WrestleMania is a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event, produced annually in late March or early April by WWE, a professional wrestling promotion based in Connecticut. WWE first produced the event in 1985 to be its premiere annual event and has since produced twenty-eight editions with the twenty-ninth scheduled to take place in East Rutherford, New Jersey in 2013. WWE regards it as a flagship event due to it being the most successful and longest-running professional wrestling event in history. WrestleMania was conceptualized by WWE owner Vince McMahon.
WrestleMania's widespread success helped transform the professional wrestling industry and make WWE the most successful wrestling promotion in the world. The event has facilitated the rise to stardom of wrestlers including Hulk Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Macho Man Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior, The Undertaker, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Kurt Angle, John Cena, and CM Punk. Celebrities such as Aretha Franklin, Cyndi Lauper, Muhammad Ali, Mr. T, Alice Cooper, Lawrence Taylor, Pamela Anderson, Mike Tyson, Donald Trump, Floyd Mayweather, Snoop Dogg and others have participated or made special appearances within the events.
WrestleMania propels the worldwide commercial success of the WWE through media, merchandise and shows. All of the events produced have been sold out within a short period of time, with recent editions being sold out within minutes of tickets going on sale. The first WrestleMania was held in Madison Square Garden in New York City; the 10th and 20th editions were also held there. WrestleMania III in Detroit was the highest-attended indoor sports event in the world, with 93,173 fans in attendance. The record stood until February 14, 2010, when the 2010 NBA All-Star Game broke the indoor sporting event record with an attendance of 108,713 at Cowboys Stadium. All but the two editions held in Toronto, Canada have been hosted in U.S. cities
Over the years, WrestleMania has featured many celebrity appearances with varying levels of involvement. The main event of the first WrestleMania showcased numerous celebrities along with the wrestlers. Billy Mays served as ring announcer with Liberace as timekeeper, and Muhammad Ali served as an official. Mr. T competed in the main event alongside tag team partner, Hulk Hogan. WrestleMania 2 featured a 20-man battle royal pitting several NFL players against WWF wrestlers, while Lawrence Taylor faced Bam Bam Bigelow at WrestleMania XI. Mike Tyson appeared at WrestleMania XIV as the special guest enforcer for the WWF Championship bout between Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin, while professional boxer Butterbean was challenged to a boxing match by Bart Gunn at WrestleMania XV. At WrestleManias XIV, XV and 2000, Pete Rose became involved in a short feud with Kane that became a running gag with each appearance ending with Rose receiving a Tombstone piledriver or chokeslam from Kane. The Big Show faced sumo wrestling yokozuna Akebono in a sumo contest at WrestleMania 21 and fought professional welterweight boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at WrestleMania XXIV. Jersey Shore star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi competed in a 6-person tag team match teaming with Trish Stratus and John Morrison in a winning effort against Dolph Ziggler and LayCool (Layla and Michelle McCool).
The event has also featured live musical performances. Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Willie Nelson, Reba McEntire, Little Richard, Boyz II Men, Ashanti, Boys Choir of Harlem, Michelle Williams, John Legend, Nicole Scherzinger, Fantasia Barrino, and Keri Hilson have each renditioned the song "America the Beautiful" before the show. Robert Goulet performed "O Canada" at WrestleMania VI. Acts such as Motörhead, Limp Bizkit, Saliva, Run–D.M.C., Salt-n-Pepa, Ice-T, Drowning Pool, Flo Rida,P.O.D., and Kid Rock have also performed during the live entrances of competitors.
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