Business picked up on Monday night on the road to WrestleMania, as Vince McMahon returned to Raw to announce that for the first time ever there will be a celebrity guest host for their flagship PPV event, a person so uniquely talented that only they could pull off such a feat, and that the person in question would be revealed next week. So who on earth could Vince be talking about? Wrestling detective Dave Meltzer in the February 14th Wrestling Observer Newsletter fingered Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the likely candidate. So what are the clues that lead to such a conclusion? WWE has been attempting to get Johnson to appear at WrestleMania for years and has been desperately scrambling for the last three months to find a big name celebrity to headline this year's show. Meanwhile, Johnson, in return for appearing at WrestleMania, would surely be rewarded later in the year by WWE with promotional support for his next big movie release, Fast Five, where Rock plays heel to Vin Diesel's babyface in the fifth instalment of the Fast and the Furious film series:
But the most damning piece of evidence was Johnson's facebook update two weeks ago where he had this answer to the question of whether he will ever return to WWE:
of course I will..not a match though, but in a capacity that would allow me to do so much more.. I LOVE that company and the fans...without the two I would not be standing where I am today...
Vince and myself stay very closely connected and when the opportunity is right - which will be alot sooner than you think - we will do something electrifying and historic for the fans...he and I were toying with the idea of a special show called "ROCK RAW"... sounds like a perfect title for me to come back and SLAP THE LIPS OFF THOSE JABRONIS and LAYETH THE SMACKETH DOWN ON AAAAALLLLL THEIR CANDY ASSES!!!
sorry...got carried away..I'll save that one of a kind electricity for Rock Raw..
The talk about Rock Raw, an obvious idea that both sides seriously considered doing when WWE was having weekly celebrity guest hosts for their flagship TV show but could never find a mutually agreeable date, may be a red herring so that the surprise of RockMania wasn't spoilt. This may be a double edged sword for WWE, as Johnson is the best choice to guest host WrestleMania to sell PPVs and ensure that this year's show is a big success after last year's disappointment, but he's also guaranteed to steal everyone else's thunder and expose that no-one on their current roster has the level of charisma, presence, promo skills and timing that he has, not even John Cena. Meltzer suggested "Stone Cold" Steve Austin as a possible alternative to help kick start the return of Tough Enough which Austin is hosting, but I see that as much less likely given that Austin has already guest hosted Raw in the run up to last year's WrestleMania. Otherwise, one would think that they must have somehow managed to secretly land a major mainstream celebrity that no-one has thought of for Vince to give the announcement such hoopla.
The latest on Sting is that there has been some informal interest from both sides for him to appear at WrestleMania. At the end of the day it will depend upon whether WWE offers him a better deal than TNA, who still wants him to re-sign with the promotion and are tentatively coming up with booking plans if he does so. However, the obvious dream match with The Undertaker is unlikely to happen. That's because, as Meltzer teased in the Observer, they've already unsurprisingly dropped the weak idea of Undertaker headlining against Wade Barrett and instead have come up with a better main event direction, one that they're extremely unlikely to nix, given who's involved. Meltzer, with Bryan Alvarez, revealed on their February 12th Observer Radio show that the new direction was one I suggested last week - The Undertaker vs. Triple H, Shawn Michaels as special guest referee, with an unexpected stipulation of streak vs. career. Sounds like Hunter wants to wind up his full time wrestling career to concentrate on his executive position within WWE as Senior Advisor under Vince McMahon.