After initially turning down an invitation to appear at the 25th anniversary of the WWE‘s WrestleMania extravaganza, The Wrestler star Mickey Rourke finally succumbed to pleas that he at least attend the event and showed up in Houston, TX this weekend to make an appearance. After telling reporters that he had no intention in participating in the wrestling show, he ended up “surprising” the crowd by climbing into the ring to lay the smack-down on professional wrestler Chris Jericho. Here are a few pics of Mickey‘s real-life stint as a real-life wrestler at WrestleMania 25 this weekend:
Mickey Rourke loves wrestling, but he is putting Hollywood first. The actor brought a slice of Hollywood to Texas on Sunday as he — and later “Pussycat Dolls” lead singer Nicole Scherzinger — talked to reporters at Reliant Stadium ahead of WWE’s annual pay-per-view extravaganza “WrestleMania 25.” Rourke addressed talk several weeks ago that he may get involved at “WrestleMania” in a wrestling role instead of a support role. “My agents said it would be detrimental to my career” to take the focus off of acting after making a comeback in “The Wrestler,” he told reporters, which included local TV stations and international wrestling media. Also, “I’m doing ‘ Iron Man 2′ now, and the insurance company said under no circumstances could I get into the ring,” he added. Rourke was in town to take a seat Sunday night at the anniversary edition of the mother of all wrestling pay-per-views in support of wrestling legends Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. With “Nature Boy” Ric Flair in their corner, the legends took on Chris Jericho, who has bad-mouthed them and Rourke’s character in “The Wrestler” on WWE TV shows in recent weeks. After training hard and getting hurt a lot, “I started really enjoying it,” Rourke said about wrestling. “I gained the respect for a sport I knew nothing about.” Asked by one reporter if he would have loved to become a wrestler in retrospect, Rourke said: “Oh, God, yes.” Rourke, flanked at the press conference by Flair and Steamboat, said WWE and its stars had supported “The Wrestler” so much that he wanted to show support for the wrestlers at “Mania” as well. “I’m very honored,” he said. “I was out of the movie business for 15 years. The wrestling movie has given my career a boost.” Meanwhile, Flair called Rourke “one of us” and said his portrayal of a wrestler was an inspiration. “He makes us look really good,” he said. Rourke quipped that after gaining weight for “The Wrestler,” he is still working on his weight. “I’m still trying to get in shape for ‘ Iron Man 2,”‘ he said. Later on at “WrestleMania 25,” Rourke couldn’t quite restrain himself after all. After Jericho won his 3-on-1 match against the legends, he provoked the former boxer Rourke who ended up getting into the ring very slowly and taking his cowboy hat off before punching and knocking down the WWE superstar to gain a measure of revanche for the legends. Rourke then celebrated in the ring with the legendary Flair to big cheers from the audience.
I never once doubted that Rourke would climb into that ring, if only for a brief moment, once it was confirmed that he would be attending WrestleMania this year. It was too perfect an opportunity to not capitalize on. The Wrestler really gave him his life back, it only made sense that he would want to return the favor by appearing at the sport’s biggest yearly event. Not that I was every a wrestling fan but I used to play with the toys and watch the WWF cartoon back in the 80′s. I might’ve been struck by a little of the Hulk-a-mania back in the day. I cannot believe that WrestleMania is already 25 years old … it used to be such a big deal to be able to watch the event on Pay-Per-View. Hahahahaha! In any event, Mickey deffo keeps scoring the cool points by keepin’ it real in this manner. While the sport of professional wrestling may be nothing more than sport theater, Mickey‘s decision to get involved is very awesome in my eyes. He prolly ain’t got many more chances to do something like this so … good for him for playing along.