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August 27, 2012

The Rock vs John Cena at WrestleMania: Part Two

TheRock vs John Cena WrestleMania 28

The Rock vs John Cena at WrestleMania: Part Two

The Rock vs CM Punk?

CM Punk vs The Rock

CM Punk vs The Rock: Money, but not necessarily a safe, sure thing

Yesterday I mused that The Rock vs CM Punk might be a realistic possibility at WrestleMania 29. I’m not going back on that; I think it’s completely possible. However, there’s a difference between possible and likely. Money talks, and at the end of the day, the final result is what’s good for business. Scoff all you want, but WWE does know how to do good business. The Rock’s return to WrestleMania this year proved that. How do you make it break even THOSE records? How do you get people to buy the same match a second time? Easy. You up the ante.

Note: this post is partially inspired by John Canton’s article about Cena vs Rock II. Be sure to check that out.

The Rock + John Cena = $$$, an already-proven equation

It pains me to admit this, but I’d be a fool if I didn’t. CM Punk is still in the ‘building’ stages, and I think they have something else planned that may even be better. Who knows, other than Vince McMahon and possibly CM Punk. CM Punk is money, but John Cena is more money. CM Punk will have his chance, don’t worry. It just won’t be at WrestleMania 29. Just like anyone else, I hope I’m wrong by saying this, but I don’t think I am, and here’s why.

The Rock = Ratings?

Maybe, maybe not. One thing’s for sure, his Hollywood-caused-absences can be used to WWE’s advantage. The less Rocky you see, the more you want to see him. The more you either want him to be there, or begin to resent him. Hell, The Rock ‘not being there’ nearly turned me into a John Cena fan, if only for just that one event. It doesn’t matter if you like the Rock, hate the Rock, like John Cena, or hate John Cena. If you have an opinion in one way or another, you’re going to want to see this match. Unless, of course, you hate them both, which is something WWE needs to work hard to avoid. This time around, they need to make at least one of the two seem appealing. There’s a pretty easy way to do that.

The Rock must win the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble

This is a tough one for me to suggest. In no way, shape, or form do I want to see a part-timer become the WWE Champion, and especially not over someone who busts his ass, like CM Punk does. However, in a sadly ironic way, this just might be a necessity. If the Rock takes the WWE Championship and goes back to Hollywood, your entire company has lost their top title. This could actually be a good thing. If your eventual plan is to put John Cena over, you keep the title away from WWE. You have The Rock flaunt it at media appearances, generating massive publicity for WWE from the mainstream, while building resentment from the WWE faithfuls for stealing the title away. It’s really a quite similar idea to CM Punk running off with the title last summer (even though he really didn’t) except it’d actually benefit the company a great deal.

Of course, if you go with this, The Rock becomes somewhat of a heel through resentment, without needing to actually turn. John Cena miraculously gets backed by the WWE crowd and goes over. One might think that this would set up a rubber match at WrestleMania 30, which might actually make sense. Every tie needs a tiebreaker, and The Rock vs John Cena–even if for a third time–would be the biggest match possible for the biggest WrestleMania event to date, aside from maybe CM Punk vs “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (which is a stretch).

Or… The Rock loses.

This is far less likely, unless The Rock loses through some sort of asinine interference. I really don’t see it happening, because you’re not going to have your blockbuster main event guy lose to begin the hype of his eventual WrestleMania match. Unless, of course, it’s his opponent who costs him the match. This of course would get The Rock out of the title picture with his eyes on a different prize, leaving CM Punk to feud with another opponent. Again, it’s entirely possible that they could build towards a CM Punk rematch against WWE Champion The Rock at WrestleMania 29, but it’s far more likely that they’ll take the safe route with a proven track record (of breaking sales records).

I’m not the biggest Rock fan at all and was a bit disappointed that he went over at WrestleMania 28, but the clear plan (in order for that to make sense) would be to work towards John Cena going over in a rematch.

What do you think the plan is for The Rock in WWE heading towards the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania?

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