Today's the day that many wrestling fans have been waiting for all year.

It's the Super Bowl of professional wrestling, and it's marking its 30th anniversary when Wrestlemania takes center stage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

A crowd of 70,000 is expected to be on hand to witness the sports entertainment industry's greatest spectacle. Millions more will watch on pay-per-view and via the company's new all-digital network.

In its three decades, Wrestlemania has become a part of the cultural fabric of sports entertainment.

It's the one day of the year when everything in the WWE Universe converges in amazing fashion.

The show is loaded with the company's biggest stars, but the main event looms to be one whose ending could bring those thousands in attendance to their feet.

Anything less than a Daniel Bryan victory and a world championship belt around his waist could cause a riot in the heart of Cajun country.

This Wrestlemania is about a lot of things. History, tradition, glitz and glamour, and classic matches that will live on in wrestling lore.

The Undertaker's amazing win streak is on the line against "The Beast" Brock Lesnar. John Cena's legacy is at stake against the devilishly diabolical Bray Wyatt. Thirty stars will compete in the first-ever Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The Shield will do battle with Kane and The New Age Outlaws.

And there's plenty more in between.

But make no mistake about it. This edition of wrestling's biggest event is all about rewarding a sizable legion of fans who have shouted "Yes!" in every arena WWE has visited in recent months.

This Wrestlemania is about making it right and giving the fans what they have asked for - what they have demanded.

More than 15,000 fans were on their seats chanting "Yes! Yes! Yes!" last week on Raw. More than 70,000 fans will be chanting tonight in New Orleans.

It looms as a moment that could rival the deafening roar from the record crowd that packed inside Pontiac's Silverdome when Hulk Hogan slammed Andre The Giant there in 1987.

It could be - barring a miscalculation of epic proportions - one of those lasting Wrestlemania moments that will be remembered for years to come.

Bryan's popularity has risen like no other superstar in recent years, and despite WWE's lack of enthusiasm in pushing the unlikely star to the top, the fans have demanded it.

And WWE has too much at stake to ignore those voices.

Bryan was far from WWE's first choice as a company standard-bearer. At 5-10 and 200 pounds, the former vegan cuts a rather unimposing figure, and sporting shaggy hair and a scraggly beard to boot, is the antithesis of the more muscular WWE superstars such as Randy Orton, Batista and Triple H, the three men he'll have to go through to win the gold on Sunday night.

But it can be said that performers such as Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and even "Stone Cold" Steve Austin didn't necessarily meet the requirements of "what a world champion should look like" in the modern era of wrestling. They all achieved their success, however, through perseverance, talent and developing their own unique personas.

Whether the 32-year-old Bryan will be able to flourish at those lofty levels remains unknown. But he'll get the chance.

And his launching pad will be tonight on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

Hulkamania returns

An added touch of nostalgia will feature the 60-year-old Hulk Hogan, who returned to WWE earlier this year, serving as host of an event he helped popularize back in 1985.

Hogan has appeared on nine Wrestlemania cards and headlined the first event 29 years ago in front of 19,000 fans at Madison Square Garden. He teamed with actor Mr. T in a match refereed by Muhammad Ali.

Will Hogan play an active role in the show that could determine its outcome? That's one of the many questions surrounding the event, but one might surmise that the powers-that-be would use him in a more significant role than simply as a host.

"I guarantee you, his presence will be felt at Wrestlemania 30, and he'll make an impact on the show," hinted WWE exec and former world champ Paul "Triple H" Levesque.

How about an ending with the Hulkster flexing as Bryan thrusts his hands in unison with his Yes! movement?

To make things even more interesting, Steve Austin is in town, although it's not known what role he'll play at Wrestlemania.

Does anyone smell a Stunner?

Economic boost

The week-long extravaganza was expected to fuel more than $100 million in spending in the New Orleans area.

Out of the 70,000 expected to attend the event, officials estimated that 65 percent were likely to come from beyond a 75-mile radius. All 50 states and more than 40 countries are expected to be represented.

More than 125,000 will have taken in all the events surrounding the wrestling spectacle.

WWE estimates that Wrestlemania weekend generated $102 million from visitors to last year's event in New Jersey.

Over the past six years, cities hosting Wrestlemania have felt a $400 million cumulative economic impact, according to WWE.

Reach Mike Mooneyham at 843-937-5517 or mooneyham@postandcourier.com, or follow him on Twitter at @ByMike Mooneyham and on Facebook at Facebook.com/MikeMooneyham.