Last night on the first Monday Night Raw of 2013, we see the official start of the building up the main event of the 2013 Royal Rumble. As we all know, CM Punk is putting the WWE Championship on the line against The Rock. The Rock made the announcement of his challenge, to whomever the WWE Champion would be at the Rumble, back in the summer. Rock brought the crowd in Tampa, Florida to their feet as he made his return to the WWE ring to confront Punk. We as fans were hit with the familiar tag lines and one liners that Rock is known for using to break down his opposition. But it is these reasons and others that may be the switch to have the WWE audience once again, turn on The Rock.
This next run that The Rock is going to have, now since the new year started, is set to last a little bit past Wrestlemania. Primarily, you would think this plan of action would be for storyline purposes, where in fact it is a great chance that his return is more geared to the public relations gold mine that he can and will create. Put the pieces together, The Rock’s next film is the springtime Hollywood Blockbuster G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Starring The Rock, Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum. Originally this film was supposed to come out in the summer of 2012, but due to some post film adjustments, the film was pushed back to 2013. How very convenient that the release date for G.I. Joe is March 29th 2013. This turns to be a shining gem to the WWE since Wrestlemania 29 is one week after the premier. This means the media week for the week of the premier, The Rock will be on shows such as Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien, David Letterman and Jimmy Falon. If in fact the WWE is planning on putting the WWE Championship on The Rock, how much of a slam dunk would it be to have the WWE Champion publicizing this hit film coming out? Is The Rock here for “The People” or “Peoples Magazine”?
The reality is, fans are not fools anymore like they once were. The intelligence of the average wrestling fan has elevated considerably. The days of having fans really believe what is happening in the ring is very slim, no matter the age range. Now since wrestling has adapted the realm of sports entertainment, the world of kayfabe is on life support. Fans understand and recognize the entire picture and seeing The Rock show up so conveniently doesn’t smell right. With The Rock’s back and forth with Punk last night, you automatically could sense the difference between his schtick with Punk and his schtick with John Cena. His back and forth with Cena last year came off comical, because Cena is the over the top good guy boy scout that at times gets under fans skin. So when we would see Rock give Cena some heat, fans took pleasure in it. However, Punk is a different animal. Punk is a representation of the general male wrestling audience today. A man who lives by his own rules and walks on the razors edge of life. Punk’s direction take a more serious and no nonsense approach, which has earned the respect of fans across the world, love him or hate him. And since The Rock represents a category of fans that is some what slim, the novelty of this hero from yester-year in our ring once again is fading away rapidly. This is why fans are going to turn on him, because The Rock is no long one of them.
As a fan of both, I am excited to see these two modern day legends in the ring with each other. We know when it comes to what will be done in the squared circle, these two will deliver above and beyond. The matches will be well booked and well executed, giving us an early classic for 2013. But fans are not fools anymore and are able to see beyond the smoke and mirrors. Because if fans know that you are not there for them, then they will not be there for you. Summer Slam 2002 comes to mind, think about it.
Maurice D. Proffit is a writer for Rant Sports