The Rock and John Cena was billed as ‘As soon as in a Lifetime’ at WrestleMania 28. The one drawback was, it wasn’t. The enduring pair would meet on the very subsequent WrestleMania in a rematch.
When you think about WrestleMania 28 garnered 1,217,000 buys, making it essentially the most bought wrestling occasion in historical past, with international product sales in extra of $67 million, along with the occasion setting a brand new report for the very best grossing stay occasion in WWE historical past, grossing $8.9 million, it turns into much less stunning they wished to do it once more.
And though the 2 males respect one another at the moment, through the rivalry issues acquired heated. The unique plan was for John Cena to go over, however on the weekend of WrestleMania, Vince McMahon had a change of coronary heart.
So what was the catalyst for the primary assembly? The Rock had departed WWE for Hollywood in earnest round 2003 after a pair years of dipping out and in. He was actually gone after WrestleManai 20 in 2004 and wouldn’t be seen once more till 2011 on WWE TV.
In fact, he was changing into an enormous star in Hollywood throughout that point away. In 2002, a younger rookie named John Cena made his debut. By 2005, he had received his first of now 16 world championships.
Cena basically changed The Rock, to a level, as WWE’s lead babyface and a easy remark in an interview acquired The Nice One to considering.
“I had left and he had executed a sequence of interviews, radio interviews and I simply felt — somebody reference me and mentioned, ‘Hey, is The Rock coming again?’ and he mentioned, ‘I’m not fairly too certain.’
“I Simply didn’t like how he mentioned it and it caught with me. Years later once I went again I talked to [chairman] Vince McMahon and we thought what if we really took that and created this type of factor. It’s excellent.”
Cena had by no means been shy about sharing his dislike for part-time performers. As one of many hardest working WWE abilities ever, he felt he had each proper to face his floor.
“That is my tackle The Rock, and he’s genuinely good man,” Cena mentioned in 2010 earlier than their feud. “I’ve met him, and he’s a implausible human being.
“What I kinda get peeved about is, and I suppose that is my flaw as a result of I hear it on a regular basis with younger expertise, mid card expertise, with folks aspiring to make it on this enterprise, I hear ‘I’ve wished to do that my entire life.’ Rock falls into that class. At one level he beloved wrestling, and wished to do that his entire life.
“Then clarify to me why he can’t come again for an anniversary present, why he can’t make an look at WrestleMania. Merely put, it’s as a result of he needs to be an actor, and there’s nothing flawed with that.
“He’s an excellent actor, he’s very profitable, he’s executed very properly for himself, and associating with sports activities leisure doesn’t do a lot for his appearing profession, so I get why he doesn’t come again.
“Simply, don’t f*** me round and inform me that you just love [wrestling] once you’re simply doing it to do one thing else.”
The irony now, in fact, is that Cena has executed precisely the identical factor and is now carving out a life in Hollywood. Humorous how issues change!
However, again to 2011. Rock got here again to host WrestleMania the place Cena headlined in opposition to then-WWE champion The Miz. He would finally price Cena and the following evening on RAW, the pair arrange a match for the following WrestleMania a yr prematurely for the primary time ever.
In the course of the construct to the match, the pair had a promo battle in the course of the ring on RAW and Cena really known as The Rock out – one of many biggest talkers within the historical past of the enterprise – for having notes on his arm to assist bear in mind his promo.
The Rock was immediately and visibly livid. From there, studies recommend backstage The Brahma Bull was able to kill Cena backstage after the section and The Rock admits they almost got here to blows.
“He’s an excellent man. He’s top-of-the-line guys on the market, however right here’s what we realised: If we wished to construct the 2 greatest matchups back-to-back and create one thing particular in Miami and in New York, we’re going to do it this manner.
“And we would fail miserably at it. Individuals may assume it’s not actual otherwise you run into the problem of the potential for folks to go, ‘It’s so actual that it’s not actual.’ However on this case it labored out very properly and thru all that edge and perspective and chew that we had and almost coming to blows backstage and one evening within the ring.
Actually, we have been nose-to-nose, it was any second. And thru that in a loopy, bizarre, fully unexplained approach, we grew to become nice buds.”
Most studies have claimed that what Cena mentioned was unscripted and almost each indicator would help that.
The Wresting Observer reported that the time: “The verbal battle between The Rock and John Cena on Monday’s RAW Supershow from Portland was designed for Cena to get the upper-hand this time round.
“WWE officers are decided to get a 50/50 response for each males at WrestleMania 28 in Miami.”
Experiences recommend Cena was meant to win at WrestleMania 28, however the weekend of the present these plans modified. Given the very fact the present was in Miami, which is The Rock’s residence city, it’s been speculated that performed a job in having The Rock win and it gave WWE the flexibility to inform an extended story.
Very like at WrestleMania 18 with Rock and Hulk Hogan, the present star, the full-time man is the one which has to finish up with the victory. However, Rock did win and proclaimed on RAW the very subsequent evening that he can be WWE champion as soon as once more to safe his tenth reign.
“I believe Cena had a bit of little bit of an issue doing the job as a result of right here’s Cena carrying the torch for the final 10 years at the moment,” mentioned WM28 referee Mike Chioda.
“He was busting his a-s, day in and time out. Right here comes the Rock again after so a few years of being in Hollywood and he’s acquired to job out to the Rock?”
Chioda continued, “There was a bit of warmth there. I believe there was a bit of dissension, however, you need to go the place the cash goes. So, they put Rock over and I used to be glad about that. I felt unhealthy for John in a approach.”
Rock would win the WWE title on the Royal Rumble from the long-reining CM Punk the next yr. On the similar occasion, Cena would win the titular occasion to punch his ticket to the principle occasion of WrestleMania 29. Rock v Cena II was on, however this time for the title.
Principally due to an harm to The Rock within the match, the second outing wasn’t nearly as good as the primary. The finisher-fest ended with Cena getting the victory and Rock elevating his hand on the stage for the true put-over.
Some could argue that it was extra important for Cena to get the win this manner, however many really feel for CM Punk in that equation too. Perhaps it ought to have been a triple-threat.
It did work out for Punk that yr, to be truthful. He acquired to offer The Undertaker one of many final nice matches of his WrestleMania streak.
As nice as The Rock is, and he’s, it appears Cena’s huge win was extra about The Rock than Cena. The eventual win was a byproduct of Rock getting his second in Miami and one other title run. Did it imply extra for Cena when he did lastly win? That’s debatable.
An emphatic first victory would have executed simply as a lot, one might argue. Maybe the strongest motivator to do it once more although was the unimaginable cash made the primary time round.
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