In what is being described as the biggest publicity stunt in sports-entertainment history, rapper and actor Will Smith “slapped” comedian Chris Rock during the Academy Awards this week, setting the scene for the two to collide this Sunday at WWE WrestleMania.
The no-disqualifications match will headline the first night of WrestleMania, and promises to be one of the most anticipated celebrity attractions at the event since Snooki.
The feud was sparked after Chris Rock, while hosting the Oscars ceremony, made a joke about the bald head of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, quipping that he couldn’t wait to see her in The Condemned 3 (reprising the role originally played by Stone Cold Steve Austin).
Pretending to be angered by the remark, Will Smith charged onto the stage and appeared to slap Rock across the face (in reality, Smith slapped his own inner thigh to create a striking noise, but his other hand missed Rock’s face by several inches).
Although the altercation may have appeared “real” to viewers unfamiliar with the nuances of professional wrestling, keen-eyed wrestling fans could easily tell the entire thing was a “work” designed to sell tickets to WrestleMania.
During their match this Saturday, Smith will have Jada Pinkett-Smith in his corner, whereas Chris Rock will have in his corner a goddamned sense of humor.