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The Problem with The Rock v Cena

Rating: 5 votes, 4.00 average.
After reading DK Wrestling Savior’s blog entitled “The State of Wrestling...Is the End Near?” I began to think about how the ‘upcoming’ Rock vs. Cena match at Mania. Many people are comparing this to the epic Rock vs. Hogan match from ‘Mania 18, however there are some glaring differences that I can see, but for now I am going to concentrate on what I consider to be the greatest. The lack of any kind of storyline whatsoever.

First…A Quick History Lesson
Back in early 2002 the nWo were running riot, after Vince unleashed them upon the WWE in an attempt to "kill his creation", ever since he had become ‘equal’ ownership partners with Ric Flair in November 2001 after Survivor Series. This was a big storyline in the WWF, and even though Hogan was a heel he still was cheered by the fans, despite attacking many of the top stars, mainly SCSA and the Rock. When a photo request from Hogan for his son turned into a trade of insults, and the rivalry was set. On the following episode of Raw, The Rock interrupted Hogan's address to the crowd and challenged Hogan to a match @Mania, then gave HH a Rock bottom and was consequently assaulted by Scott Hall and Kevin Nash and tagged with spray paint. We all know what happens at Mania and after the match.

Now the point of the recap is purely to emphasise the fact that the now were part of a greater on going storyline that began well before and continued well after ‘Mania, although by then HH was a legitimate face. The WWF managed to incorporate an epic match of the ages into an existing storyline. One of the last great storylines I can remember. The match was HUGE, not only because it was part of the storyline but it was also Legend vs. Icon, AND represented the so-called ‘passing of the torch’. There was meaning to the match. There was a reason for the match.

Is there a reason for Rock vs Cena? Does the match really have meaning? I can’t see that it does. The history behind the match is simple. The Rock said he would never leave and he did. He said he was back for good and he wasn’t. Cena took objection to this and wasn’t shy in letting his feelings be known. Rock took exception to this… you get the idea. The match is based on very little, there is no history at all between the two. So far the build-up has been a few in-ring promo’s, a few VT’s (mainly from the Rock) a Rock Bottom at WM28 , and the two of them teaming up for a tag match at SS. And it has taken 7 months to achieve all of this.

And what about the reason for the match? A quick fix for the WWE. You can almost imagine the thought process of the creative team. Who is the most popular superstar right now... John Cena! Who is the most popular form the Attitude Era who is physically capable of a match or two...The Rock! and hey presto, they had a sure fire, quick fix, big name super-match for WM29.

Sadly though this is also a match entirely without meaning. Perhaps you could use the phrase "passing the torch" for a reason for the match. but that is it. There is very little history between the two, there is no storyline, no peripheral involvement form any other superstars, nothing.

The WWE could and should be putting more into this. They need to make the match matter more, to make the match significant for more than having yesterdays and todays No. 1 guys battle it out.

That’s is for Part 1, Part 2 "How to Fix the Problem" will be out soon.

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Updated 11-23-2011 at 11:17 AM by GiantHaystacks

Thoughts and Opinions , User News


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  1. Wrestlinfan608's Avatar
    It's pretty simple to me. The WWE really doesn't care what how good the storyline is. They stand to make a boat load of cash anyway no matter what. Look at all the people who have already bought wrestlemania tickets before even seeing the card or knowing the storylines for it. For some reason, John Cena draws ( I would be embarrassed to be seen his T shirts ) and of course the Rock draws. They don't even have to do anything to draw, that is how far the quality and expectations have fallen in wrestling.

    People can say what they want about TNA, but at least the feuds are built well and they actually attempt to make a solid storyline/feuds

    I still watch RAW for some reason, not really sure why just hopin it will change. By the time Wrestlemania comes around, if its the same, I will not watch it after. That will be it for me
  2. knox's Avatar
    Couldn't agree more bro. There's no real history. Cena made a comment about Rocky back in 05' or 06' and somehow 5 years later a match a year in advance was booked.

    The key element that's killing this angle is the fact that there is little violence and no heel in the equation. Face vs Face feuds have worked in the past for example Batista vs John Cena back in 2008. Also the Undertaker & HBK feud in 2009 & 10'. The reason the Taker & HBK feud worked is because HBK was a tweener.

    In this Rocky vs Cena feud, all we see is very little violence, 2 babyfaces and mainly just a huge feud on twitter between the two. Wrestling has sooo changed for the worst. The gist of their feud is a war of words on twitter.

    Cena needs to go heel to make this work. Face on Face feuds can work if the booking is good but the booking for this one is horrible.
  3. AOF666's Avatar
    Can't really say this is a passing of the torch match. Rock pass the torch when he retired from wrestling. Since Cena became the face, it was passed to him! This is a weak story line and booking the match a year in advance was stupid. It basically made John Cena purpose this year irrelevant. He can't really get into any major story line or feud because the match Rock vs Cena!
  4. jethro's Avatar
    Theres little history between Hogan and The Rock as well if you ask me.And there is 4 month left before WM28,few month of build perhaps after Royal Rumble because right now I think Cena/Rock is cooldown for Miz/Cena I THINK.

    Cena is generation of today while Rocky was attitude era generation,sometimes deep storyline is not needed,both Cena and Rock are huge star and they will have only one single's match against each other,no rematch...everyone want to see it.
  5. TakerManiac's Avatar
    oh for the love of god
    There are more than 4 MONTHS till The Match

    Hogan and Rock build up started Near MARCH !!!

    so just Chill the hell out and save the Complaining tll later

    Sorry xD
  6. GiantHaystacks's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TakerManiac
    oh for the love of god
    There are more than 4 MONTHS till The Match

    Hogan and Rock build up started Near MARCH !!!

    so just Chill the hell out and save the Complaining tll later

    Sorry xD
    No need to apologise, you are entitled to an opinion. But i honestly don't believe there will be a decent storyline leading up to this match. WWE storylines these days are rushed, botched, changed and generally not all that good. Punk walking out - lasted a week or 2. Cena being fired by Barrett - lasted a week or 2. And do you really think Rock will show up every or every other week on Raw? As much as i am a Rock mark we all know it won't happen. They could make a great storyline though out of this, which will be in the second part of my blog shortly.
  7. Bagg's Avatar
    I think a situation with this match too and why it warrants a HUGE buildup is that everyone knows, end of the night at Mania, this will be THE match/moment. And meanwhile guys like Punk and Ziggler and Del Rio and Barrett and Daniel Bryan and Cody Rhodes will ALL be afterthoughts to Cena vs. Rock after theyve worked their asses off all year long. Its like being told a year ahead of time that a year from now you will all be in the exact same place. There will be no Rumble win and Wrestlemania moment for you, well there could be, but if last years any indication, you'll have the first match and lose clean....and a gigantic sum of money you cant have will now go to John Cena and the Rock. SO, if they wanted to do this and make that the focal point of the show an entire year in advance, give us something and something good, not just "im better than you" promos, something to at least make us all point at the screen and say, yes, this is why im a wrestling fan. Cuz otherwise,id rather see one of the above names win the rumble and a title at the end of the night.
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