It was 17 years ago when Hulk Hogan and The Rock took a major step toward cementing their legacies as great performers, not just great personalities. The icons walked the aisle for an epic showdown at WrestleMania X8 in Toronto. Each man’s wrestling skills had been roundly ripped on the blogosphere. But when the smoke cleared, the Hulkster and the People’s Champion had produced a match no one would ever forget.
Things have changed drastically for both men since that day. The Rock is happily making movies and TV shows, increasing his share of the social media pie, and maybe even running for office. Hulk Hogan has been hit with half of a dozen scandals, some which are seen to have tarnished the WWE brand. He has aged even more considerably, and spends far more time talking about wrestling than working out in a ring.
MyBookie is offering betting lines on each legend’s outcome at WrestleMania 35 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
It’s never a surprise when The Rock shows up at the WWE’s flagship event, but will he wrestle? Gamblers are skeptical, with a few weeks’ action producing a line of 11/5. Odds on the “no” wager are 5/13.
Bettors should look more deeply into any WWE prop that asks if a superstar “will wrestle.” Wrestling promoters no longer worry about “realism” as matches are presented as physical drama, not sport. Rules are broken constantly. The bell doesn’t always ring. The Rock and other wrestlers specialize in staged fights in the squared circle that do not actually constitute matches, even in WWE kids’ magazines in which the writers pretend the match results aren’t rigged in advance. Therefore, gamblers should ask their bookies (on chat or by phone) whether “to wrestle” implies an official bout with a rung bell, or just any old fight.
Hulk Hogan’s betting odds are simpler to figure out. Hogan’s odds to make an appearance at WrestleMania 35 are long at 13/5. Gamblers who think he won’t be there can only win a 1/3 payout as of press time.
Rumors have swirled for months that Hulk Hogan, aka Terry Bollea, will appear at the event. While gossip around WWE events is rampant, in this case perhaps bettors would be wise to at consider the underdog “yes” market. Vince McMahon does not encourage his talent to boast the return of superstars only to disappoint fans. He is much more likely to “kill off” a character – sometimes literally – and then surprise ticket-buyers by bringing them back to life and putting them in the ring.
He’s even done it to himself.
Image from Twitter.