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Shaquille O’Neal Negotiating to Wrestle at Wrestlemania: A Fan’s Reaction
One of the most famous NBA players of all time, Shaquille O'Neal, made a shocking revelation during a radio interview with Abe Kanan. The legendary athlete revealed that he is negotiating with the WWE to take part in a pro wrestling match at the company's biggest event of the year, Wrestlemania. Wrestlemania celebrates its 28th year in Miami on April 1st, 2012. Shaq is certainly familiar with the popular city. Shaq played for the Miami Heat from 2005 - 2008. WWE is negotiating to get Shaq to brawl with fellow giant, The Big Show. The two athletes had a run-in with one another back in 2009 when Shaq guest hosted an episode of Monday Night Raw. Having seen every Wrestlemania since it originated in 1985, I believe this has the potential to be the biggest celebrity moment in Wrestlemania history.
For hardcore wrestling fans, putting Shaquille O'Neal in a clash with Big Show at the biggest event of the year, may get a negative reaction. Wrestling fans are uptight about outsiders coming into their sport and mixing it up with their heroes. There is a feeling among wrestling fans that Wrestlemania should revolve around the athletes who work hard all year and keep the WWE in business. And although the opinion is valid, the event Wrestlemania has never been solely about wrestling. It's always been about creating a condition that expands and draws the interest of new consumers. Wrestling is just a part of the Wrestlemania experience.
In my opinion, an appearance by Shaquille O'Neal is a grand idea. Shaqs arrival won't bump a main event wrestler off the card. You'll still see magnetic draws like John Cena, Undertaker and The Rock. Shaq will bump a mid-card wrestler off the show. And no offense to men like Cody Rhodes or Zack Ryder, but mid-card wrestlers will never draw the attention of the mainstream media like an appearance by Shaquille O'Neal. And that media attention, which is largely free, will furnish more pay per view buys for Wrestlemania.
This would not be the first time Vince McMahon has hired celebrities to take part in Wrestlemania. Since its birth in 1985, celebrities such as Donald Trump, Mickey Rourke, Snooki, and Burt Reynolds have emerged at the annual event. In addition, professional athletes like William "Refrigerator" Perry and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have partaken in wrestling bouts. In fact, Wrestlemania 11 featured NFL legend Lawrence Taylor in the main event against Bam Bam Bigelow. Taylor was victorious in the meeting.
It's true that many wrestling enthusiasts will complain if Shaquille O'Neal ends up wrestling the Big Show at Wrestlemania 28 in Miami. But Wrestlemania has always been about spectacle and variety. Both Big Show and Shaq are professional athletes and great entertainers. They will be able to deliver the pomp and circumstance that has come to define Wrestlemania. This is a match that would create great interest, and should only happen at a big event like Wrestlemania.
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