WrestleMania 29 press conference brings WWE to Radio City Music Hall

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April 04, 2013

NEW YORK — WrestleMania Week is officially upon the New York/New Jersey area. Yet before The Showcase of the Immortals descends upon MetLife Stadium this Sunday, New York’s Radio City Music Hall played host to WWE Superstars, New York and New Jersey officials, as well as assembled members of the media for the annual WrestleMania press conference. Amid hundreds of camera flashes, the star-studded event — which streamed live on WWE.com, the WWE App, Yahoo! YouTube and Facebook — ended with a staredown of epic proportions between WWE Champion The Rock and his main event challenger, John Cena.

“John Cena, get ready,” The Great One said while speaking at the podium. “WrestleMania is around the corner. It’s time to electrify.”

Equal parts pageantry and press, the press conference was an opportunity for reporters to meet the WWE Superstars, while the post-conference Q-and-A offered WWE Universe members the unique chance to submit questions for Superstars via Twitter.

Press conference video playlist | Full press conferenceView photos

The ceremonies kicked off with an introduction by host Michael Cole, who spoke about the various community outreach events, from Be a STAR rallies to tonight’s Superstars for Sandy Relief benefit, that are taking place in New York and New Jersey this week. Cole was interrupted by a special dance from Fandango, who makes his in-ring debut Sunday, before segueing into a series of testimonials from Superstars and officials alike over what fans can expect when WWE’s flagship event lights up MetLife Stadium.

More than 125,000 people will participate in various WrestleMania events this week, according to John Saboor, WWE’s senior vice president of special events, who additionally thanked the local organizing committee that helped bring WrestleMania back home to the New York/New Jersey region.

“WrestleMania will create a powerful blend of economic and pro-social windfall,” Saboor said, adding that WWE’s overarching goal is to leave more for the community than it takes out.

Following Saboor was WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon, who called WrestleMania’s return to the region “a dream come true.” Noting that The Showcase of the Immortals originated in New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1985, Mr. McMahon said it “won’t get any bigger” than this Sunday’s event.

“Nothing can compare to the thrill ride that you’ll take by watching WrestleMania on pay-per-view,” the WWE Chairman said.

Ricardo Rodriguez, on crutches, then introduced his best friend, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio, a mere three days from what the Mexican Superstar described as the most important night of his life. On Sunday, Del Rio will become the first Superstar born and raised in Mexico to defend a World Title at WrestleMania.

New York and New Jersey officials thanked WWE for its support of the region, both in terms of community outreach and the economic benefits that come with hosting WrestleMania. George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Co., explained that events like WrestleMania help New York City boost visitation numbers, and work toward New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s goal of creating jobs through tourism. Wayne Hasenbalg, president and CEO of New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, meanwhile, officially proclaimed it WrestleMania Week in New Jersey, then spoke about WWE’s efforts to aid those in the region affected by Hurricane Sandy.

“We’re going to rebuild. We’re strong, but I have to tell you [WWE has] done more than you can ask for any organization,” Hasenbalg said. “Others should aspire to be the model they are.”

Also in attendance were members of the New York Giants football team, who sat in the front row, holding a custom championship title presented to them by the next Superstar out on stage, Triple H.

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