I’m a long time reader of your work, and, like you, I was thinking John Cena would likely pin the Rock at Wrestlemania, either cleanly or by shenanigans. And (possibly like you) I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong about that. But a lot of people posting online seem to think it was absurd for Rock to beat Cena due to the fact that Cena wrestles full-time while Rock is basically a “guest star.” My take: Rock is a part-time wrestler, but a full-time entertainer. From Vince McMahon’s pov, the WWE is not just a wrestling company, but a global entertainment company involved in wrestling, movies, reality shows, etc. To Vince, that probably makes a guy like The Rock a much more valuable entity than Cena. Rock is successful both inside and outside of wrestling, while Cena is only really valuable within the wrestling circle. From that standpoint, I can totally see why putting Rock over Cena makes perfect business sense. But what do you think? Should Rock have “passed the torch” to Cena to make him a bigger wrestling star, or does it make better sense to have Rock win and preserve his drawing power as an overall entertainment star?
John Cena has been on the top of the promotion for SEVEN YEARS STRAIGHT. He doesn’t need to have the torch passed to him. John Cena has already done everything one human being can possibly do in professional wrestling, and the result of the Rock match did not make him a bigger or lesser star one iota either way. John Cena was already so far above everyone else on the roster that they had to bring BROCK LESNAR out of his cave in Minnesota in order to give him a challenge. And another topic relating to this:
The biggest problem about Cena losing to The Rock this time is because- like Hogan/Andre and Rock/Hogan, Cena/Rock isn’t really ABOUT John Cena or The Rock- it’s about “the current era” vs. “the past era.” During the buildup, the things Rock said about “Cena” himself were noise. The real thing Rock was saying that worked the most was “If you’re a Cena fan, you’re a little kid or a 42-year-old virgin in your mother’s basement.” THIS is where the issue comes in for why Cena should have won- the message is, and always was more than “John Cena hates The Rock, The Rock hates John Cena”- it was “Only losers still watch WWE today. If you were COOL, you’d only watch old tapes from the Attitude Era.”
THIS is the reason Rock/Cena’s result failed- it’s the same thing that made WCW fall apart. The nWo took so much power, and said “WCW sucks, if you watch WCW, you’re lame” for long enough that eventually, the fans caught on and took the message. And now, with Cena losing to Rock, the message becomes “WWE sucks, if you watch us, you’re lame”- only worse because a part-time wrestler is the one saying it, so you can’t even watch Raw or Smackdown to see The Rock do his thing if you believe it. And even if Cena wins a subsequent match at Summerslam or next year at Wrestlemania 29, the damage would still be done- compare it to this year’s Super Bowl. In 2008, the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots, and in the process stopped them from having an undefeated record. The same teams played in 2012- but everyone knew, even if the Patriots were to have defeated the Giants- it wouldn’t be anywhere near as important as the year that they had lost.
Yeah, but Rock was part of the show for weeks leading up to Wrestlemania. Was Vince McMahon stealing valuable spots from people on previous Wrestlemanias just because he only worked one match a year, too? And the current era sucks, that’s why WWE themselves is constantly doing their navel-gazing fond looks back at the Attitude Era and signing former guys. Because that was the last generation of stars who knew how to DRAW MONEY. Maybe if Vince would let anyone else but Cena or Orton actually get over, he’s find someone else to carry that mythical torch. And WCW did suck, and it was lame. I don’t see the issue.