The Rock is not the same person the WWE Universe once knew.
Ever since the Rock came back to the WWE, there has always been this feeling of nostalgia whenever he takes the ring. When the microphone is in his hands as he stands in front of the millions of his fans, all you can do is think about the Attitude Era. All the catchphrases and witty comments always put that level of comfort in the fans that have witnessed the Attitude Era—but that Rock we once knew is gone.
When he first came back, there was no denying that he was the same person the fans grew to know. However, it now feels as if he can’t shake off all those years as an actor because he lost that sense of genuineness with the fans. Sure the catchphrases are there, but the feeling behind them went missing.
The reason is because the Rock has become too “Hollywood” for fans.
Recently, every promo the Rock has been cutting feels more like something out of a movie scene than a wrestling match. Sure, the “history lessons” were funny, but as you watch it is not hard to see through what the Rock is doing. Instead of being genuine with the fans, he is acting.
The constant jokes the Rock makes toward John Cena hits home, but the way he has been doing it as of late does not. There has been no fierce passion out of the Rock’s voice when he cuts a promo about his feelings and what he will do to Cena. The Rock is the one that is all “jokey-jokey” with the fans, not Cena. The WWE Universe got sick of Cena coming out and making childish jokes about his opponents and now the Rock is guilty of just that. Just because he throws in a curse word here and there does not really change the tone behind his promo.
Has the Rock even laced up the boots to fight anyone other than the tag team match at Survivor Series? No. It is easy to speculate that maybe the Rock just does not want to fight because he does not want to risk injury for WrestleMania or his acting career. Either way, the Rock the fans grew up knowing would never do that.
The Rock would also never fall into the social media hype, but he has been engulfed in it. Half of the three longest promos he has had in the past couple of months have been taking over, by him “trending” frequently on Twitter. Is he doing that to put WWE on the map with Twitter, or is he doing it for himself? In this scenario, it might be the latter.
The WWE already has had plenty of success on Twitter because of their overuse of the social media service, but no one abuses it like the Rock does. Some of the topics he “trends” are just recycled jokes about Cena and his “lady parts”. The fans seemed to be behind it so much more in the past than they are now because it is getting stale.
Even if all this does not bother some of the fanbase, the notes on his wrist must. Really, the Rock had to use “signals” on his wrist to remember his promos? Isn’t the Rock an actor that has to memorize his lines for a two-hour movie? Would it be so difficult to remember a twenty-minute promo that you can improv when you can memorize a longer script that you actually have to stick to? It is because the Rock puts more effort and cares more about his Hollywood career.
Why else would he not properly prepare for the promo? Sure, maybe it was part of the storyline, but according to reports from WrestleZone.com, it definitely wasn’t.
Not only was it not a part of the storyline, but also the Rock did not even know that Cena was going to point that out to the entire world when he did. This may have really bothered Cena to the point where he had to genuinely call the Rock out. Cena comes out every Monday and provides the WWE with a five to 10-minute promo and he never has to write signals on his wrist. Sure, Cena’s promos might be easier to remember than the Rock’s because most of them are usually recycled versions of the previous promo, but it’s not like remembering what topic to “trend” should be difficult to remember for a successful Hollywood actor.
Although it sometimes seems like the Rock is too “Hollywood” for the fans, he comes back and makes the crowd remember the good days. The days where he used to create new jokes about the same people and deliver a “Rock Bottom” to them if they pissed him off. That was the Rock everyone had grown accustomed to, not the “trending worldwide” that has a five-minute clip on Monday Night Raw that showcases his journey with the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth.
The Rock has changed, but you would be truly mistaken if you take the Rock’s change and think it will alter the way he performs at WrestleMania 28. When the lights hit the Rock and the fans cheer him in his hometown, he will forget about Hollywood and be the man that everyone has grown to love.
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