Views From The Turnbuckle: The Rock Vs John Cena And Its Disappointing Build-Up

Views From The Turnbuckle: The Rock Vs John Cena And Its Disappointing Build-Up Photo: Evan Hoffman
Rock vs Cena II is the match that the WWE thinks that everybody wants to see. If it wasn't they would have made something else the headliner of Wrestlemania. The problem is that the WWE's thinking is clearly flawed.

On paper, Rock vs Cena II is the best idea financially that the WWE could make for Wrestlemania 29. The Rock and John Cena are the two most marketable stars the WWE has right now, and last year they did great business, selling more ppvs than any other ppv before it. However, does the WWE really think that they can improve those numbers? We have already seen the main-event before, and the only difference is that the WWE Title is on the line. The main problem of this feud isn't that it is a rematch though; it is that the build-up for the match Sunday has been incredibly underwhelming.

For starters, the novelty of The Rock and John Cena has worn off. This will be the third Wrestlemania in a row in which John Cena and The Rock will have some sort of beef. When The Rock first made his return to the WWE over two years ago and ripped into Cena, one of the most entertaining moments in wrestling from the past decade took place. Ever since then however, it has been The Rock vs John Cena for a humongous period of time. Eventually even the hottest feuds go cold, and this one is no exception. Everything that could possibly have been said has already been said, we have sat through about 50 angry Cena promos and a world tour of Rock concerts. The general sense amongst a good amount of wrestling fans is just that their rivalry is not very interesting anymore.

Last year was a different story, however. I am not going to lie and say that the skits done by both wrestlers were not funny, and I was really interested in the outcome of their match at Wrestlemania. I actually thought that both guys gave a great effort at Wrestlemania and probably had the best match they could possibly have had. The match was billed as a "Once in a Lifetime" match, and that was probably because the feud between the two's shelf-life was nearing its expiration date.

Despite those fears last year, the WWE has apparently gone into the "Screw it, it worked last year and it will work again this year," mode. Instead of having other people work with The Rock or Cena, the WWE will try to cash in once again using the same main event. Will it work out? I have no idea. But even if it does, we will never know if it did any better than a show containing different matches. Would you be more interested if Wrestlemania was going to be The Rock vs HHH and John Cena vs The Undertaker instead of The Rock vs John Cena? I know I would be.

The build-up to this specific match has been very disappointing. It started off ok, with CM Punk in the picture and with him and Cena having a tremendous match on Raw for the right to face The Rock at Wrestlemania. After that it kind of fell into a downward spiral. With The Rock almost never appearing on Raw (despite being the WWE Champion) we were left with the John Cena promo® that I wrote about previously. Finally last week, The Rock actually showed up for a Raw and he and Cena turned out a really solid segment with the legends round table. However, yesterday's build was an incredible waste. I know it was the go-home show, but I still presumed that the WWE would at least try to build on the momentum from last week's strong segment. However, Raw kicked off with Cena doing another John Cena promo® which did apparently nothing except give fans some extra time to find their seats. Two hours later, The Rock came out and cut a promo which wasn't much better. Not once on the final Raw did John Cena and The Rock come face-to-face or exchange words. This begs to ask the question: What was the point of them even being on the show? Literally nothing happened! The WWE might have well just given the TV time to another feud that they were actually interested in progressing.

The shining light at the end of the tunnel is of course, the John Cena heel turn at Wrestlemania. During the roundtable last week, Cena started to show some real fire, suggesting that if he lost at Wrestlemania this year, there is no telling what he is going to do. Certainly the WWE could be totally teasing us with this whole bit, and Cena may be brighter and better than ever after Wrestlemania, but the potential still remains. The build-up for his feud with The Rock might have been so bad because the WWE didn't want to promote anything too obviously to make it seem like a bigger shock when Cena turns heel. Am I reading too much into this? Possibly, but accepting the fact that the build-up to this match was terrible because the WWE really has no idea what they are doing is too bleak of an outlook for Wrestlemania season.

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