who came out to her usual entrance music.
Stephanie said that used to be her entrance music, but she's been all grown up for quite a while now. She said Saints quarterback Drew Brees tweeted a rumor about WrestleMania 30 being held in New Orleans. She said they've had 9.5 million impressions since then.
Stephanie said they have a powerful voice and they are anxious to give back to the community of New Orleans. She spoke about the various community events they intend to hold, including the Be A Star campaign and visiting children's hospital. She recalled Vince talking about bringing smiles to people's faces. She said that's what they intend to do and it's going to be "one heck of a party, thirty years in the making, WrestleMania 30."
Saboor took the podium as Stephanie exited. He introduced Stephen Perry of the New Orleans convention and visitors bureau. He spoke about the city hosting tens of thousands of people and how he believes WrestleMania 30 will be the most high energy event in WrestleMania history. Saboor took the stage again and introduced a couple of locals who were in the front row and thanked them or their help. They stood up and took a bow.
Saboor introduced The Rock and plugged his movie. Rock walked out carrying the WWE Championship. He said his roots in New Orleans run deep. He said he shot G.I. Joe and multiple movies in New Orleans and noted that the city is considered Hollywood South.
Rock recalled playing for Miami in the National Championship game and losing to Alabama in the Superdome. "I'm not over that yet," he said. Rock said the WrestleMania for him is unforgettable. He said it's the same for fans and it's an unduplicated experience for the host city. Rock wrapped up by singing "When the saints go marching in" and got some people to sing along.
Saboor introduced John Cena as the final guest. He said that as over the top and enthusiastic as Vince McMahon can be, he's also very humble. He spoke about WrestleMania celebrating it's 30th birthday and said there's no better place to celebrate the event's 30th birthday.
Cena said the mayor compared WrestleMania to a Super Bowl. He said that's only on paper. Cena said every tourist who has ever been to New Orleans has a story to tell. He promised that when WreslteMania 30 arrives they will give the city a celebration worthy of the city.
Cena's music played, but it was cut off for Rock's music. Rock walked back on the stage and had a quick smile with Cena. Rock held the WWE Championship belt in his hand and then shook hands with Cena. The duo posed for photos in front of the WrestleMania 30 logo.
Rock's music stopped and the WrestleMania 29 theme song played. Big Show, Mark Henry, Del Rio, Clay Great Khali, Layla, Cameron, Naomi, and R-Truth walked onto the stage. Saboor said they will release information this summer regarding when WrestleMania tickets go on sale. He said their goal is to leave more in the city than they take over. He said he hopes to see everyone on April 6, 2014 for WrestleMania 30.
Mathews and Striker took over the broadcast offstage. They spoke about Drew Brees tweeting the rumor on Sunday that WreslteMania was coming to the Superdome. They closed out the show. A WWE video played.
Powell's POV: I could have done without the signing and dancing from Clay and Truth, but the rest of the event was pretty much what you would expect with WWE officials touting the event and local officials speaking glowingly about the event. Triple H did not appear onstage despite being advertised, though it's possible he will be speaking with the local media during the one-on-one interviews that are currently being conducted.
The shot of Rock and Cena posing in front of the WrestleMania 30 sign is sure to lead to speculation over a third match in the series next year. I'm not reading too much into that right now, but I do find it telling that Rock appeared at the press conference, as that would seem to suggest that he will be back next year.
The fact that this decision was made 15 months ago puts to rest rumors that other host cities were still being considered in recent weeks. I'm sure the New York fans are disappointed that the pattern of holding milestone events at MSG won't be considering, but the possibility of that happening ended when WrestleMania 29 was booked for MetLife Stadium.
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