This past Monday on RAW, something incredible happened. John Cena was on my TV, and I didn't want to turn it off. When Cena came out for the second time this past Monday, I was dreading the potential poopy jokes about Rock and the twelve year old jokes that were about to ensue. We've seen so much of that from John Cena in recent years that it is tough not to expect that. If you are a grown adult or lifelong wrestling fan, you normally get that dreaded feeling whenever Cena's music hit.
But to my amazement, Cena didn't bring any of that. He was dead serious with the mic. He went from calling Eve a hoeski to calling out The Rock. It is something I hadn't seen from Cena in years. Cena cut the crap. He didn't beat around the bush. He didn't call Rock a poo-head. He ended the ridiculousness of the Zack Ryder/Eve storyline and went right to business in selling his Wrestlemania match with The Rock. If you weren't excited for these two to tear each other apart on the mic, you are probably ready now.
This past Monday, Cena brought his A game. He ripped into The Rock for everything that is the truth. How Rock transformed into Dwayne, and how he has an entourage around him and how it is so difficult to get to him. Cena said he has had a problem with The Rock for the last seven years. He's going to come in and raise an eyebrow and kick it right back to Hollywood. Cena talked about how he always showed up and never left. But when Rock got a taste of Hollywood he left and never cameback. He called out Rock for saying last year that he was never going to leave, but the next week he was gone. Cena said he was fighting for everyone behind that curtain whose dream it was to be a WWE Superstar and stay one. He talked about how on April 9, the second RAW after Wrestlemania, Cena will still be here and Rock won't.
When Cena left the ring after that promo, I sat there in amazement. Did Cena really just kind of get me to like him a little bit? Everything Cena said was true. Once The Rock's movie career kicked into high gear, he was out the door. He made the occasional surprise appearance, but nothing that had any lasting effects. Then last year when The Rock came back he said he was never leaving. The next week? Rock was gone. He didn't make a live appearance on WWE TV until the RAW before Wrestlemania. He appeared in a video taped segment every other week up until then. A lot of people had a problem with The Rock for saying he was never leaving then taking off the next week.
Cena's words hold a lot of weight backstage as well. There are wrestlers backstage that have the same feelings towards The Rock. One wrestler lashed out to PWInsider this week, saying that The Rock is in for nobody but himself and he hasn't done anything to help build a new star since he returned to the WWE. Here is the full quote:
"[The Rock] comes in to use WWE to get back the audience he lost doing Disney movies, which is fine but he's been back over a year and name one person he helped make a bigger star since then? No one.
"He's here for himself, he keeps to himself, and he keeps someone who's actually touring here all year from making a bigger payday at the bigger shows. It's all about making this the "biggest" Mania of all time. OK, then what do we do the rest of the year? Who's been made? You think he took ANY blame for Survivor [Series] not drawing? Of course not, but how do you feud with a guy on the Titantron? Cena nailed the guy dead on tonight.
"Say anything about Triple H, 'Taker, etc. still being in the top spot but if they were needed to work the road, they would and they would still work their asses off as much as they needed to. Rock is out for Rock and the idea he's here to better anything but his own wallet is the biggest work of 2012." Credit PWInsider
Now of course we don't know who said that. It could have been Mason Ryan for all we know. Now a lot of that isn't on The Rock. Is it his fault that the WWE has failed to build new stars in the last few years? Absolutely not. The only big star they made was C.M. Punk, and even that was forced on by Punk after his exceptional work heading into Money in the Bank. Now The Rock should be to blame for some of Survivor Series. He was only there on RAW the week before. But it would have helped if the WWE made Miz and R-Truth actually look like they belong with Cena and Rock. The feud was all about tension between Rock and Cena. Miz and R-Truth were afterthoughts. Cena took them out by himself in the build to the PPV, and then Cena and Rock took them out the RAW before.
If the WWE had done a better job of building up new stars the last few years, The Rock wouldn't even be needed for this PPV. Say what you want about some of the flaws these younger have, but if the WWE had gone all in on them they would have been huge stars. Had the WWE done Nexus right, it could have been built to a huge Wade Barrett/John Cena WWE Title Match at last year's Wrestlemania. But they bailed on the Nexus plan and Barrett has struggled to get back to the top since then. The WWE creative efforts are part of the reason Rock was needed to pop a buyrate last year.
OK, back to the topic at hand. What The Rock says this Monday will be very critical to the build of this match going forward. What Cena said this past week was pretty much 100% truthful. The Rock said he was back and then he left. The Rock left when he got a taste of Hollywood. Rock can't come out and deny what Cena said last week. I don't deny Rock won't be up to the challenge. The Rock always delivers when it come to the mic.
But The Rock has to choose his words carefully. So The Rock says he came back for the people? Well, Cena said he came back and left. If it was for the people then he would be back full time. Rock says he came back because he missed it? Well, why did he leave in the first place then? Rock didn't bolt for Hollywood the second he became a success? Yeah, he has no ground to stand on for that one.
What I expect The Rock to do is completely ignore the topic. I expect Rock to come out and say he came back because he was sick of seeing John Cena on TV every week run around claiming to be the greatest superstar in the WWE. He was sick of seeing Cena trying to be a Rock wannabe. He may have left, but he's comeback to stake his claim as the greatest WWE star of all time. That's what I would expect from The Rock this week.
For some reason, the WWE is trying as hard as possible to get Cena some kind of face reaction headed into Wrestlemania. Fact of the matter is this: Rock could come out and rip apart every town that he goes to for RAW heading into Wrestlemania. But at Wrestlemania, Rock will get cheered in his hometown. Cena has a group of fans that won't cheer him at all. Even after he buried Eve this past week on RAW, that doesn't change the beliefs of Cena's anti-fan base. That whole opening segment was so illogical and pointless when you really think about it that it isn't even worth talking about.
Despite saying that, The Rock's response to John Cena this Monday will be very interesting to watch. The Rock needs to choose his words carefully. Smart wrestling fans can see through the bull some wrestlers speak. If Rock comes out and denies what Cena said last week, you know it is a load of bull. While The Rock will still get cheered, a few mis-spoken words from him may change the entire complexion of the build to Wrestlemania.
Until Next Time,
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka