With the 2013 Royal Rumble on the horizon, it’s no secret that the most anticipated match on the card (with the exception of the 30-man Royal Rumble match) is the WWE Championship match between defending champ CM Punk and The Rock.
This match has all the characteristics of a five-star match that we are used to seeing from a high-caliber PPV. Part of what has made this storyline so memorable is the reaction it has received from the WWE Universe.
Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter or on an average wrestling dirt sheet, fans are debating who the better man is.
However, one common theme found across the myriad opinions is the constant bashing of The Rock for various reasons. Fans are making disparaging comments about The nine-time World Champion receiving a shot at the company’s most coveted prize 10 years after ending his last title reign, when he dropped the Undisputed WWE Championship to Brock Lesnar.
There are two different types of “anti-Dwayne” arguments used by the WWE Universe that can be easily debunked, using the conditions of the state of pro wrestling today.
1. “The Rock is never around, when other guys could be getting a shot at the title!”
This is probably the most common of all the stances used to downplay The Rock’s title bid this Sunday. Vocal fans will usually spout names like Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes and Daniel Bryan as potential contenders who are more deserving than the future Hall of Famer simply because they still work a regular schedule.
One problem with this logic is that all the names that could be thrown into the championship picture are currently involved with their own feuds, each contributing to the progress of their respective careers.
To take any of these names out of their programs simply because we would like to see them get a shot at the title is not only doing a disservice for their careers, but a disservice to ourselves as viewers.
Let’s not forget that there are two names that could potentially be in the title picture, John Cena and Ryback. The catch-22 here is simple: the demand to see either of these guys end Punk’s 400-plus day reign is non-existent. The 18-34 demographic of the WWE Universe would rather see Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair have another run with the strap than see the spinner belt go back to the hands of its creator. And many believe that Ryback is simply a carbon-copy of Bill Goldberg and would rather not see the WWE title go to what is most popularly known in the business as a “body guy.”
2. “The Rock isn’t original! We’re tired of hearing the same old stuff!”’
While lines like “It doesn’t matter!” and “The millions…(and millions!)” can be very entertaining and have proven to be the trademark of the People’s Champ, there are some who have grown tired of being exposed to the same catchphrases over an extended period of time. This group is perhaps the easiest to stump.
While these fans complain about hearing The Rock use phrases such as “Cookiepuss” and “homeless power ranger,” they will fail to gripe at the fact that his Rumble opponent utters the phrase “best in the world” so frequently, it’s as if he gets paid royalties for every time he says it.
Would you ever complain if Jim Ross mentioned anything about government mules, slobberknockers and bowling-shoe ugly scalded dogs while on commentary? Of course you wouldn’t; these are catchphrases and sayings that are synonymous with our favorite wrestling personalities, and we should treat them as such.
I leave you, the reader, with this: quit overlooking and overthinking what you have in front of you. Enjoy the program for what it is, two of the greatest of all time going head to head in what is promised to be one of the best matches of the year. Just remember, no one really complained when, in 2002, a past-his-prime Hulk Hogan won his sixth WWE title from Triple H, who was still a main-event mainstay at that time. It was what the fans wanted to see, we enjoyed it for what it was and nothing else. Take that very same mentality into Sunday’s Rumble, and you will enjoy a truly exceptional competition.