The head of PR for WWE confirmed Monday that actor Mickey Rourke is planning to attend the company's Wrestlemania 25, the 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania event in Houston in April.
According to Sal Cataldi of Cataldi public relations, which does PR for WWE, he has confirmation from head of WWE PR Robert Zimmerman that Rourke is planning to be there.
Rourke had a gentle run-in with WWE wrestler Chris Jericho on Larry King Live (see video below) over some comments Rourke made at the SAG Awards, but WWE would not say whether Rourke would be there to wrestle, make an appearance or simply as a spectator.
The timing of the confirmation is no coincidence, as industry insiders thought Rourke would not confirm his WWE schtick until after the Oscars, for fear that his association would hurt his chances with Oscar (for real).
Rourke, a former boxer, made a comeback this year with the film, The Wrestler, for which he was nominated for an Oscar (he lost out to Sean Penn). The story features Rourke as Randy the Ram, a washed up wrestler trying for a comeback. He has said that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was supportive of his portrayal.
The role paralleled Rourke's own fall from film stardom and effort at personal and professional redemption. Rourke ran out of money and wound up returning to the boxing ring, he said in interview for Barbara Walter's pre-Oscar special on ABC, conceding the film was essentially his own story. He also said that winning the Oscar would be important, but pointed out what you couldn't do with an Oscar, including a bleeped comment about its shortcomings as a love interest.
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