The chairs are going to fly Tuesday night as the WWE comes to the Prudential Center for a taping of their hit show "Friday Night SmackDown." Just two weeks away from their annual mega event "WrestleMania," the superstars are sure to have a big show planned.
One of those superstars is Christian, a former World Heavyweight Champion who is returning from an ankle injury suffered last November. After 15 years of rising through the ranks, Christian finally became the top superstar on his show in April last year by winning WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship. However, since then his career was offset by multiple injuries, culminating in a high-ankle sprain.
“It was without a doubt the most frustrating injury I have had in my career,” Christian told Patch. “It was a high-ankle sprain. It was very frustrating. I tore some ligaments as well and had to rehab it for seven weeks.”
The good news for the grappler is that he said his rehab has been so successful that he was able to make it back to television last week, interjecting himself in the feud between SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long and Raw Interim General Manager John Laurinaitis.
“We are getting closer and closer to WrestleMania in Miami and the tensions are pretty high,” Christian said about Tuesday’s event. "All the top stars from SmackDown are going to be there. We have Randy Orton, The Big Show, Sheamus, the (current) World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan will be there. Unfortunately, the current General Manager Teddy Long will be there, (but) I’m sure big Johnny Laurinaitis will be there as well."
"There are always passionate fans in this area, whether it’s Madison Square Garden or Newark," he added. "This whole area gives us great support and crowds."
Christian will be competing in WrestleMania this year on April 1 in Miami. At last year’s event, he was in the corner of his childhood friend Edge, who defended the World Heavyweight Championship. This year, it will be Christian in the ring, as Edge, who retired right after last year’s event due to a lingering neck injury, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
“He deserves it,” Christian said of his friend’s induction. “He’s had an amazing career and when you sit back and realize what he accomplished over his career, you can put him right up there with the very best in the history of the business.”
In addition to Edge’s induction and Christian wrestling, this year’s event will also feature a main event of The Rock versus John Cena. The Rock, whose real name is Dwayne Johnson and who has transitioned into a movie star, is coming back to the ring to face the WWE’s top superstar, John Cena. This match was announced a year ago and tensions have been running high for everyone in the company.
“I don’t know who is going to win (between The Rock and Cena), it’s all up in the air,” Christian said about the match.
Next year’s WrestleMania will be coming to New Jersey's own MetLife Stadium. This is the first time the event is being held in an outdoor stadium in a cold-weather climate. But, Christian, a native of Toronto, Canada where the winters are known to be harsh, isn’t worried about the possibility of a wrestling event in the frigid New Jersey winds.
“I have an advantage because I am a Canadian,” he said. “I think I’m used to the cold weather, so (the weather next year) might fit me pretty good. It will be cool, I know everyone is looking forward to bringing WrestleMania back to that area. It’s going to be awesome being at that stadium and that area and hopefully it won’t smell or anything like that.”
Purchase tickets to the WWE's "Friday Night SmackDown" at the Prudential Center on March 20 by clicking here. Doors open at 6 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m.