WWE: The Rock's Reign Shows the Pitfall of a Part-Timer Being WWE Champion
The Rock is like a person who goes through a buffet line and wants to put everything on his plate.
As if being WWE champion is not enough, Rock’s movie career is enjoying a second (or is it third) wind.
PWInsider.com reports that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is floating the idea of being in the next Star Wars film. This news comes as Rock was promoting his newest film, G.I. Joe: Retaliation:
While doing promotion for his new G.I. Joe film in Australia, WWE champion The Rock has been telling the media he wants to be in the new Star Wars film directed by J.J. Abrams. Star Wars: Episode Seven is scheduled to a 2015 release; although one would assume that release is going to be pushed back due to the time involved making the film.
Rock’s last film, Snitch, was released last month. He has two more films due out this year and is set to begin filming a Hercules movie after WrestleMania 29.
Now comes word of yet another possible venture into another popular culture movie series.
Rock is a busy man for sure. But is he truly too busy to be a true WWE champion?
His non-wrestling schedule affects not only the amount of time he can devote to the craft that put him in the public eye, it also affects those who closely work with him when he does appear—most recently, John Cena.
For example, PWInsider.com (via WrestlingInc.com) reports that Cena purposely was kept off the most recent Raw episode because Rock was away promoting his film. So instead of having Cena come out on his own to push the upcoming WrestleMania match, he was written out of the show, according to the report:
They went against the idea of having Cena come out and cut an in-ring promo because The Rock would have looked weak not being there to respond to it. They also did not want to put it out there that Rock was in South Korea at a GI Joe movie premiere. The decision was made to just air the video package for their match.
That is an unusual step for WWE Creative to take, purposely keeping Cena off its flagship show. If he is injured or tending to some other emergency, that is one thing. But to purposely keep WWE’s face off its A-show out of fear of making his opponent look weak?
Rock is far from a weak wrestling character. He does not need to be “protected” by not allowing his opponent on WWE’s grandest stage to appear on TV.
But what it does show is the pitfall of having a part-timer as WWE’s main title holder.
Rock is a transitional champion. Since capturing the title, he has defended it only once, and that was on a pay-per-view.
His appearances on free TV have been limited to promos and a couple of scraps with Punk and The Shield. His next title defense, against Cena at WrestleMania 29, is likely to be his last.
The WWE Universe deserves more from its top champion. The title does not have to be up every time he sets foot in the ring, but the champion does owe it to the Universe to at least wrestle on TV and at house shows.
But WWE probably did not pay Rock to do that. The company probably paid him to do exactly what he has done—help WWE’s two biggest current stars get over in monumental fashion.
He has wiped Punk’s scent off the title belt. He now is setting the stage for a grandiose return by Cena to the top of the WWE mountain.
As a way of winding down the transition, Rock reportedly has been booked for a few more WWE appearances this year and has promised to appear at next year’s WrestleMania. If that does happen, the New Orleans show could be shaping up as the last go-round for two of WWE’s greatest legends in Rock and The Undertaker.
This should not be misconstrued as a slam against Rock. He should be lauded for coming in and helping as needed. He is not one to bite the hand that once fed him.
Remember, Rock was not brought in for lengthy or multiple title reigns and long-term feuds. As the line from “My Way” goes, he did what he had to do and saw it through without exemption.
And he did so in the typical over-the-top Rock fashion that longtime wrestling fans have come to know, love and appreciate.
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.
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