WWSD Blog 2.2: The Rock's Path to Wrestlemania XXIX
by, 04-19-2012 at 09:13 AM (2220 Views)
Last time in the WWSD blog, I looked at John Cena's path from now until the Royal Rumble, looking at how I would send him to Smackdown to "rediscover himself". The importance of this for The Rock/Brock storyline will become apparent in the final blog, but first I will address how the Great One himself, The Rock, will get from here to the Royal Rumble.....
The Rock’s Path
We all know The Rock isn’t going to be around for many appearances between now and Wrestlemania XXIX due to his film commitments. However, I still believe The Rock is one of the most important assets to the WWE, whether he’s competing there every week or not, because of the exposure that he brings to the company . I see him being involved in the “Big 4” in the coming year, and the accompanying build-ups, so here’s how I would include him.
July 16th 2012, the night after the Money in the Bank PPV (or whatever it’s going to be called eventually!!), The Rock’s music hits and out he comes to greet the millions. After the usual introductory shenanigans, The Rock would like to remind us of something. The Rock would like to remind us of a vision he had on April 2nd, when he told the WWE Universe that he would one day be WWE Champion again. Well, one day is today – where better to once again become champion than the “biggest party of the summer”, SummerSlam? The challenge is made; now all we have to do is wait for the response. A few seconds pass of nothing until.....
TIME TO PLAY THE GAME! The crowd explodes, as it is not CM Punk, or even new No. 1 Contender Brock Lesnar who is answering The Rock, but rather a returning HHH, being seen for the first time since his defeat to The Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXVIII. He’s suited, showing that tonight he’s COO HHH, and he makes his way to the ring to greet a rather confused Rocky. There’s small talk between the pair, “welcome back” and the like, but then HHH gets to the point. The Rock says he wants a title match with Lesnar at SummerSlam? As COO of the WWE, HHH says no! It doesn’t matter what The Rock wants, it is not in the interest of the WWE to have its main champion be a movie star who only shows up for the big occasions. If it’s not good for business, it’s not going to happen under HHH’s watch. He leaves The Rock in the ring reeling from the response to end the show.
The next week, HHH comes out to open the show. He meant what he said last week when he said The Rock wouldn’t get a shot at the WWE Title at SummerSlam. The main event will be the champion CM Punk defending against the man who earned his No. 1 Contender status at Money in the Bank, Brock Lesnar. And to show that that won’t change, HHH has arranged for a contract signing later that night between the two, so that the match is set in stone and The Rock can’t get involved.
We get to the end of the show and it’s time to sign the contract. HHH is in the ring (maybe with Big Johnny, maybe not) and he is soon joined by WWE Champion CM Punk and No. 1 Contender Brock Lesnar. The usual contract signing skit plays out – Punk trashing Lesnar over the desk and vice versa – until it comes time to sign. Just before Punk can pick up his pen, The Rock’s music hits and out he comes, focussed on the ring. HHH rolls his eyes; Punk and Lesnar look put out but that doesn’t stop The Rock. He marches into the ring, stares down HHH before quickly turning his attention to Punk with a Rock-Bottom on the champ. Lesnar strides around the table, defiantly challenging The Rock to do that to him. They exchange blows, Lesnar hoists Rocky up for an F-5 but he gets out of it and nails a Rock-Bottom on Brock through the contract signing table. Johnny looks concerned for his health, HHH looks pissed off, The Rock looks determined. He picks up the contract, takes it off the clipboard and tears it up into a million pieces in front of our COO. He shoves the clipboard forcibly into HHH’s chest and exits, leaving chaos and an angry HHH in the ring to close that weeks show.
Another week goes by and once again HHH opens the show to address the events of the week before. What The Rock did was highly unprofessional, and will not be tolerated. That being said, he wants The Rock to come to the ring and explain his actions. Sure enough, The Rock comes out and joins Hunter in the ring. The Rock says that he his actions last week weren’t out of disrespect. He respects the hell out of Punk and Lesnar, but he had to get HHH’s attention because that’s what he does. He grabs the attention of the people, and that’s exactly what a WWE Champion should do. A couple of weeks ago, HHH said it would be bad for business for The Rock to be champion, but The Rock doesn’t believe that. The Rock thinks that HHH is being narrow minded, and he needs to look at the bigger picture. The Rock is hot property in Hollywood. He’s been down the red carpet more times than Good Ol’ JR’s had barbecue sauce on his fries! He’s on talk shows weekly, loved around the world by the millions and millions of fans, not only of the WWE but of film franchises. Now imagine if he was making all of these appearances – premieres, talk shows, award ceremonies – with a shiny WWE Championship belt around his waist? Imagine the exposure, the interest that would generate in the WWE? The ratings would go through the roof. WWE be a mainstay in the mainstream. He may not be able to defend the title every week on Raw, but if he was the champion he’d make damn sure to be at every PPV event to defend his title on a regular basis because that is how committed he is to the fans. Having made his case, The Rock asks HHH for a response, to which HHH merely says “interesting”. He’s intrigued by the prospect, but needs some time to think about it. He promises The Rock that he will have an answer for The Great One by the end of the night, but in the meantime, since he’s here, maybe he’d like to remind HHH and the fans just what he can do in the ring, and indeed make a “good impression”, with a match tonight. Against a pissed off CM Punk. Non-title of course. HHH wishes him luck and leaves us all with a genuinely huge Raw main event.
