Superstars' 'gamma' raid

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March 29, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. -- With WrestleMania XXIV in a town known for its rollercoaster-filled theme parks, an unlikely batch of WWE Superstars -- Mick Foley, Rey Mysterio and Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder -- found a common interest at Universal's Islands of Adventure. Enduring the gamma ray-powered Incredible Hulk Coaster, the thrill-seeking Superstars seized an ultimate opportunity of their own at Marvel Super Hero Island on Saturday. (PHOTOS)

While pre-coaster jitters couldn't be detected on their straight faces, Hawkins & Ryder joked with one another while Mysterio tightened the fasteners on his mask to make sure it wouldn't come loose during the ride. As for Foley, his smile seemed to only broaden as he drew closer to the entry gate of the attraction named after Marvel Comics' jade giant.

Led by the Hardcore Legend himself, the group eventually boarded the purple seats of the emerald green ride in preparation for an intense, electrifying boost ahead, blasting 0 to 40 mph in two seconds -- less time than a WWE pinfall.

Mere moments later, Edge's loyal associates -- who were seated at the front of the vessel -- let out loud shrieks that quickly trailed off and became distant echoes as they were propelled forward. The raging cart moved ahead and the Superstars' excited faces compressed with each sharply rounded corner, and steep, gravity-defying dip.

Once again grounded after the Hulk experience, Foley described his exhilarating ride within the Islands of Adventure. A rollercoaster connoisseur, who has taken almost as many steep pitfalls as he took chairshots in 1999, the Hardcore Legend gave the ride two enthusiastic "bang-bangs" up.

"I was really excited when I heard WrestleMania was coming to Orlando," Foley said. "I'm not a big part of the show, but that doesn't mean I can't have a great time and be part of the whole 'Mania weekend. It's a win-win situation and I don't have to worry about a match.

 "Know what? I've got mixed feelings about [the Hulk Coaster]. It was an amazing ride, but I feel like I kind of let the team down by not fitting into the front row," he laughed.

"I had to take the designated big seat," Foley added with a grin, while screaming riders circled one of many loops overhead.

After they'd gained their equilibrium like Foley and Mysterio, the Rated-R entourage also shared their opinions on the ride.

"It was really cool. I've been on a lot of rollercoasters, but that was the first that really kicked like that, a hydraulic kind of shoot-off," Hawkins told WWE.com about the ride he experienced during his first trip to Universal in Florida. "Before you know it, you're off and running."

Chiming in after his tag partner, Ryder interrupted by stating, "Edge rules!" and offered his personal, expert opinion.

"I'm a big fan of rollercoasters, and this one, without a shadow of a doubt, was one of the best I've ever been on," Ryder stated. "We were going up slow, slow, then boom! It was great. We're in Orlando for the biggest show of the year and this just adds to the excitement."

In complete agreement with his associate, Hawkins also pointed out that the only thing bigger than the curves of the Hulk Coaster this weekend is The Granddaddy of Them All on Sunday.

"It's my first WrestleMania and I'm super-pumped," Hawkins said. "I've been waiting for this my whole life, so it's an awesome week for Zack and I."

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