Know that I type this while cowering behind my World's Strongest Shield, completely aware of the drastic implications and possible Internet murder of anyone choosing to defame the noble, holy Dwayne Johnson.
But I choose to, and centuries later you may remember me for the valiant martyr I was and hang my portrait next to Damien Sandow's.
The Rock was arguably one of the best superstars WWE boasted of in the Attitude Era—second only to Stone Cold Steve Austin. He single handedly gave the WWE Universe entertainment no one else could satisfactorily provide, and hr created a powerful egoistic, catchphrase-loving character.
The Rock was great for wrestling.
Dwayne Johnson, having accomplished everything in the wrestling ring, then chose to pursue a career in Hollywood, and he had the full right to. He then returned to WWE after seven years as a legend, again something he had the full right to. But then he started defeating the top guys and thrusting himself into championship matches—something he shouldn't, but still does have the right to.
I know quite well that fans are supposed to have goldfish memory—we are supposed to forget that Vickie Guerrero has zealously challenged Brodus Clay to her thumb dance once before too without a Damien Sandow interruption.
We are supposed to forget but we don't.
In the same vein, you can't make us forget that Rock left for seven years, and while I'm not criticizing the reasons why, simple logic states that this long period is enough for anyone's skills to degrade. For an ex-wrestler who hasn't wrestled for seven years, how easy was it for him to walk back into the company and defeat the top guy (supposedly)—one who never loses and is portrayed as Ryback's mentor?
What does it speak of your company if wrestlers who wrestle weekly are squashed by ones who don't wrestle for seven years? It speaks volumes of the quality of wrestling you harbor, which shouldn't be doubted.
The Rock has vowed to win the WWE Title and make an appearance for Royal Rumble, and simple comprehensive ability of WWE storylines presents the worrying possibility that Rock is going to win at the Rumble so he can hold the belt for two months, live up to his promise and then lose it at WrestleMania so he can vaporize in green mist again.
Let's say CM Punk defends his coveted title till January—amassing a colossal reign of more than a year. Anyone who defeats Punk for the title would gain immediate notoriety and respect, anyone except Rock. A year-long reign shattered by a superstar who has wrestled a complete singles match once and a brief tag team match once in seven years.
That portrays Punk as Santino Marella, and trust me when I say this—no one except Santino Marella should be portrayed as Santino Marella.
Having been granted superior foresight, I do know of the biggest counter-argument: The Rock draws. Yes, he does, and you won't find me arguing that point ever. The Rock's the reason WrestleMania 28 enjoyed ground-breaking sales and RAW 1,000 received a wonderful rating.
So hey, I must be really inane to suggest that someone who draws has a bad character? Right? Right?
Two words: John Cena. Does John Cena draw? Hell yes. Is his character really stale and really bad for WWE today? Yes.
But we still persistently clamor for a spike in Cena's character, superhuman drawing power or not. We know that ratings and sales are prioritized over everything in this business, so asking for Cena's heel turn or Rock's removal is like begging Khali to be talented. Yet, we still do the former and in my case, the latter too.
But Rock is a product of the Attitude Era, thus impervious to criticism in IWC's apparently unbiased eye.
John Cena isn't, so drown him in them.
There is an antiquated procedure to be followed when crowning a champion. Wrestlers fight tooth and nail to become No. 1 contenders. Alberto Del Rio is granted tons of opportunities, but he has to endure Fatal Four Way matches and other shticks for them.
It fits the hierarchical mold, even if we would rather have Ziggler or Bryan.
Remember when John Cena said he would enter the RAW Money In The Bank match and was immediately despised for thinking his inclusion was equal to a victory by default? How far is Rock's claim to be champion and then be given a title match without any qualification on one of the biggest PPVs?
The Rock will probably win, and while the Rocky fan in me is enthralled at the prospect of a People's Elbow, I know this veteran's wrestling skills won't make me jump out of my seat. His promos have lost the edge, and his character has lost the depth.
The words you hear remind you of The Rock, but then you see his eyes and that smile and you see Dwayne Johnson everywhere. And frankly, I can do without this Twitter-trending, softened hybrid.
Thanks for the read all. You can leave your hate mail below while I cower behind Mark Henry.
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.