WrestleMania 29 Press Conference live coverage: The Rock, John Cena, Vince McMahon, Triple H, C.M. Punk, and new celebrity involvement Apr 4, 2013 - 12:00 PM
The following his Jason Powell's live coverage of the WrestleMania 29 press conference, which is being held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. You must refresh the page for the latest updates.
-The WrestleMania 29 video aired with footage taped all over New York. The feed was terrible and had buffering issues right out of the gate. Matt Striker stood in the balcony and hosted a pre-game show while those in attendance watched a video on the big screen. A video for The Rock vs. John Cena was shown...
Back in the building, Striker brought in Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez. The feed continued to suck. Ricardo was on crutches. Del Rio said he will raise the title belt at the end of the night and teased breaking Jack Swagger's arm with the Cross Arm Breaker. Ricardo said he would definitely be at WrestleMania despite his "injuries."
The technical issues improved as Striker set up a video for the Triple H and Brock Lesnar match.
Striker said you will see things you do not expect to see at WrestleMania, including celebrities and dignitaries. He reminded viewers that their Twitter comments and Touts would be included in the Q&A following the press conference. Striker said he heard a rumor that The Rock and John Cena were in the building.
Powell's POV: Well, I should friggin' hope The Rock and John are at the press conference since they are advertised.
Striker set up a Triple H video that focussed on his training and featured his sit-down interview comments...
-Michael Cole opened the actual press conference on the stage and hyped that Sean Combs, Living Colour, Charlie Sheen, Jimmy Fallon, Mike Tyson, Snooki, and Lil' Wayne will be involved with WrestleMania 29.
-Cole was interrupted by Fandango's entrance theme. Fandango and a blonde dancer danced their way into the room and then walked down the aisle toward the stage. They took the stage and Fandango said, "It's Fandango." They left the stage. Cole said, "Yes, he will be competing in his first match at WrestleMania."
Powell's POV: The new dancer appears to be Summer Rae (a/k/a Danielle Moinet) of NXT. I'm not sure if she was the original dancer they were using as part of his act. He danced with a blonde prior to making his debut on television. Either way, it's encouraging for those of us who are hopeful that Fandango's sidekick will do more than just dance.
-Cole introduced Mr. WrestleMania!!! Oh, um, it's John Saboor, senior vice president of special events, not Shawn Michaels. Saboor said others would be more deserving of the name than he is. Yeah, no kidding. He thanked some local groups and then introduced Vince McMahon.
-Vince McMahon opened by saying, "Wow, it's here." He said it's a dream come true for himself and his family. He looked back on the first WrestleMania and discussed coining the phrase sports entertainment. He recalled the celebrities who appeared at the first WrestleMania. He said the event is a hybrid of entertainment. He said some people may have been to the pyramids or heard the mating call of an Antarctic seal (?) or visited the grand canyon or taken a roller coaster ride, but none of it compares to the excitement people will get when they order WrestleMania on pay-per-view.
-Ricardo Rodriguez walked onto the stage in a walking boot and introduced Alberto Del Rio, who said he will be the first Mexican born man to defend the World Hvt. Championship at WrestleMania. He spoke in Spanish briefly and then said he will raise the belt after the match on Sunday. "I was born in Mexico, but made in America," Del Rio said before making his exit. Ricardo hung around and delivered the mating call of an Antarctic seal. Not really, but it would have spiced things up a lot.
-Cole introduced George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. He kept it brief. Members of the New York Giants were shown seated in the front row of the press conference with a WWE Championship belt that was presented to the team by Triple H when they won the Super Bowl (it has a Giants logo instead of the WWE logo).
-Cole introduced "Paul 'Triple H' Levesque." He did the "Are You Ready" bit and got no response. He did it a second time and the media members woke up. Triple H struggled to take off his tie. He was about to go into promo mode when Stephanie McMahon's music interrupted him. "You're supposed to have your executive hat on, not your Triple H hat," she said.
Stephanie apologized for her husband being worked up for WrestleMania. She said they all are. She spoke about her family's history in promoting. She said WrestleMania played to over 20,000 people at Madison Square Garden. She said WrestleMania 29 will be attended by 75,000 people. "Did you say 75,000 people?" Triple H comically asked. Stephanie ran through the celebrities and mentioned the name of Cold Play.
Stephanie said WWE has over 148 million social media followers. Hunter continued to drive home the number by asking if she said 148 million. "This is live?" Triple H asked. Stephanie said they are taking their WrestleMania pre-show to one hour for the first time ever. She said the WrestleMania app section includes arena maps, weather forecasts, schedules, and more.
-Cole took the stage and introduced Mark Henry. He said that as easily as people see his smile, it can leave his face in a heartbeat. He got serious as he spoke about Ryback for a moment, then said he is proud of being born in Texas and now living in Harlem, New York. Henry said there is no greater stage than WrestleMania. He said he's been with the company for 17 years and it's some of the best 17 years of his life. He said he will not go on the stage at WrestleMania and embarrass himself. "Ryback is in a lot of trouble," he said.
-Cole introduced Wayne Hasen Balg of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. He spoke about Hurricane Sandy rebuilding and said MetLife Stadium was buzzing when they visited it earlier in the day. He said they will be ready on April 7.
-Cole introduced C.M. Punk and noted his 434-day WWE Championship reign. Cole said Punk could punch his ticket to the WWE Hall of Fame by ending Undertaker's streak on Sunday. Punk said he wasn't there to bore people with stories about pyramids or seals in Antarctica. He said WrestleMania is about legends. He said legends just like streaks and records are meant to be broken. He said his match with Undertaker is what everyone will be talking about on Monday and will be remembered. "I will not only break The Undertaker's streak, I will break The Undertaker," Punk concluded.
-Cole introduced The Rock as the star of the No. 1 movie in the world. Rock brought the WWE Championship with him. Rock said his debut in WWE was at MSG. He talked about how it's come full circle. He said it means so much to him to give back to the business that made him the man he is today. Rock also spoke about how his grandfather never had a chance to wrestle in front of a stadium filled with people.
Rock said he can chase Vin Diesel, battle Cobra down as part of G.I. Joe, but nothing compares to kicking John Cena's candy ass. Rock said the best part of Sunday is that in order to electrify, you need a partner. "You need an opponent and as much as we have had our differences and they have been very real differences, there is no one better of an opponent for me than John Cena," Rock said. "No one even comes close."
Cole introduced John Cena by stating that no one has held the WWE Championship more times than he has. Cena said so far they've seen a stripped down dancer, a husband and wife stripped down, a Mexican announcer on one leg, "an average looking pedestrian" claim he was going to end Undertaker's streak, a Hollywood star, and this is just the press conference.
Cena said he spoke about watching WrestleMania 28 and then spoke briefly in French and Chinese. Cena said they have the best product that people can come and see. He said his prediction for Sunday is a few surprises, magic moments, and for all to be entertained.
Cole invited The Rock to come out for a photo opportunity with The Rock. Cena said he finished second last year and second isn't too bad. Rock came out (and not a moment too soon) and had the obligatory staredown with Cena. John said something that cracked Rock up momentarily. Cole had the rest of the talent walk onto the stage for a final photograph. The Bella Twins and Great Khali joined the photo mugging along with all of the other wrestlers. Vince stood in the middle and raised the arms of Rock and Cena.
Matt Striker hosted the post-show and played a video that showed how fans around the world are celebrating WreslteMania.
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