NYC Turns Up Star Wattage for WWE’s ‘WrestleMania 29’

Sean "Diddy" Combs, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Menounos, Donald Trump join The Rock's return to the ring.

For the past 29 years, “WrestleMania” has been WWE’s biggest PPV. But it’s been tough to get notable celebs to turn out for the event when it’s hosted in cities like Houston, Orlando or Phoenix.

WWE isn’t having that kind of problem this year, with the event splitting its presence in both New York City and New Jersey.

Sean “Diddy” Combs, Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Extra” co-host Maria Menounos and Donald Trump are some of the bold-faced names taking part so far in “‘Mania”-themed activities next week.

Company announced Thursday that Combs will perform live at “WrestleMania 29” to a crowd of nearly 90,000 inside New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium on April 7. Diddy-Dirty Money’s “Coming Home” is an official theme song of “WrestleMania 29” and will be integrated throughout the show.

As part of the pair up, Combs will co-host the “Superstars for Sandy Relief” party with WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, and NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, on April 4, meant to unite the sports and entertainment worlds and benefit the mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.

Other talent taking part in the fundraiser include Sting, Michael J. Fox, Charlie Sheen, Tony Hawk, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Carl Edwards, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Mark Cuban, Carrie Underwood and Adrian Grenier.

Combs will also serve as an ambassador for WWE’s Be a STAR anti-bullying initiative.

“I’ve always been a fan of WWE and I’m excited to support these two important causes,” said Combs, who has backed WWE in the past; he introduced Bad Boy recording artist Machine Gun Kelly at “WrestleMania 28,” in Miami, and performed during 2010’s “Tribute to the Troops,” which aired on NBC. He’s also incorporate wrestlers into his songs.

Separately, Schwarzenegger will induct Bruno Sammartino into the WWE Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden on April 6, where the two will reflect on their 40-year friendship.

Schwarzenegger was also present as Sammartino was inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame in Columbus, Ohio, in March.

Menounos also is set to induct Bob Backlund into the Hall of Fame. They have been friends since appearing in the comedy “In the Land of Merry Misfits” together. Menounos is also a longtime WWE fan, having wrestled in the ring numerous times since 2009, including last year’s “WrestleMania.” She also co-hosted “Monday Night Raw,” with Nancy O’Dell, and has appeared on “Tribute to the Troops.”

“He’s my hero and my friend,” Menounos said of Backlund. “Watching him carry the title for a since unmatched five years and then stage such an incredible comeback with a reinvented persona puts him in a class all his own.”

WWE will also induct Trump into the Hall of Fame, joining Drew Carey, Pete Rose, Bob Uecker, Mike Tyson and William “Refrigerator” Perry as previous celebs getting the honor. Trump has had a long history with WWE that dates back to the fourth “WrestleMania” in 1988.

In addition to the location, it likely didn’t hurt that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is also returning to the ring for this year’s “‘Mania.”

His bout in Miami last year, helped boost PPV buys of the event to record levels for WWE. It generated more than $67 million through 1.3 million purchases and was watched in more than 105 countries. Johnson’s profile is especially high this year, with “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” out in theaters this weekend, followed by Michael Bay’s “Pain and Gain,” which Paramount will promote during “‘Mania.”

More Biz

  • Bert Salke and Jennifer Salke

    Feds Looked Into Amazon Studios Chief Jennifer Salke in College Admissions Scandal

    Federal investigators looked into Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke and her husband, Fox 21 Television Studios president Bert Salke, as they conducted a sprawling probe of cheating in elite college admissions, a source close to the case told Variety. It does not appear, however, that prosecutors will charge the Salkes in the case. The Salkes [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Big Blackout Looms as CBS, AT&T Go Down to Wire on Renewal Talks

    A blackout affecting CBS stations in major markets throughout the country looms as CBS and AT&T executives go down to the wire on negotiations for a retransmission consent deal covering 28 O&O stations. The sides have sparred publicly during the past few days as 11 p.m. PT Friday expiration of the previous contract approached. AT&T [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    ICM Responds to WGA Packaging Lawsuit: Claims are 'Baseless' and 'Absurd'

    ICM Partners has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed against four major talent agencies by the Writers Guild of America as part of the larger war between agencies and the guild over packaging fees on TV series and movies. The guild sued ICM, CAA, WME and UTA in California state court in April, [...]

  • New York City NYC Placeholder

    CityFM Podcast Takes a Deep Look at New York’s Music Scene (Listen)

    First among the many projects listed at the beginning of New York Music Month in June was a WNYE radio show and podcast called CityFM that promised to “explore the city’s music culture, emerging artists and trends, and upcoming events told through the lens of what’s happening around the city in Summer 2019.” And while [...]

  • Live Nation Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

    Live Nation Confirms Placing Tickets Directly on Secondary Market at Artists’ Request

    Representatives for Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment company and owner of Ticketmaster, confirmed that it bypassed conventional channels and directly placed thousands of concert tickets on the secondary market upon artists’ request, in an article published in Billboard. In a statement shared with Variety, the company acknowledged that it has facilitated the transfer of [...]

  • Costume designer Michele Clapton

    Costume Designers Fashion a Plan to Fight for Pay Parity in Upcoming Contract Talks

    The Costume Designers Guild Local 892 is gearing up to fight for pay equity in its 2021 contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, establishing a pay-equity committee to raise awareness of the scale disparity between the mostly female CDG membership and the mostly male membership of the Art Directors Guild Local [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content