WWE flexes sports entertainment muscle at WrestleMania
The World Series never would have a 52-year-old pitch in Game 7.
But Major League Baseball doesn't have a dead man like the Undertaker.
Could a 50-year-old NBA star return after a 13-year layoff and become the MVP in the Finals?
No, but the NBA didn't sign Bill Goldberg.
Imagine a hot NFL prospect, a No. 1 draft pick, billed as a franchise savior that has all the tools to win over fans, only to find him voraciously booed even as big wins pile up.
Pushed as WWE's ultimate good guy, Roman Reigns has instead become the wrestler fans love to hate.
Reigns, Goldberg and the Undertaker have fueled WWE to ratings numbers and attendance marks most major sports would envy, and the company is set to flex its sports entertainment muscle Sunday at WrestleMania. WWE is headed to Orlando, Florida, for the outdoor extravaganza that will see the culmination of feuds built on "Raw," ''Smackdown Live," and, well, a reality show on E! Entertainment Television.
Hey, it can't be wrestling without a good old-fashioned catfight.
John Cena, long the WWE's biggest star, competes in a mixed tag team match with girlfriend Nikki Bella (star of "Total Bellas" on E!) against The Miz and his wife, Maryse. The Miz, once a fixture on MTV's reality-show circuit, crafting his future character on "The Real World," has become one of WWE's more reliable top acts, with mouthy promos that have him taking shots at Cena and Bella's seemingly made-for-TV relationship.
"We're just going to smack the crap out of Cena and Nikki Bella," The Miz said.
There are signs that Cena, used to championship gold around his waist in the wrestling ring, may put a diamond ring on Bella's finger after the match. One more hint this could be a match made in heaven: "Today" show co-host Al Roker is the guest ring announcer for the mixed tag bout.
So to recap, the guy from "The Real World" and his wife from "Total Divas" fight the co-star of "Trainwreck" and the girl from "Total Bellas" while the weatherman from "Today" announces the participants.
WWE pulled back the curtain on its operation decades ago, and yet it still packs a punch at the box office for WrestleMania. The roughly six-hour card has a few matches worthy of the main event: The Undertaker, in what could be his final match, wrestles Reigns; Goldberg fights former UFC champion Brock Lesnar; "Triple H" Hunter Hearst Helmsley fights Seth Rollins in an unsanctioned bout; Shane McMahon takes on A.J. Styles; and Bray Wyatt defends the WWE championship against Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton.
Musical performers include Pitbull, Flo Rida, Stephen Marley and LunchMoney Lewis.