Like most of you, I anxiously anticipated the return of The Rock this past Monday. While the promo delivered several classic Rock catchphrases, it lacked the usual punch of a typical Rock promo. Those sentiments gained more steam when John Cena came to the ring, had a few choice words for the Rock and then returned to the back.
For those of us watching at home and in the audience, The Rock seemed caught off guard and struggled to get through the remainder of his promo, which seemed quite rushed.
Ah, the wonders of a well-executed work.
There has been quite the debate and controversy over what transpired between The Rock and Cena on Monday night, with Cena’s comments about The Rock’s handwritten wrist notes receiving the most attention.
Somewhere, Vince McMahon is smiling.
Although I do not necessarily agree with McMahon’s strategy to make John Cena appear as The Rock’s equal in these verbal spats, there is no denying they are starting to work.
Cena delivered one of the better promos of his career last week when he ripped into The Rock.
The momentum continued when Cena confronted The Rock this past Monday, and clearly made his intentions known in a well-executed three-minute speech.
What has the IWC in a tizzy was Cena pointing out that Rock had scribbled some notes on his wrist during his promo.
Now let’s be clear about something—while it does appear there is some genuine animosity between the two stars, Cena’s promo was without a doubt, a work.
For starters, the Rock has been in the business for a long time, and during the course of his career he has never needed notes in the past. Even since he returned last year, there has never been any sign of him scribbling notes before. He cut a 20-minute promo last year pretty effortlessly.
Secondly, in the age of HD TVs and various camera angles, one would think that even if The Rock was going to actually use notes, he would be much more discrete then simply wearing a cutoff T-shirt.
Although The Rock has been away from the ring for several years, he has been in the spotlight in various big-budget movies. One would think the Rock would be able to remember his lines for a simple wrestling promo.
Lastly, and most importantly, do you really think The Rock would allow himself to come back just so he could be embarrassed on television? What would that incentive be? It would be damaging to The Rock’s legacy if he came back legitimately as an unprepared actor.
Which ironically, is the beauty of this whole incident.
Both stars played their roles perfectly, and The Rock is certainly doing Cena a solid by acting more like Dwayne Johnson than The Rock.
Rock was busy pandering to the crowd and coming up with random catchphrases to trend on Twitter, which is essentially the same promo he’s been cutting for the last year. Meanwhile, Cena was focused and got to the meat and potatoes about why this match means so much to him.
After he left a visibly shaken Rock in the ring, there was no doubt that Cena had “won” the battle.
The not so dirty secret is that the WWE brass is terrified that Cena would be booed out of Miami on April 1, so for them it makes sense to make their poster boy as strong as possible.
How The Rock responds on Monday will be a very telling sign for where this feud is heading, and that uncertainty and excitement should lead to a very exciting and unpredictable Road to WrestleMania.