Wrestlemania takes over Auckland

NEIL REID
Last updated 09:06 07/07/2011
John Cena
JOHN CENA: WWE Superstar, hip hop musician and actor, John Cena, pictured at the Australian Kids' Choice Awards in Melbourne, appeared at the Wrestlemania event on Wednesday night in Auckland.

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Wrestlemania fans were out in their thousands in Auckland on Wednesday night, cramming into Vector Arena for the New Zealand leg of the WWE's World Tour.

A near sell-out crowd were treated to almost three hours of non-stop slammin', bashing and bad-mouthing as some of the biggest names in professional wrestling threw their all into an entertainment spectacular.

While the event was heavily choreographed - with many of the fights right out of Hollywood acting scripts - there was no mistaking some of the hefty contacts when the big-name 100 plus-kg athletes went head to head.

The mood of the evening was set before one of the early fights, when wrestling bad boy CM Punk berated the crowd saying: ''I could beat up everyone in this arena ... the guards, all the boys in the back.''

His outburst came just days after getting in hot water across the Tasman by calling a fan a ''homo'', something which he apologised for on the eve of the Auckland show.

The crazy moves in the ring were backed up by a spectacular light show, immense sound system and displays of human strength which would have impressed many non-believers of professional wrestling.

The curtain was brought down on last night's show by the main event featuring WWE champ John Cena against R-Truth.

Cena won the bout, before an all-in brawl featuring the entire fight card ended an entertaining show.

Cena said he loved the chance to strut his stuff infront of his adoring Kiwi fans.

''I think it's a great country,'' he said.

''Because we only come to New Zealand once a year the fans are hungry for us, so they are that much more vocal and loud than crowds at home.''

Added R-Truth: ''It's great to get to come to a place like New Zealand.

''We're lucky we get to travel and get to go to some great places out of America. Coming here and putting on a show in front of a loud Kiwi crowd is always fun.''

The card also included Rey Mysterio, CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger.

But the WWE World Tour's Auckland showcase wasn't all about the appearance of the muscle-stacked male performers.

Some of the biggest roars of the night were reserved for members of the WWE's elite - and popular - female Divas crew.

Last night's contingent included Kelly Kelly - real name Barbara Blank - who made a switch from modelling to professional wrestling while at college in America.

She was discovered after a WWE wrestling talent scout saw her picture in a modelling catalogue.

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She quit the catwalk for the wrestling ring shortly after receiving a lucrative offer to join the WWE.

- Stuff

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