Now I know this space is normally reserved for columns on sports where the outcomes aren't predetermined but I can't help myself. I got a few e-mails today from the WWE and Mickey Rourke's people hyping up the fact that Rourke will be at this year's WrestleMania in Houston.
This isn't really news. Rourke first mentioned in January that he would be at WrestleMania but it wasn't yet known in what capacity. Well, two months later we now know. Rourke will be … wait for it, wait for it … sitting ringside at Reliant Stadium. Riveting, I know.
Of course, that probably won't be where he ends up. My guess is at some point he will rip off whatever hideous outfit he has on and reveal his Randy "The Ram" Robinson outfit and maybe even level Chris Jericho with a "Ram Jam" from the top rope.
You see, Rourke is apparently going to be in attendance to support former wrestlers Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka as they face Jericho, who is currently working an angle where he belittles former wrestlers grasping for one last moment in the spotlight. He has attacked all three, as well as Ric Flair, in past episodes of WWE Raw, continuously mentioning they are as pathetic as Rourke's down-and-out character in The Wrestler.
The problem is there is no longer a buzz around Rourke being at WrestleMania. Maybe if the event took place in February that would be a different story. But two months have passed since Rourke jokingly challenged Jericho while doing a red carpet interview at the SAG Awards and later backed off during an underwhelming segment on Larry King Live. It has also been a month since Rourke lost his bid to win an Academy Award and the film is hardly in any theatres anymore as the DVD is set to be released late next month.
While the WWE was able to garner mainstream attention for the past two WrestleManias with Donald Trump putting up his head of "hair" against Vince McMahon's in Detroit and Floyd "Money" Mayweather fighting Paul "Big Show" Wight in Orlando last year, I can't imagine many casual fans forking over $50 to see Rourke sitting ringside. I can't even imagine many forking that much over if he decides to wrestle. We've already seen him in all his roided up glory grapple in the ring. It's not the same novelty as seeing Trump smack McMahon in the face and shave his hair or "Big Show" choke slam Mayweather and stand on his chest. Those are the ESPN and CNN moments that the WWE is looking for. I'm just not sure how much run Rourke hitting Jericho is going to get once April rolls around.
I guess the worst part about this, if it actually happens, is seeing Steamboat, Snuka and Piper in the ring again. They looked far worse than Rourke did in The Wrestler when they appeared on television and seeing them actually get in the ring at this point would be more depressing than the fate of Rourke's character in the movie. The movie was a disturbing look at the lives of wrestlers unable to hang up their spandex tights and knee high boots when they should have. The last things fans need to see is that fiction played out for them in reality on pay-per-view.