It's three nights after the Royal Rumble, and all is right with the world again.
The Rock is WWE Champion for the first time since SummerSlam 2002. John Cena won the Royal Rumble for the second time in his career and is lined up for a World Title shot at WrestleMania XXIX.
Which means of course, that the Rock will enter WrestleMania XXIX as WWE Champion, and Cena will face the Rock for the second straight WrestleMania, this time for the WWE Championship.
This does not come as a shock, as this has been the expected result since WrestleMania XXVIII, when Cena lost in an epic "Once in a Lifetime" encounter.
Except here's the issue—it's not going to be "Once in a Lifetime."
John Cena and the Rock had a great match last year. The build-up took place over a year's amount of time, and although the match wasn't technically sound by any means (who expected it to be?), the atmosphere, the build-up and the star power of both superstars made the match have a special feeling as two generations collided on one stage.
And after it ended, was there anybody out there who was clamoring for a rematch?
The-rock-vs-john-cena-2012-06_originalWho out there after watching that match live thought to themselves, "Man, we better see Rock vs. Cena Part II at the next WrestleMania"?
Unlike the Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker classic of WrestleMania XXV, where people immediately wanted the rematch at the following year's WrestleMania, this is the perfect example of the exact opposite—a rematch that nobody wants to see.
I understand that the WWE has aligned for this to happen. This has seemingly been the plan set in stone since the end of WrestleMania XXVIII when the Rock pinned John Cena in Miami.
It's been the place set in stone since The Rock announced he'd be trying to win the WWE Title when he would return. It's been obvious since it was announced the Rock was challenging Punk for the title in Rocky's first WWE Championship match since he lost the title to Brock Lesnar in August of 2002 at SummerSlam.
The WWE believes that in order to vindicate Cena for last WrestleMania's loss, they need to have Cena one-up Rock by defeating him at WrestleMania to win the title for the 11th time. I mean after all, the Rock is the past and Cena is the present and the future, right?
There are several issues with that sort of thinking.
First of all, the Cena vs. Rock "Once in a Lifetime" feel at WrestleMania XVXIII loses all meaning by having it take place yet again for the second straight year at WrestleMania XXIX.
Although the Rock is the past and never will be a full-time wrestler again, and Cena is the present, why have the Rock lose to Cena? What does it really accomplish? Cena has already been known, seen and accepted as the dominant superstar in the WWE today.
He has run through countless superstars, defeated just about every name on the roster numerous times and has accomplished everything there is to accomplish in the WWE. By having one total match with the Rock—one of the most accomplished superstars in WWE history—where Cena lost, would that really end up hurting his stock and image in the eyes of WWE fans?
C'mon, it's the Rock we're talking about here.
Most importantly, it sets up an obvious result—the Rock is going to lose to Cena not only to even the score 1-1, but because it's a WWE Championship match, there is no way in hell that the Rock walks out of WrestleMania XXIX as WWE Champion as a part-time wrestler and full-time actor.
Who in the hell wants to watch a match that wasn't that great in-ring-wise in the first place for a second time, where people will know what the end result is?
You know, a Cena victory and another WWE title reign? That's the main event for this year's WrestleMania?
The predictability is simply too annoying to ignore.
A lot of things can happen from now until April 7. I'm aware of that.
I'm also aware that the options were somewhat limited. How many guys could pull off a main event match with "The Great One?"
That's the issue at hand, though. It could have been almost any other big name in the WWE today, and it almost surely would have been a better option.
Cena will be 36 years old in April, and with the surgeries that he's had involving his neck, who knows how much longer he has.
Cena may be the present, but he isn't necessarily the future. So why not have a guy who could benefit from the rub of beating "The Great One?" Cena won't benefit from beating the Rock. He's already cemented as the No. 1 threat in the WWE today, despite the loss to the Rock.
However, why not give an opportunity to somebody like Ryback? What about a re-match for Punk? Anything else other than Rock vs. Cena II.
Ryback and Brock Lesnar are two different guys. When Lesnar beat the Rock, Lesnar went in as a heel and the Rock the babyface (although Rock was booed because fans knew he was leaving for Hollywood). Ryback obviously is a babyface right now, as is Rock.
Why not set up an epic match between these two? Why not give Ryback the "rub" with him being the future?
I realize the Punk vs. Rock match at Royal Rumble was pretty bad, but why give Cena a "one-up" victory whereas Punk is left in the dark? I understand Punk just completed the longest WWE Title reign in the modern era, but wouldn't it be more interesting to watch Punk vs. Rock II rather than Cena vs. Rock II?
Regardless of who main events WrestleMania, people will buy the PPV (case in point: Miz vs. Cena at WrestleMania XXVII).
But the issue and the problem boils down to this—the WWE has a habit of relying too much on John Cena and believing that he is the "lifeline" of the WWE product when that couldn't be further from the truth.
By going with Rock vs. Cena part deux at this year's WrestleMania, it just further adds credibility to that belief.
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