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WrestleMania 28: The Rock Vs John Cena - How Will It Work?

April 09, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 77

For weeks, the primary storyline leading up to WrestleMania XXVII focused on a man who had essentially cut all ties to his roots and left the wrestling industry - the Rock. Many said he would never wrestle again; the majority of us hoped that we'd be proven wrong and he would. However, when he made his long-awaited return, it was to the tune of being a guest host rather than an in-ring participant. The idea was "better than nothing", but not what we were hoping for.

The build consisted heavily of promos between the Rock and John Cena, whom is regarded as virtually "the next Rock" or at the least, the man who took the reigns the Rock used to hold once Dwayne Johnson left to become an actor. The concept was there before it even began as John Cena had publicly spoken out in criticism of Johnson's departure from World Wrestling Entertainment. Making sure to hold off on the action and let it boil for the audience, the two continued to bash each other through mic-segments, some "live via satellite". This grew frustrating as the people wanted action, and when they finally got it, it came through as a quick altercation on the "go-home" episode of Raw and some outside interference that cost John Cena the win at WrestleMania to end the show. That was it...or so we thought.

The next night rolls around and suddenly we have an agreed upon main event already scheduled for next year's WrestleMania XXVIII - The Rock vs. John Cena. My first thought was "how is this going to work?"

The logistical nightmare of booking something as important as the main event of the biggest pay-per-view of the year so far in advance is mind-boggling. If you weigh the pros, you can see that both the Rock and John Cena are two of the biggest entities in WWE history. They draw money, they considerably helped with this year's spectacle, and they haven't had a match yet. In fact, they're one of the few "big money matches" that have never happened. The Rock coming back and having a match with ANYBODY would be something to pay attention to, but specifically joining up with John Cena is about the biggest potential you could have - similar to how they had previously booked The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan. Giving them a full year to promote this could be extremely advantageous in an entertainment field that relies on marketing. But then there are the cons...

This is an entire year. WWE doesn't exactly have the track record of sticking to long-term plans. They're far better at doing it than TNA, but you still quite often see pushes for wrestlers that burn bright and die fast or feuds that go nowhere. The biggest long-term angle recently was the Nexus which quickly saw the release of one member, the booting of another, two others fall to injuries, and a degeneration into repetitive beat downs that had no plot. We were even told that there was a greater scheme in the works and that we would be told of this eventually. At the time of this article's writing, the Nexus has already broken up its second version and 4 of the original members are now The Corre on Smackdown and doing nothing but the same gang-up attacks that the original Nexus did.

No inclination to the "bigger picture" was ever revealed and there wasn't even a particularly orchestrated climax to any of the feuds. We've got an anonymous Raw general manager that has remained anonymous for so long because they never had an idea in the first place and just happened to have struck gold and are riding it until they can no longer do so. What makes it plausible that this Cena/Rock main event can sustain a year's worth of time? Not only is the ADHD factor in place but there are also other problems. How do you book the build up when we've seen them cut so many promos for this year that it already became repetitive?

If you ignore it until say, Royal Rumble time, how do you transition from total focus to zero focus back to total focus again without it being too jarring? What happens if the somewhat injury prone John Cena falls victim to another necessary surgery? Backup plans must be put in place immediately to cover several different aspects of the show. If the Rock has to bail out, who does Cena face? If Cena can't make it, how do you salvage the Rock? What if both Rock and Cena can't, then what? This brings me to the topic of the Undertaker's undefeated streak, which has become one of the biggest attractions to the pay-per-view's lineage. The only way I can see them having a successful backup plan is to put forth that if the Rock somehow is absent, John Cena faces the Undertaker. If John Cena is out, the Rock more than likely faces the Miz or the Undertaker. If both Cena and Rock can fulfill their obligations, Undertaker has many more options (personally I would hope for Wade Barrett and not a third match against HHH). Having a backup plan is essential for something that has many potential weak structural points, especially since this isn't a smaller event like Over the Limit that can be slightly overlooked.

When it's all said and done, will the Rock versus John Cena meet expectations and hopes, going down as one of the biggest, most profitable, and most enjoyable main events of WrestleMania history, or will we be looking at a whole new set of cards in 12 months?

Anthony Mango owns and operates Smark Out Moment ( ), a professional wrestling news and review website specializing on the opinions from a fan's perspective. You can follow him on Facebook at and on Twitter @ toekneemango as well as others.

Source: EzineArticles
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