As the day comes to an end, so does the 2013 WWE Royal Rumble. Tonight, we as members of the WWE Universe, have witnessed history to watch The Rock capture the WWE Championship, after being away from the WWE ring for over 10 years. The Rock has shown that he is one of Hollywood’s most dominant action heroes and tonight The Rock proves once again that he is the most dominant wrestler on the planet, by defeating the best in the world.
However, one has to ask, will this championship run of The Rock be received well by the fans? The majority of the fans will be receptive to The Rock being the new WWE Champion since he is the legitimate face of the WWE. However, there will be a sector of fans that will emphatically disagree with this route they are taking, since CM Punk had one of the most impressive title runs in the last 15 years. This was the problem with The Rock winning the title tonight. CM Punk’s reign as champion was something that has not been seen in the WWE in over 20 years. In a day and age where playing “title hot potato” is the norm, holding the highest championship in the land for over 400 days is an honor that should not be taken away from a wrestler that will be around part time.
I do understand why the WWE wants to make sure the championship is on The Rock. When we are on the road to Wrestlemania, the media and press for the event (that will be taking place in New York) will be at heights that have never been reached before. And yes, you want The Rock to be the championship representative of your company in front of the media. In addition it does not hurt that his new spring block buster G.I. Joe Retaliation is coming out a week before Wrestlemania. So yes, you want the WWE Champion and Hollywood’s biggest ticket name to be that same person, if you come across that rare opportunity. But as a fan of the overall sport of professional wrestling, it’s a hard pill to swallow when I have to accept that the possibility of elongating the title reign of the WWE champion for the sake of potentially making history, has to be railroaded by Hollywood protocol and procedure. In a small way, I feel the last 400 plus days has been for nothing. This is not a dig on The Rock, because I am a fan of his, but this is just poor planning in the name of professional wrestling.
Was there not any other way to satisfy both sides? Was there not a way to uphold The Rock’s in ring credibility in front of the media circus to come, while still having the WWE Championship around the waist of CM Punk? Was the creative aspect of making this a reality just that much out of reach that it would be better to go with the safest and yet most obvious direction? WWE, who is Wrestlemania for? The fans who have dedicated their blood, sweat, tears and honor to continue to uphold and support your product? Or for the Hollywood media covering the event since Wrestlemania and the WWE Champion will be the flavor of the week come April? I’m sorry, but there is such an imbalance of priorities here, that maybe I do need to come to grips that “pro wrestling” is no more and Sports Entertainment is what it is all about now.
Congratulations to The Rock for winning the WWE Championship, enjoy the WWE camera time between now and April. The title will still be defended while you’re on set of your next film.
Maurice D. Proffit is a Writer For Rant Sports.