The Mania of WrestleMania, part two

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March 19, 2007

If the Road to WrestleMania has a speed limit, it would have to be three figures for incoming WWE Superstars. March is no time for them to put on the cruise control and coast into April's extravaganza. If anything, it's all-out pedal to the proverbial metal.

A WWE Superstar's responsibilities seem to grow exponentially this time of year. There are live events, top-rated television programming like Raw, SmackDown and ECW to compete on; WrestleMania Fan Axxess appearances and other media commitments, to boot. Oh yeah, and let's not forget finding the time to push metal plates around in the gym to stay fit.

With so much to do before WWE's biggest event, worthy questions to ask might be: With a schedule so hectic, how does a WWE Superstar avoid wearing themselves out? Is there an ancient remedy, or is it up to the mat gods to determine the condition in which a Superstar will compete?

World Tag Team Champion Shawn Michaels, WWE Champion and World Tag Team Champion John Cena and World Heavyweight Champion Batista spoke candidly with WWE.com regarding their thoughts about performing under the weather, and if there is a secret to avoiding the silent performance
killer — injury.

"When you're concerned about being careful and not doing as much, those are the times that you get hurt," confessed Michaels. "I've always been better at throwing caution to the wind."

For WWE Champion John Cena, staying healthy enough to compete at the elite level he's expected to has more to do with chance than with preparation.

"You can never assume you're going to go into WrestleMania completely healthy," he said. "It's like that Alanis Morrisette song where the guy is afraid to fly, then he takes his first flight and the plane crashes. Basically, I just cross my fingers and hope for the best."

Cena cited Triple H, who he considers one of the most prepared athletes in terms of "preventative maintenance," as an example of how circumstance can alter a career path and dash WrestleMania hopes.

"Look at The Game's unfortunate situation; he was injured and that changed the whole grand spectrum for him. It just goes to show, you can take every precaution, but you can't plan on anything." 

While Cena and Michaels try to stay as healthy as possible before they face off at WrestleMania 23, Batista has other goals. The World Heavyweight Champion is trying to regain his health before taking on Undertaker — and his impeccable 14-0 record — at WrestleMania.

"I got strep throat in New Zealand," The Animal said. "Dr. Rios hooked me up with antibiotics, but I'm still trying to get back to being completely healthy. I'm coping with everything the best I can. It's just hard, man."

To recuperate from illness, doctors usually add rest and relaxation to the equation. With no time for that, the best Batista can do is hope his immune system is as scared of him as most of the SmackDown roster is. Until then, he'll have to "suck it up and do what I can to promote WrestleMania."

Click here for part 1 of this 3-part series.
Click here for part 3 of this 3-part series

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