Main event time, and the match is given enough time to really showcase what these two can do. It’s back and forth action, difficult to separate the two in the early going until The Rock starts to turn the tables. He starts to build momentum, culminating in a spine buster and the set up for a People’s Elbow. He bounces off the ropes, and as he comes back off the other set, he’s cut off by none other than an angry Lesnar! He picks Rocky up and F-5’s him for the DQ (you couldn’t have a match this huge end cleanly on a Monday Night Raw!) and to sell the fact that Brock is pissed off with Rocky for his actions last week. Punk tries to take advantage with a GTS on Lesnar, but he gets out of it and F-5’s Punk for good measure too. Lesnar leaves, and as he does so HHH’s music hits. The Rock stumbles to his feet, obviously smarting from a physical match and Lesnar’s F-5 and listens in to what HHH has to say. HHH has thought it through, and he has come to a decision. He has made the decision that if The Rock wants a WWE Title match, HE’S GOT IT! But...... not at SummerSlam. “If you want a shot at the WWE Title Rocky.....you have to go through me first!!!” The show ends with a rather stunned Rocky, who wasn’t expecting such a challenge from one of his oldest adversaries and the possibility of The Rock vs. HHH at SummerSlam to send everyone home happy.
Of course, the next week The Rock is going to accept this challenge. “If getting that title shot means running through HHH, I’ll gladly accept!” This is essentially all we get this week though, The Rock accepting the challenge, confirming that we will in fact have The Rock vs. HHH one more time at SummerSlam, and telling HHH that he better be ready because The Rock will stop at nothing to hold that WWE Title once again. In the go home show for SummerSlam we have one more face off. Essentially HHH says that he’s ready to make The Rock earn a title match, and that the match makes good business sense (this could be a good gimmick for the “COO HHH” to have in the long run) which draws The Rock out to conclude that “The Rock kicking HHH’s ass all over LA will definitely be good for business!” HHH offers a hand for The Rock to shake, but The Rock instead slaps HHH and leaves quickly, before The Game can really respond, but the look on his face shows that he’s pissed off.
We get to SummerSlam and the match is what you would expect from these two. HHH gets brutal, but The Rock has an answer for it. It is a very back and forth match, with HHH slightly edging it until we get to the closing stages where The Rock starts to come back. He starts hitting HHH with all his signature moves and HHH is reeling. The Rock is feeling the crowd come alive and he sets for the Rock-Bottom, about to earn his WWE Title match when NO! HHH counters out and hits a quick, thunderous Pedigree, rolls The Rock over and gets the 1..2..3! The Rock is dazed on the mat as HHH gets his hand raised in victory. He gets a victory to show he still has an authority about him, it’s shocking as everyone’s expecting The Great One to win, and it asks the question what will happen now? Is that The Rock done with WWE if he’s not got a WWE Title match? A good end to the feud for both men.
The night after SummerSlam HHH comes out and essentially says “I told you so”. He knew that The Rock having a title match was a bad idea, and last night he proved why. The Rock may have beaten Cena at Wrestlemania, but that match was different to being WWE Champion. The Rock doesn’t have it in him to be WWE Champion again, and he proved that last night. This neatly cues The Rock who comes out looking determined. "HHH may have beaten The Rock last night, but rest assured that is not the last you will see of The Rock. He will come back again, stronger and better than before, and he will be the WWE Champion one day, whether HHH likes it or not." He leaves the ring, and once again goes back to the day job.
Now as I said earlier, I think The Rock will only participate in the Big 4 over the next year, so after SummerSlam the next time we’ll see The Rock will be in the build for Survivor Series. Here, I think he should be a surprise team member helping out a friend, and it should in some way, shape or form involve HHH to “pick up where we left off” after SummerSlam, thus giving The Rock his reason to get involved. The very first match that sprung to mind was a tag team match of The Rock teaming up with Mick Foley to take on HHH and.... Shawn Michaels – Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection vs. DX, but then I really think Michaels has to stay retired for a long long time yet (before he has his “one more match”) so he doesn’t tarnish his retirement send off. The thought then crossed my mind that we could replace Michaels with Kevin Nash to have a Rock ‘n’ Sock vs. The Cliq match, and that could actually make a decent storyline...
Mick Foley is still knocking around, and (if the “Twitter War” and dirt sheet hype is to be believed) he is soon to be in a feud with newcomer Darren Ambrose. Naturally Mick is going to lose this feud. It is the only way that Ambrose is going to have momentum coming up onto the roster, and I’m extremely hopeful that this is going to be something special. Let’s suppose therefore that the feud ends sometime between SummerSlam and Survivor Series. After Mick has been beaten so badly, he has a lot of soul searching to do as it is more and more evident that he simply doesn’t have the stamina or the physical skill to keep going in this business, even if mentally he’s not ready to let it go. HHH again comes out and tries to encourage Mick to call it a day. He says that after seeing Ambrose beat the holy hell out of him, he can’t bear to watch a legend like Mick Foley keep being battered around. He can’t handle himself with the young guns in the WWE anymore, and so he needs to retire.
