On the Road to WrestleMania 28 With Flash Mob, Video Game Challenge
By Scott Fishman, Miami Herald Writer
Night two of WrestleMania Axxess at the Miami Beach Convention Center had its share of history making moments.
Perhaps none more impressive was watching Mike Tyson join WWE’s first ever flash mob.
The former heavyweight boxing champ and 2012 WWE Hall of Fame inductee participated in the spontaneous choreography with Hornswoggle and dozens of dancers. WWE divas Layla El and Eve Torres led the dance group as they moved to “Break Ya Back,” featuring Dev and producer by songwriter, rapper Timbaland, who stood in the ring mesmerized and then impressed. Layla is a former Miami Heat dancer.
Youtube Link: http://youtu.be/6s7cvGwg-ZQ
The previous night, Timbaland co-hosted the WWE Premiere Party art/fashion show for charity on Star Island.
During the evening at Axxess, there was a line of fans wrapped around the convention floor waiting to meet Tyson. The boxer and longtime WWE fan seemed in great spirits as he posed for photo opportunities.
The popular annual THQ Superstar Challenge occurred as well, with WWE diva AJ making history as the first female talent to take home the videogame competition’s trophy. She also defeated her first round opponent Tamina in record time. That followed with wins over Cody Rhodes and then Mark Henry in the finals. AJ is no stranger to videogames, which helped her get the advantage over many of the 16 who played.
“I am a gamer, but I’m not the best and am actually surprised I won today,” AJ said, shortly after receiving the trophy.
“I was actually really confident coming in because I have played all the ‘SmackDown vs. Raw’ games, but they changed the entire system. So I was scared because I only played four matches before I got here.
“I’m the first female winner and want to defend it next year, but I don’t want to lose it. So I may not.”
One of the standout pairings was Rhodes beating his brother Goldust in an opening THQ match. American Idol’s James Durbin, who is an integral part of WWE’s be a STAR anti-bullying program, helped Justin Gabriel in the challenge, which was a standout moment for the singer.
“It’s awesome,” said Durbin, also a big WWE fan. “I’m one of the WWE Universe. I’ve just been hanging out with all the guys and taking it all in. I have found they are just as big a fans of me as I am of them. So it’s really cool that I really got to be Justin Gabriel’s wingman in the videogame tournament. I had a blast. I was shaking the whole time, but I think it was because my hands were on the ropes and Mark Henry’s son kept bouncing on them.”
Henry’s young son, Jacob, proved he had the charisma of a future sports entertainer as he got on the mic multiple times during the tournament. He outshined the event’s host Matt Stryker.
Marking the 10th annual Superstar Challenge, THQ streamed the competition on www.justin.tv/wwegames for the first time.
Steve Mesa won the a replica WWE championship by winning the fan videogame tournament.
John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Maxine, Johnny Curtis, Wade Barrett, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler and other stars were at Axxess for autographs and photos. The festivities of Axxess run through Sunday afternoon leading into WrestleMania XXVIII at Sun Life Stadium.