WILKES-BARRE TWP. – Did Vince McMahon, who's bluffed and blustered his way into the ringmaster's role of the testosterone-fueled soap opera that is professional wrestling, really fall for the old bomb-in-the-limo trick?
Though World Wrestling Entertainment would have you believe otherwise, the answer is no.
“No one was in any danger,” said Steve Poremba of Monday night's WWE RAW spectacle at the Wachovia Arena, though he would not elaborate until WWE had sent out a news release.
Despite articles on the wrestling federation's Web site that firefighters and federal agents are investigating, workers at the Luzerne County 911 Center confirmed that it was “a stunt” and that no emergency vehicles were called to the arena on Monday night.
FBI officials have not yet returned a call.
But fans from across the country have been contacting local media to confirm reports that McMahon, the chairman of the board of WWE, was blown up in a fiery limo-bombing on his very own “Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night,” which was televised on USA Network. McMahon had walked out of the building to the waiting vehicle, so fans inside the arena saw the same televised live scene.
Only it was wasn't live. Supervised by Zenith Pyrotechnology, based in Deer Park, N.Y., the explosion was actually filmed at the arena late Saturday night, the footage of the burning hulk taped Sunday night and the whole mess spliced together, said Andy Kratz, the township's zoning officer.
“They did it, I believe, at 11 o'clock at night until 3 a.m. so no one would be around,” he said, adding that it was done in a section generally blocked from public view by the building and surrounding land features.
The pyrotechnics company had to get permits, which Kratz said they did about a week ago. “We have pyrotechnics shows in the arena all the time” for wrestling and ice skating, among other things, he said. “They say they do this quite a bit,” but usually not outside.
Representatives of the pyrotechnics company have not returned calls for comment.
The stunt seems to be part of an ongoing story of McMahon's spiral into insanity, which wwe.com has been supporting with repeated updates of the faux-bombing story.
“Over the last few weeks on WWE programming, the swaggering, well-off billionaire seemed to unravel right before the eyes of millions. … Mr. McMahon even cited the looming of a “black cloud” last week – a cloud very similar to the post-combustive smoke that billowed above his limousine tonight,” the Web site reported. “The ominous reality is that what was brushed off as incoherent ramblings of a broken man and former ECW World Champion actually may have proven to be an exercising of a recently discovered sixth sense.”
WWE representatives have not yet returned a call for comment.
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