MOONEYHAM COLUMN: Wrestlemania 29 to be even bigger?
Wrestlemania 28 is a mere three weeks away, and most of the mega-event has been finalized.
The Rock vs. John Cena, The Undertaker vs. Triple H, and C.M. Punk vs. Chris Jericho all loom as blockbuster bouts that millions of fans are anxiously awaiting.
But what about next year at Wrestlemania 29? While there’s only been rumors and speculation at this point, next year’s event could be just as big or even bigger.
Fans have waited for a year to see The Rock and Cena battle it out, but it’s not out of the question that a Rock-Cena II rematch could be high on next year’s card as well. A lot can happen between this year’s event and Wrestlemania 29, but there’s a good chance that next year’s version of John Cena might finally transition into the multi-dimensional heel character many have clamored for.
While the higher-ups in the company maintain that turning Cena would require an act of Congress, there’s no denying that a character transformation would add a lot of sizzle to the feud.
The Undertaker’s streak has been a focal point of Wrestlemania for years, and although the Dead Man isn’t getting any younger and his physical limitations are a major concern, don’t look for this year’s event to be his last stand. Brock Lesnar will be looking for a suitable opponent and a major payoff at next year’s event, and The Taker would fit the bill. And, of course, there’s always Sting who, approaching his 53rd birthday, is most certainly nearing the end of his illustrious ring career.
A possible bout that could steal the show has already begun to take shape leading into this year’s Wrestlemania. Shawn Michaels’ involvement as special referee for the Triple H-Undertaker rematch could have some interesting ramifications. A little Sweet Chin Music with Trip’s name on it, preventing his DX cohort from doing what he was unable to do (end Taker’s Mania streak), might just lure HBK out of retirement for one more big match.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin also has been talking more and more about coming back for another round — that is if the opponent and the payday make it worth his while. With C.M. Punk serving as this decade’s version of the rebellious Texas Rattlesnake, a program between the two could be highly entertaining and lucrative.
So while this year’s extravaganza in Miami should live up to lofty expectations, next year’s “Show of Shows,” to be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., could be even bigger.
-- Hulk Hogan is claiming that he can’t remember the identity of a woman with whom he is shown having sex in a tape that recently surfaced.
The gossip site TMZ showed grainy footage of the 58-year-old Hogan getting dressed next to a naked brunette lying in a bed behind him. In the clip, Hogan sports a thong-shaped tan line and pulls off his shirt to inform his female friend that he started working out again.
The woman is neither his ex-wife Linda Hogan, nor his current wife Jennifer McDaniel. Her identity is unknown, and it also is unclear when the clip was filmed.
“It wasn’t just one brunette ... I was running wild for a few months. I don’t even remember people’s names much less girls,” said the Hulkster.
Hogan insists that he hasn’t had sex with another woman since meeting his current wife, 36-year-old Jennifer, five years ago.
Hogan also said that the sex tape was filmed secretly and that he had no idea who was selling the tape or how that person acquired it. He says he did not know about its existence until recently.
The tape is currently being shopped, according to Vivid Entertainment founder and CEO Steve Hirsch, who says he was approached with the tape by a third party.
E! News reported that the adult-film purveyor is interested in distributing the sex tape, and that Hirsch wants to work together with Hogan, calling the film potentially “one of the best-selling celebrity sex tapes of all time.”
An attorney for Hogan said his client was “appalled” at the release of the video.
“He neither approved of the filming nor the release of the same,” said David Houston. “It is clearly an outrageous invasion of privacy and breach of trust if it is genuine. We will take all necessary steps to enforce both civil and criminal liability.”
Houston said he hopes that Hogan’s reaction is enough to put whoever’s trying to sell the tape on notice.
“If someone chooses to go through with it, it will be at their own peril,” he said.
As for Hirsch’s reported offer, Houston told E! News, “While we appreciate Mr. Hirsch’s thoughts, we respectfully decline to participate in any manner.”
-- The wrestling community is mourning the loss of two former stars.
Woody Farmer, who was a mainstay on the West Coast and the Pacific Northwest during the ‘60s and ‘70s, passed away of cancer Feb. 29 at age 76.
Farmer performed into his seventies when he created a three-generation tag team with his son and grandson.
Farmer, who often exhibited feats of strength, was trained by the late great Ray “The Crippler” Stevens who, along with Pepper Gomez and Kinji Shibuya, took a liking to him when the three discovered him bouncing at a San Francisco bar.
Doug Furnas, a top star during the ‘80s and ‘90s in ECW, WWE, and in Mexico and Japan, died March 2 at the age of 52 at his home in Tuscon, Ariz.
The Oklahoma-born Furnas had been battling Parkinson’s disease.
Furnas, a standout football player and weightlifter also known for his picture-perfect dropkick, formed a top team with longtime partner Dan Kroffat (Phil LaFon).
Furnas was a five-time All-Japan and All-Asia tag-team champion, a two-time Universal Wrestling Association tag-team champion and an ECW tag-team champion.
Furnas, who got into powerlifting after a serious car accident that broke both his legs and a shoulder and crushed his spleen, starred as a running back at the University of Tennessee in the early ‘80s. He and his younger brother, Mike, had both transferred to UT from the junior college ranks at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. Both lettered two seasons, with Doug playing running back and blocking fullback, and Mike offensive guard.
While at UT, Furnas won a national collegiate powerlifting championship, and still holds records set in 1983 in the squat (881.75 pounds) and deadlift (766 pounds) for the 242-pound weight class. Furnas ended his powerlifting career with 29 world records.
Furnas started a group home in San Diego for abused teenage boys after his wrestling career had ended, and also kept a hand in the family farm in Miami, Okla., raising bucking stock rodeo bulls that currently are used in the professional bull-riding ranks.
Furnas faced a number of serious health challenges at the end of his career. In recent years he had undergone replacement surgery to his shoulder, knee and hip in addition to struggling with Parkinson’s.
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