WWE was, at one point, planning to have Rikishi in the Royal Rumble but due to another commitment, he's unable to make the PPV. Jerry Lawler mentioned that during a long interview with The New York Post today promoting the Rumble PPV, which you can read by clicking here.
The majority of the WWE roster is already in Phoenix and making promotional appearances to support the PPV.
A four minute 3D trailer of the new G.I. Joe movie starring The Rock will be screened before the Hansen & Gretel 3D film that is being released today.
WWE issued the following press release:
WWE® and Pearson Foundation Take the WrestleMania® Reading Challenge Online
WWE (NYSE: WWE) and the Pearson Foundation today announced a partnership to expand WWE’s WrestleMania Reading Challenge and promote the importance of literacy through a new digital reading program. Beginning February 4, 2013, students between the ages of 4 and 11 will have the opportunity to join the WrestleMania Reading Challenge at WWEReadingSuperstar.com. Through this new partnership with the Pearson Foundation’s digital reading initiative, We Give Books, students will be able to read children’s books online, virtually connect with WWE Superstar Reading Buddies and enter to win a trip to WrestleMania 29 or a school visit from a WWE Superstar.
WWE and its Superstars will also host reading celebrations, visiting kids at local schools across the country, to spread the word about the importance of reading with children at an early age. The celebrations will include special visits from the We Give Books ReadMobile.
To support the Pearson Foundation’s mission, WWE will make a contribution to children on behalf of We Give Books to provide book grants to schools across the country. We Give Books is a major effort by the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation to equip families, classrooms and libraries with print and online books for children. Every time someone reads a children’s book online at wegivebooks.org, the Pearson Foundation donates a book to a child who needs it. WWE will also utilize all its assets, including TV broadcasts, live events, digital and social media to encourage children to read.
“Reading should be a fundamental part of growing up and sharing the love of reading and the power of giving is what We Give Books is all about,” said Pearson Foundation President and CEO Mark Nieker. “Through this important partnership with WWE, we hope to reach more children and their families with the message of reading, giving and sharing.”
“WWE is proud to expand its commitment to literacy initiatives through this new partnership with the Pearson Foundation and We Give Books,” said Michelle D. Wilson, Chief Marketing Officer, WWE. “Given that today’s youth are digitally connected at such an early age, the WrestleMania Reading Challenge will now reach more children than ever before.”
Studies show that nothing is more important to a child's overall success than reading at grade level by third grade. Developing early literacy skills sets a child up for success in school and life.
For more information or to participate in the WrestleMania Reading Challenge, visit WWEReadingSuperstar.com.
About the Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to make a difference by promoting literacy, learning, and great teaching. The Pearson Foundation collaborates with leading businesses, nonprofits, and education experts to share good practice; foster innovation; and find workable solutions to the educational disadvantages facing young people and adults across the globe. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.
About We Give Books
We Give Books (www.wegivebooks.org) is a philanthropic program from the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation that helps children become a lifelong readers and givers. We Give Books supports literacy through programs that engage entire communities. Working around the world through programs like Booktime and Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, Penguin and the Pearson Foundation have touched millions of lives.
About WWE’S Corporate Social Responsibility
WWE’s global community outreach programs address important social issues, including education, diversity and inclusion, military support and fulfilling wishes and dreams. WWE and its Superstars and Divas support a wide range of programs, partners and initiatives that strive to positively impact children and families worldwide, including the “Be a STAR” anti-bullying campaign, WrestleMania Reading Challenge, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Make-A-Wish, WWE Tribute to the Troops and many more. For more information log onto http://www.wwe.com/inside/overtheropes/wweinyourcorner.
WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 145 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 600 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Istanbul and Tokyo.
Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.