WWE: From The Rock to Brock, John Cena and the Empire Era Begins
The storyline of John Cena vs. The Rock that culminated at WrestleMania was a year in the making. In the 28 years that WrestleMania has been running, never before has the WWE seen something like that.
Feuds in the WWE start with a basic match or some sort of conflict. When they make it to a pay-per-view, the feud sometimes has fuel added to it, or it's settled and a new direction is taken for each superstar.
The feuds need that back-and-forth to keep the audience interested, but they need to bring something new to the story to keep the fans wanting to watch. When John Cena feuded with the Nexus for a year, they fought constantly, tried to change it up, twist it around but it got old and stale.
The Rock and Cena were able to carry a story for a year, barely fight and still keep the WWE Universe vested into the match.
The reason that feud worked and people cared when that match hit was not just because it was the return of The Rock. It's more than the fact that it was two icons of the eras doing battle in what could be thought of as a dream match.
It was the work on the mic, it was the passion, it was the build up and the energy that complemented The Rock's electricity. If this was The Rock versus anyone else, it would not have had the build up. Cena, by being Cena, made the feud and match what it was.
The Rock at WrestleMania had some issues. He took a bad hip toss, landing on his head in an awkward way which led to a really long headlock.
John Cena is not a wrestling tactician, but he carried that match, because he was able to tell a story. The Rock isn't a technical wrestler either. Like John, he's good at telling a story in the ring, and the two of them together told a great story, but Cena had to help The Rock a lot in order to get that ring rust off him.
Now we have Brock Lesnar returning after his run in the UFC. While Brock is a former WWE Champion, he was actually in the UFC longer than he was in the WWE. His time in the WWE had him feuding with the likes of Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, The Big Show and Kurt Angle.
While Lesnar was able to face those greats and legends in his time in the WWE, it was short and filled with issues. His mic skills weren't very good at all, and the WWE compensated by having Paul Heyman be his voice.
Now apparently, Brock has a voice, and the voice is a condescending arrogant fool. He stated in his interview that if he had never left, John Cena would be carrying his bags into the arena. Lesnar left the WWE in 2004. His last WrestleMania was WrestleMania 20 where he lost to Goldberg, and at the previous Mania, he won against Kurt Angle despite the fact that he landed on his skull after attempting a shooting star press.
In the weeks since Lesnar has returned, what have we seen from him? No matches, trash talk, bullying, cheap shots, and he bloodied up John Cena. The WWE seems to be going against their Be A Star anti-bullying program in new ways each month.
John Laurenitis has said that this is people power, and he's making Lesnar the new face of the WWE. While some of the WWE Universe is constantly clamoring for the next attitude, they may be getting exactly what they've been cheering for.
We will be living in a WWE universe where the bad guy is cheered, the good guy is booed and apparently bad will conquer right. This is something I'm calling the Empire era. The bad guys are in power, and all seems to be going in their favor. Who knows, by the end of the month, John Cena may end up sealed in carbonite.
This era, however, won't last, the WWE needs this to build up the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, and if we had a bunch of nice guys attacking one another with mutual respect, how extreme would things get.
Following Extreme Rules, we'll have Over the Limit and No Way Out, three high-impact pay-per-views back-to-back. This will work for the current angry Empire WWE Universe; they'll get to cheer as the hero John Cena takes beating after beating.
A true 12 labors of Hercules as Cena battles on and takes on any challenge that's put in front of him. In the end, the Empire will fall, and all will be set back right in the Universe. Brock Lesnar will leave again, his legacy barely altered, all that will be written in the books is that he proved to carry on to be his biggest fan and believe his hype more than anyone.
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