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John Cena's WrestleMania 23 entrance includes a tricked-out Mustang burning rubber down the streets of Detroit and right through the WrestleMania glass at Ford Field on April 1, 2007.02/13/2012 - 17:30
Burke again worthy of the "Challenge"
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Elijah Burke maintained his undefeated winning streak at the THQ Superstar Challenge Thursday night, edging out newcomer and fellow ECW Superstar Kofi Kingston in an epic SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 battle. Your Guiding Light, his X-box 360 controller still in hand, was once again driven to tears on the stage of Downtown Disney's House of Blues as he was crowned the winner in his home state of Florida.
"This was very vindicating, if you will. It seems that every year, there's something different, something that stacks the odds against yours truly," Burke told WWE.com immediately after his victory, further explaining why he overcame the odds to win.
"This year, they told the newcomers they could play as anybody they wanted. Now, where's the fairness in that, you know? Obviously, that agitated your Guiding Light, and obviously, once again, it stacked the deck against me," he said.
"In my final round against Kofi Kingston -- who was the wild card in this -- everyone knew he picked a pretty tough competitor in Jeff Hardy. So I picked a tough competitor in The Undertaker, to represent his undefeated streak at WrestleMania," Burke said. "I came out on top, like I always do, and maintained my undefeated streak."
Kingston told WWE.com that he always plays to win, but the avid gamer and clear fan-favorite was unable to bring down the reigning champion of the 16-Superstar single elimination tournament.
"It was incredible. The fans were incredible. Second place is not bad, especially for a rookie. But I really wanted to win. I'm a little upset at myself," Kingston said, still flashing his trademark smile.
"But it's not about winning all the time; it's about the camaraderie, of everyone getting together for a good cause, entertaining the people. The fans left entertained, and that's all that matters," the Jamaican Superstar said. "Unfortunately, Elijah brought his A-game for sure, and he did well."
As for the Divas, lovely BunnyMania competitor Ashley came out on top, using herself and Triple H as her chosen characters.
"I told everybody that I was going to fight my hardest, and I did the best I could," she said, smiling. "Frankly, I was a little surprised at my gaming skills. I had a few tricks up my sleeve, and I used them to get to the final four."
Before the Superstars' competition began, Darren Lavocah of Leicester, England, was crowned the first-ever international champion of the Consumer Tournament Finals portion of the THQ Superstar Challenge. As Umaga, Lavocah defeated last year's winner, Moe Elatta, of Omaha. Neb., who was playing as Batista, in a video game preview of sorts of Sunday's SmackDown vs. Raw Match at WrestleMania.
"On top of that, I knocked the king off his throne, so to speak, the champion here from last year, I've come back and beat him," Lavocah said.
Lavocah, a 23-year-old WWE fan and avid gamer, won a replica World Heavyweight Championship, tickets to Saturday's WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, and front-row ringside seats for WrestleMania XXIV.
"I'm going to be up there with the best of them, with the celebs and all the people who want to go to WrestleMania," Lavocah beamed. "I'm going to be right up there in the front row, I'm going to be a part of the experience."
The eventful night was capped off with a rocking performance by P.O.D., a band most of our fans know as the artists behind Rey Mysterio's entrance theme, "Booyaka 619." WWE.com caught up with the band's frontman, Sonny Sandoval, at the THQ Superstar Challenge.
"We have a good relationship with WWE, and obviously Rey Mysterio is a longtime, awesome fan of ours," Sandoval said. "We played for WrestleMania a couple of years ago, and we happen to be in town on a promo tour for the release of our new record, so we stopped here to hang out with WWE."
Sandoval said the band (whose new album, When Angels & Serpents Dance, hits stores April 8) particularly enjoyed playing at the THQ Superstar Challenge because WWE fans are often P.O.D. fans, as well.
"For us, it's funny, because a lot of the stuff we've done with WWE, we realize the rock fan and the WWE fan aren't that different," he said. "Wrestling and rock ‘n' roll go hand-in-hand."
For more information on P.O.D., visit payableondeath.com.