The record-shattering, iconic, milestone 1000th episode of RAW promises three hours of good television, and it can do so confidently because WWE has actually toiled for a good while for this moment.
Guys like HHH, Lesnar and Heyman will all be there for a reason and not just for strutting out to their entrance themes for decent pops and hitting their signatures on Heath Slater (always a good thing).
The Rock however, has no reason to return…apart from promoting his stuff, of course.
As long as there’s less grinning and even less Twitter references, we’ll get around 15 minutes of entertainment, but seeing that they’ve hyped his appearance, he has a bigger job than say Stone Cold, who might come just to stun Michael Cole (again, always a good thing).
So, what can Rock do once he’s done with all the catchphrases?
1) Triple Threat For WWE Title – CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. The Rock
While some people might believe not advertising any Rock match is insanity, I differ from these people on just this occasion.
This is #RAW1000 – a show that’s received enough hype and advertisement to make sure a lot more people than the casual viewers make an effort to watch it. They’ve already guaranteed the spike in viewership by enticing those on-off fans to watch this one, and incidentally, they would be the same people to tune in had a Rock match been announced.
Suffice to say, it won’t affect much, and if Rock comes in the beginning of the show to include himself in the main event, that would just help spike ratings for the main event even more.
Rock promised to chase and win the WWE Title, and coming from someone who defeated John Cena cleanly, it can be interpreted as a guaranteed divine occurrence. It will happen, but not now.
That doesn’t mean The Rock can’t try to win it at any given opportunity. The good thing about Triple Threats is that you’ve got to be at Khali’s level to come out weak after the match, or be booked like someone of his calibre.
How is The Rock going to be involved at RAW 1000?
It’s easy to maintain Rock’s prestige and momentum while making him lose in a triple threat, and because he’s The Rock, by the time he returns in February 2013, the adulation will be back to the level it was at before he even completes saying “Finally.”
Regardless of the outcome, this is one way of giving RAW 1000 a solid main event. Part of the reason CM Punk vs. John Cena gained notoriety last year was for the storyline. This year’s match has none of it (yet) and any stipulations are welcome.
2) Special Guest Referee
This is a more probable, less desired outcome and it wouldn’t match the excitement of the first hypothetical option, unless there is a lot of “IT DOESN'T MATTER IF THE ROCK COUNTS TO THREE.”
Special Guest Referees are usually completely lost in big matches, and WWE is afraid to divulge characteristics of this stipulation in order to preserve the guest referee’s integrity. At times, it works, and at times it feels really pointless (Laurinaitis in Punk vs. Ziggler at the Royal Rumble, for one).
The Punk-Cena feud of 2011 included Rock, for some reason, right from the first pipebomb at Raw Roulette. His commitment to Hollywood over WWE and his Vince McMahon ass-kissing was rather nastily interjected at sporadic intervals.
Rock has reasons to dislike, and maybe even hate, both John Cena and CM Punk, and that instantly makes a compelling guest referee.
He might count it right down the middle, or he might just Rock Bottom Cena, which could result in the SummerSlam rematch with Punk still the champion and everyone goes home happy.
Either way, for The Rock to be involved in any part of the main event can be seen as a plus point for many, and as a negative from those who don’t wish to intrude upon the sanctity of a Cena-Punk feud.
You will get what you want after RAW 1000 anyway, so there’s no harm in adding boosters. Much like how Punk-Bryan will definitely meet again at some WrestleMania, so this time their feud had AJ as the central character and no reference to their wonderful history.
Of course, Rock could also grin and trend things worldwide and promote WrestleMania 29 and remove his shades and speak seriously as his super serious genuinely loving alter ego Dwayne Johnson and just leave, but let’s be optimistic for a change.
Thanks for the read, all.
Shalaj Lawania is now virtually old enough on the Internet for you to recognize him, but still miraculously n00by enough for you to keep being mean to him (at least there's some progress, however minimal). He is also a contributor for WrestleEnigma.com, so do check it out if you love him and his works and are very sweet. For more love, you can follow him on Twitter if you have a good annoying tweets threshold. For the rest, use Wikipedia.