WrestleMania 28: How The Rock vs. John Cena Compares to The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan

Chris SchadContributor IIIMarch 30, 2012

At WrestleMania 28, WWE will unleash one of the most anticipated main events in the history of WrestleMania when Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson faces John Cena.

The match, which was announced the day after WrestleMania 27, will pit two men who have each had their time as the marquee name of WWE against each other.

Johnson was one of the main faces of the Attitude Era.

Each and every week, "The Rock" would captivate fans and have them eating out of his hand whenever a microphone was near.

"The Rock" was almost always in an entertaining storyline, especially if he was chasing the WWE Championship.

Going by the mantra of "The People's Champion," The Rock became one of the most beloved wrestlers in WWE history, until he left for seven years to pursue a Hollywood career.

Johnson's departure opened the door for Cena to take the reigns, and he took off like he had a cattle prod in his back pocket.

Cena would quickly become one of WWE's top superstars and would eventually become the new face of the company.

So, as these two men prepare to face off in what could be one of the best matches in the history of WrestleMania, there seems to be a parallel to another match which took place eleven years ago.

At WrestleMania 18, The Rock took on Hollywood Hulk Hogan in a match that was billed as "Icon vs. Icon."

Hollywood Hogan and The Rock had a match that could be similar to WrestleMania 28's main event.
Hollywood Hogan and The Rock had a match that could be similar to WrestleMania 28's main event.

While there is the obvious connection that Sunday's main event will be "Icon vs. Icon" once again, there seems to be deeper connections between the two.

While neither wrestler seems to be the face or the heel, the argument can be made that it will be Cena occupying most of the boos when the two step into the ring Sunday night.

Around the time of WrestleMania 18, fans were beginning to become sick of The Rock.

It seemed like nobody could beat The Rock cleanly, and for the teenagers who had their first taste of professional wrestling during the attitude era, The Rock was still the king of the world.

For the people who had grown up watching Hogan, The Rock was the invisible superstar who could never lose a match cleanly.

The result of this was (as The Rock would put it in one of his best promos ever) "68,000 Mother Canuckers booing The Rock out of the building."

Flash forward eleven years and while neither man is playing the heel role officially, it should be assumed that Cena is the one the WWE wants to play the face.

Cena has been pushed relentlessly since The Rock's last WrestleMania match at Wrestlemania 20.

Cena won his first WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21, and would win the belt nine more times to become a ten-time WWE Champion (and two-time World Heavyweight Champion).

For a while, fans enjoyed the ride while Cena pumped freestyle rapping promos out on his opponents, but soon Cena became Super Cena.

Cena could not lose a match without ten people getting involved and the opponent using some sort of weapon.

Cena, like The Rock back in the Attitude Era, had been rammed down the people's throat. As a result, the people turned on the people's champion once again.

So that brings up the next point. In the Rock vs. Hogan match, The Rock emerged victorious and, after a post-match handshake, the torch had been passed from a superstar of the past to a superstar of the future.

This is why I believe Cena will win this match.

I think the WWE wants to get more people on the side of Cena and have him become the new face of the company for multiple eras. What better way to do that then by having the torch bearer pass the torch to the new face of the organization?

That's where things get sticky.

Is it possible that Cena has been rammed down fans throats so much that a passing of the torch wouldn't work?

It will remain to be seen if this is what WWE has in store for this match, but if the similarities are a preview to what we'll see Sunday, it should be worth the price of admission.