April 1st, 2012
Suzanne Collins is the all-time best-selling author on the Kindle. But can she defeat Stephenie Meyer – the author of the Twilight series – in a mixed martial arts cage match?
That question may be settled soon, if the World Wrestling Entertainment has its way. They’ve issued a formal invitation to both authors in an ambitious campaign to improve the image of their events, hoping to shake the stigma that’s traditionally surrounded professional wrestling by reserving a special spot for the two heavy-weight authors in WrestleMania XXVIII. WWE chairman Vince McMahon has presided over some crazy publicity stunts, but this one seems tied to the release of the Hunger Games movie (which opened last weekend).
“Suzanne Collins is #1 in the hearts of fans — and in the sales of her books through Amazon’s Kindle store,” Mr. McMahon said in a statement today from Florida. “So we’re issuing a formal challenge to her on behalf of her rival author, Stephenie Meyer. And to Miss Meyer we say, come and listen to the cheers from a real crowd. Leave your desk behind, taste the springtime air here in Miami Gardens, and come to defend your title out here in the real world.”
“And you can bring along as many of your vampire friends as you want.”
In a promotional video segment, “Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson” was photographed holding printed copies of all the Twilight-series books, and also copies of each of Collins’ Hunger Games books, which he smashed together to hopefully pump up the anticipation. “We professional wrestlers all know how to read,” Johnson said in a pre-taped segment. “But do you have what it takes to wrestle? There’s a ring with your name on it at Sun Life Stadium, Stephenie Meyer.”
It may not be a fight to the death — like the staged tournaments in Collins’ Hunger Games books — but McMahon alluded to that excitement while urging both authors to accept the challenge by using a quote from the newly-released movie. “They just want a good show, that’s all they want,” McMahon said, standing near a mock-up of a promotional poster for the event in the back of his broadcasting booth in Florida. But then he looked directly at the camera, and added ominously, “But only one comes out.”
It’s not clear whether the massive popularity of the Kindle can translate into bigger ticket sales for a staged wrestling event between the authors of two popular ebooks. But it’s not the first time that the WWE has tried to attract celebrities into carefully-prepared professional wrestling matches. (Famously in 2004, Vince McMahon successfully lured Lucy Lawless — the original Xena the Warrior Princess — into a staged wrestling match against Sarah Michelle Gellar, who’d played Buffy the Vampire Slayer). McMahon gamely joked that if there’s enough interest in this year’s “War of the Writers,” they might even duplicate the event in 2013.
“Maybe we’ll get J. K. Rowling to wrestle Anne Rice!”
UPDATE: Okay, while it turns out that WrestleMania 28 is a real event that’s being staged on April 1, apparently it is not going to feature an appearance this year by Suzanne Collins in a mixed-martial-arts, cage-match fight to the death with rival author Stephenie Meyer. I’ve confirmed this with a source who has direct knowledge about the event — me — because…well, I made this whole thing up, because I just really wanted to celebrate April Fool’s Day this year! :)
I promise that I’ve never, ever made up a blog post before, and that I’ll never, ever do it again.
Er, except maybe for April Fool’s Day of 2013. :D