WrestleMania 28: Why John Cena's Verbal Attacks Prove the Rock Is out of Touch
Most of the Rock's fans who are cheering him on now are those that watched him back in the '90s and prove that they have remained as disconnected from the current trend as he has. Neither the Rock nor his team really understands the revolution that is happening in the world or in wrestling right now.
The Rock is a great piece of nostalgia. Every time his music hits and he walks out, fans who hadn't been interested in wrestling since the Attitude Era get excited.
The Rock doesn't disappoint, either. He releases the same TV-14 lines he had in the past with the same charisma that endeared him to fans in the first place.
He is still the electrifying entertainer who can make the same witty comebacks and own the crowd. He just isn't doing it with the younger generation.
CM Punk is an example of what fans want to see now.
And not the reality TV shows that have been shoved down people's throats for the last decade, but actual reality. Emotions that come from disgruntled employees and wrestlers who have had their dreams denied.
John Cena has jumped on board with this change and has ramped it up, insulting the Rock on a personal level and airing very real personal grievances. Jim Ross even mentioned in a personal blog on his website that he felt both men got a little personal.
The Rock responded with a mom joke in his concert on RAW.
That may have been enjoyed by some of the fans who tuned in weekly for the Attitude Era, but they come off as cheap and gaudy now. They are an easy way out of really having to dig deep and come back at an opponent.
The Rock has the upper hand on Cena as he has nostalgia and built in catchphrases that most know. He is also a movie star which has increased his fanbase and made him a larger-than-life character.
But for all of those handicaps, the Rock has lost one thing that made him such a great persona. He has lost credibility and creativity.
He is an icon of a bygone era that had its place and time and now has to face the fact that time has moved on. While a certain portion of the audience will always support him, he isn't a timeless wonder.
He is a relic and the people who still think he isn't are as out of touch as he is.
It would be equivalent to Hulk Hogan coming back today and giving the same "prayers and vitamins" line he did in the '80s. Some fans would cheer him and get excited for Hulkamania, but they would be older fans.
Wrestling keeps evolving. It has to. As new generations come into this world, entertainment has to grow to fit them and their wants and needs. Heroes need to be made and villains need to be created. They also need to fit the mold of what is occurring in real life and pop culture.
The Rock no longer does that. At one point he did, but he doesn't anymore. That is why most of his fans are males over the age of 18. They aren't the fans that matter. They are the fans that remember another era and feel that it is what wrestling should be.
But wrestling needs to evolve and people like CM Punk and Zack Ryder are the wave of the future. They are the people younger fans want to see.
It may be painful to admit that the Rock is past his due date, but that is what happened. He will go to WrestleMania and use his same lines and his cheap jokes that worked in the 90s and his fans will cheer him for it.
Then he will go back to making movies.
And wrestling will be better for it.
Then fans can look forward to the Ryders and the Punks taking over.
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