John Cena vs. The Rock is one of the most heavily debated and speculated WrestleMania matches in recent memory, but one result is better than the rest.
Who will be the ultimate victor?
Can it end cleanly?
How damaging will a loss be for either competitor?
There’s a lot on the line for the “Once in a Lifetime” bout.
The Rock represents the “People’s Champion” of yesterday, while John Cena is the younger generation's hero today.
Much like a Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather fight, there is no way to determine who the best of the best is other than to have them meet in the ring.
Just like the hypothetical boxing match, it’ll crown one contender as the greatest of all time, while disappointing millions of fans from the loser's camp.
So which finish is the best and which would surely stink?
Here’s the ranking of all the possible outcomes from worst to most satisfying.
It would be the biggest waste of $55 and four hours to get to the main event only to have it end in a count out or a disqualification.
The WWE wouldn’t do this to fans, would they?
I doubt it.
It would bypass having to provide an answer and creating a true loser.
But the backlash would be overwhelming.
If the Rock wins by use of dirty tactics, this match is still a waste.
There would be no point to have the Rock return after such a long hiatus. Besides, we've already seen a Rock heel turn at WrestleMania.
Why even bother hyping it as “once in a lifetime?”
The biggest losers if the main event culminates in this fashion are CM Punk, Chris Jericho, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, Triple H and the Undertaker.
Each of those guys equally deserve to headline the show. In two of three of the matches involving these superstars, heavyweight titles are on the line.
All it takes is one chair over John Cena’s head to ruin this bout.
The feature focus has to end clean.
If John Cena hits the Rock with a foreign object to win, Cena haters get exactly what they’ve been dying to see for months, if not years—a heel turn.
The problem is Cena doesn’t want to turn heel.
Fair enough, but it would be an interesting swing of events.
The world has never seen Cena as a bad guy, so the change would be fresh.
Yet, like the last slide, to end the WrestleMania main event in this fashion is unfair to the other wrestlers who have titles or are vying for one.
A John Cena heel turn, absolutely.
Defeating the Rock by cheating, sure.
Doing all of the above in the main event of WrestleMania with no belt on the line? Unfair.
John Cena hits the Rock with the STFU and covers him for the win.
Cenation goes wild but there’s an equal chorus of boos.
Fantastic. Now what?
The Rock has been out of the WWE for eight years and he came back to put Cena over?
I guess that makes some sense.
But like the two slides prior, was there really a point in stealing the headline at the marquee event from other more deserving guys?
It’s not like there isn’t anyone in the locker room that Cena couldn’t effectively feud with.
He isn’t so far at the top of the WWE pyramid that he’s untouchable, yet.
If this occurs, there would have been no point in bringing the Rock back to put Cena further over.
Great, so he’s the best in the WWE and he’s better than the legends of the past.
That will only push the fans on the fence all the way toward embracing the Cena hate.
The Rock Bottom. The People’s Elbow.
Having the Rock win does several things for both superstars.
Sure, John Cena’s credit takes a bit of a hit.
But it also proves he’s human. He can be beat.
A loss would keep his haters strong and his followers dying to see how he responds to the fall.
It’s exactly the kind of thing the WWE needs.
Moreover, it sets up a possible rematch. One Cena could win WrestleMania 29, for example, and no one would think twice or debate it.
It’s going to be a hard pill to swallow for Cena fans. But this scenario proves wisest for long-term storylines and satisfaction to the majority.