Foley is desperate though, and he says he can still be a part of the WWE. He tries being a manager for some of the new talent, but he makes mistakes that costs them matches to the point where no-one wants to be associated with him. He tries going back on commentary, but he makes a series of errors which makes Booker T sound like JR!! He could even try interviewing people backstage, or offer to help John Laurinaitis with his day to day running of Raw and Smackdown, but again they just laugh at him for not knowing what he’s doing.
Alongside this, we also have the return of Kevin Nash. He comes back after the beating he took from HHH and he says he wants to apologise. He says that he was a fool to turn his back on his best friend, and he promises that it will never happen again. HHH, being a sucker for friends, gives Nash one more chance, but on the proviso that if he turns his back on HHH again, he’s gone for good. Nash is as good as his word, and stays on HHH’s side. He has a few matches, nothing special – the definition of filler matches on Raw, maybe even on Smackdown. He’s mainly seen talking to HHH at any given opportunity (think Otunga to Laurinaitis). He’s not exactly having a good run, but he’s there nonetheless.
This takes us right up to the build for Survivor Series, and on an episode of Raw HHH decides that enough is enough for Mick. He asked Foley to leave of his own accord, but he rejected that, so he has no other option than to force him into “retirement”. Mick comes out and in one last desperate attempt, he asks Hunter what Nash is doing there. Every reason that HHH has for wanting to get rid of Foley applies to Nash, so why doesn’t he fire Nash as well? Nash is just as slow and fragile in the ring as Foley, and the only reason he wins from time to time is because he’s given opponents who aren’t strong enough to body slam him. He’s getting a pay-cheque for sitting in the back hanging out with his buddies and doing nothing else. At least Foley wants to contribute to the company. Surely that’s better for business than a freeloader?! Nash gets offended by this, and says that he can still kick Foley’s ass at which point HHH has to intervene again to diffuse the situation.
Foley says that all he wants is one more match. One more opportunity to show HHH that he still has a use. If he loses the match, that’s it – he will retire and call time on his career. If he wins, the he keeps his job. HHH ponders this for a moment and says that he thinks it a good idea, and since there already seems to be an issue between the pair of them, that one more match will be against Kevin Nash! Oh, and HHH. Hunter and Nash leave the ring smirking, stacking the deck against Foley so that they both get what they want – Foley out of the WWE. Mick just looks despondent – he’s like mutton to the slaughter.
The next couple of Raw’s Foley can’t catch a break against HHH and Nash. Just when it looks like Foley is going to get a win on Raw, Nash distracts the referee so that his opponent can regroup and get the win over him. Mick is giving advice to new talent backstage when Nash comes in and belittles him in front of them, making them think he’s weak. Until one week, Foley has enough and he calls HHH and Nash to the ring. They come out and ask Mick what’s wrong, can’t he handle the pressure any more? Mick doesn’t say any more, he just starts swinging, first at Nash but then when HHH tries to separate them Mick starts teeing off on the Game as well. This leads to a two on one beatdown from Nash and HHH, until from out of nowhere –
IF YA SMELLLLL! Rock’s music hits and out he comes, charging the ring and clearing house, first clearing HHH from the ring then Nash. They head for the hills leaving The Rock and Mick in the ring together. The Rock grabs a microphone and says he's had enough. HHH and Kevin Nash throw their weight around because they think they run the place, but now it’s time for them to put their balls where their mouth is. At Survivor Series, instead of it being a handicap match, we make it a tag team match. And we add another stipulation – at the moment, the rule is if Foley loses he retires. Well how about a little equality in this match? How about if Nash loses, he must retire as well? In a fit of rage, HHH accepts, leaving Nash looking concerned and giving us The Rock’s match for Survivor Series.
At Survivor Series, the match is largely carried by The Rock and HHH, and in the end it’s The Rock and Mick Foley getting the win over HHH and Nash, consigning Nash to the scrap heap once again. This gives The Rock his revenge over HHH for what happened at SummerSlam, it shows that The Rock has been away and honed his skills a bit and it keeps the tension between The Rock and HHH going, which I think is a good, believable storyline given the part-time nature of The Rock’s involvement. Of course HHH would be terrified of having his main attraction, the WWE Title, around the waist of someone who’s hardly ever there, and so of course HHH is going to try and do everything he can to stop that happening. And since HHH is standing in the way of his dream, The Rock is going to make his life incredibly uncomfortable until he finally gets what he wants.
The night after Survivor Series we may get one last confrontation between The Rock and HHH – HHH told him The Rock he needed to be better, so The Rock got better. The Rock says he’ll be back, and he leaves again, taking him off our screens until the Royal Rumble.
So with all the individual paths being highlighted, we now move on to the final chapter – bringing each of them together for the final Road to Wrestlemania!