This Sunday in Miami figures to be one of, if not the biggest Wrestlemanias ever. The Rock and John Cena will clash in a battle of the titans, where the winner will solidify their spot near the top of the all-time WWE mountain.
The Rock will be making his first Wrestlemania appearance since Wrestlemania XX, when he tagged with Mick Foley to take on Evolution in a handicap match. While John Cena, will be wrestling in his 9th straight Mania, which started with his US Title victory over Big Show, also at Wrestlemania XX.
The two mega stars have had completely different paths to Wrestlemania 28. Cena has been with the company every single step of the way, traveling well over 300 days a year, around the globe in support of his company. The Rock slowly climbed his way to movie star status in Hollywood over the last 8 years, gaining enough success to finally want to come back “home” to the WWE.
Cena resents the Rock for staying away for so long, but I don’t fault him. The Rock had accomplished about everything one guy could in his first stint with the company, and had personal goals in Hollywood. It took until Fast Five, before I actually considered the Rock to be a “star,” because all of his prior movies were average at best. I mean the guy was a Tooth Fairy for crying out loud. Regardless, Rock seemed to be truly ready to come back when he did last March.
Fast forward one year to March 2012. The Rock showed up every single week to Raw and entertained the people. I figured there would be no way he’d be there every week, but he did it. Now just because he was there every week, doesn’t mean he was automatically the Rock of old.
I felt that overall John Cena won the promo battles leading up to Wrestlemania. The Rock seemed a little rusty at times, and on a few occasions, seemed legitimately shaken in the heat of the promos.
John Cena won these weekly promo battles with the Rock, because he’s been doing it for the last 10 years straight, and has become great at what he does. The Rock is probably the best on the mic ever, but to take nearly 8 full years off, and come back to try and out do WWE’s new top guy? It just wasn’t going to happen. Especially with Cena’s extra personal motivation to out duel the Rock.
The bottom line with Sunday’s main event is that the Rock needs to put John Cena over. It’s the right thing to do for business. What message does it send to the other wrestlers and the fans if the Rock can take 8 years off, and then regain his spot on top of the mountain by beating the No. 1 guy? It would be a huge slap in the face to everyone, especially John Cena.
People are going to compare this to Rock/Hogan at Wrestlemania X8, as they should. They did the right thing to have Hogan put Rock over, and the same logic should apply Sunday in Miami. Cena has earned this victory, and his moment and the end of Wrestlemania with his hands raised high.
Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter @the_realfish