The Rocks Return - Blessing or Curse?
by, 02-18-2011 at 08:48 PM (11008 Views)
Hi eW community, my names Dom and this is my first stab at a blog. Hoping to be a regular contributor and look forward to hopefully generating good discussions and comments. So where better to start than with what was quite possibly the most exciting return in WWE history earlier this week. Unless you have been living under a rock (pun intended) you will have no doubt seen the 'in ring' return of The Great One, The Peoples Champ, Brahma Bull (he didnt use that one on the show)...The Rock!!!
I have watched the return promo dozens of times now and i still mark out every time. My love for wrestling was born out of the attitude era so for me this was a truly special moment as it would seem it was for many. Interesting to see that in a community that is often split on opinion Rocks return has been universally approved.
Theres no doubt this has been a HUGE piece of business for the WWE. Build up for this Mania has been the slowest ive ever seen - injuries and retirements have seen the WWE without a 5 Star match to be the showpiece of the event. Don't get me wrong I'm looking forward to it as ever but this year has missed that certain spark. Im all for promoting new talent and don't always agree with the comments that the WWE roster is lacking depth of talent (I'll save that for another blog tho). And then all of a sudden they pull The Rock out of the hat and BAM! nearly 2 million extra tune in and Wrestlemania is the talk of the town once again.
There is also no doubt that this was a promo masterclass. It managed to be wonderfully nostalgic without seeming dated in any way, the perfect way to remind the old fans what they had missed and amaze a whole new generation of fans.
So why this blog then, if I loved this return so much how could I possibly question whether this is a blessing or curse to wrestling? As a fan of the WWE and a fan of The Rock its an absolute triumph but I think there are a few caveats that need to be considered.
1) The Cena Situation - Cenas been top dog for what 4-5 years now and rightly so, he a tireless worker, puts in solid performances and generates a heck of a lot of business for the WWE. Yet after Rocks promo I couldn't help but feel that Cena had instantly become decidedly average. Go back and compare Cenas opening promo from Raw this past week to Rocks - not even in the same league. I cannot wait to see how the two of them interact at Mania and no doubt the pics all over the media the following day will be Cena receiving a Rock Bottom but once the dust settles and Rock departs again where will that leave Cena and his fan base? It could weaken him longterm if not booked very well.
2) New Talent - WWE has a ton of fresh new talent who are going to be given an opportunity to show it at Mania. 12 months ago it would have been unthinkable that the two Title main events would feature Del Rio and The Miz!!! But this Mania is now all about The Rock and there is a danger that when the shows over we'll all remember how great Rock was but forget the stellar performance by the likes of Miz, Del Rio, Morrison etc....
3) Competition - Im all for healthy competition in the wrestling biz and when TNA are on their A-Game they provide a fresh alternative to the WWE product but I feel Rocks return has widened the divide between the two companies. WWE works best when they have healthy competition and I cant see how TNA can even consider competing with this. Guess they'll just hope the WWE continues to bury talents such as Swagger and DiBiase so that they can eventually poach them and main event them every week.
So theres just a few thoughts from me. I'm totally over the moon that Rocks back and hope that his involvment and presence has a positive effect on the companys buyrates and viewing and also on the young roster of talent. I just hope its managed and booked with long-term consideration and not as way to sell just one night of wrestling.
Look forward to your comments, opinions, abuse etc.....all are welcome. I can also be found on Twitter @dmayerl