WrestleMania to hit the Superdome next year

WrestleMania XXX, the latest edition of the iconic, multimillion-dollar pay-per-view spectacular that has dazzled fans across the globe with its mixture of celebrity, soap opera and slams, will be held April 6, 2014, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, WWE and local officials announced Monday morning at a news conference.

The announcement occurred the morning after a sellout crowd at the New Orleans Arena watched “The Rock” defend his WWE Championship against “CM Punk,” setting up a rematch against former champion John Cena in WrestleMania XXIX at MetLife Stadium.

For now, the two greats of the genre stood on a stage at the Superdome, eager to tell locals what to expect, even in a region that has hosted numerous Super Bowls, NCAA national championships and Mardi Gras celebrations — sometimes in the same year.

“The WrestleMania experience for the city is an unduplicated experience that the city will never forget,” said “The Rock,” also known as Dwyane Johnson, an actor and former college football player at the University of Miami. Johnson recently shot “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” in New Orleans.

“It’s going to be a fun experience for this city, a great city I know so well. And I’m so happy and proud to bring WrestleMania to this city. So let’s get ready. We’re going to have fun.”

Cena has shot two movies in the Greater New Orleans area, “Legendary” and “12 Rounds.”

“This city is built on entertainment. That’s what we do,” Cena said. “You can’t pick a better spot. We’ll be right in between Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, and they’ll just be able to keep the party rolling.”

Top WrestleMania moments over the years have ranged from Hulk Hogan slamming “Andre the Giant” (III) and future NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor pinning “Bam Bam” Bigelow (XI), to Mike Tyson knocking out Shawn Michaels (XIV) and “The Rock” facing an older Hogan (XXVIII).

Last year’s WrestleMania generated a record economic impact of more than $100 million in south Florida, according to the WWE. It is televised in more than 100 countries.

“People from all over the world will come to New Orleans to celebrate the grandeur, the spectacular nature of WrestleMania,” said Vince McMahon, WWE chairman and CEO. “World-class athletes performing. There’s nothing like it. It’s a rock concert. It’s a soap opera. It’s all rolled into one. Every form of entertainment, every form of sport.”