Rourke may appear at Wrestlemania XXV

John Sturgeon

Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment has its signature event Wrestlemania every year at the beginning of April.

Featuring a combination of the biggest matches of the year along with celebrity involvement in a gigantic arena, Wrestlemania is one of the largest pay-per-view events of the year, drawing well over one million buys.

A little movie named “The Wrestler” has been racking up awards around the country for Mickey Rourke’s phenomenal performance as a broken down wrestler struggling to move on with his life after his peak years.

Rourke displayed a ton of tenacity and toughness in the role by performing a lot of his own stunts in the ring. He trained for only four months with Afa of the legendary Wild Samoans.

McMahon had director Darren Aronofsky give him a private screening at WWE headquarters in Stamford, Conn., and was reported to hate the movie as it hit a little too close to home. Following McMahon’s private screening, Rourke picked up the Golden Globe for best actor and was nominated for an Oscar.

The next week on WWE TV, a promo spot for the film featured WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair praising it.

At the recent Screen Actors Guild Awards, Mickey Rourke said on the red carpet that he was going to Wrestlemania XXV in Houston and that WWE star Chris Jericho better stay out of his way since that was his target.

Following this, both Jericho and Rourke appeared on “Larry King Live” to push the storyline further and raise fan interest in a potential match.

After that show, a Rourke spokesperson made a statement saying the actor would not be competing at Wrestlemania, while McMahon followed with a statement that Rourke would still make some sort of appearance at the big show.

It seems Rourke’s people are attempting to salvage his image and give him his best chance to win an Oscar by stating that he will not compete at Wrestlemania.

After all, those who primarily vote for Oscar winners are rich, old men, and Rourke’s people do not want them to use his performance in a wrestling event as an excuse not to give him the award.

However, it is very possible that WWE and Rourke have decided to keep quiet until the Feb. 23 “Monday Night Raw” show.

The reason for waiting until this date is that it gets both parties past the Oscars.

They will then be free to restart the promotion with a full seven weeks to advertize Rourke’s involvement.

Make no mistake about it, McMahon is only promoting the movie because he wants to get something out of it.

The appearance of a potential Oscar-winning actor at his biggest show of the year could increase the number of buys the show gets and help sell the remaining seats at Reliant Stadium.

Rourke has always done what he wants.

It would be no surprise to see him having no shame in taking a $2 to 3 million payday to partake in Wrestlemania, especially after other stars (Floyd Mayweather, Donald Trump and Snoop Dogg) appear on the biggest WWE stage in the past.

As an actor that almost lost everything in the recent past, the chance to make good money for a one-night appearance will be tough to turn down.