The Problem with The Rock v Cena
by, 11-23-2011 at 09:09 AM (6117 Views)
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.