The main event of WrestleMania 28 was John Cena vs. The Rock in a match that was billed as “Once in a Lifetime,” but barring something unforeseen happening, the same match will main event WrestleMania 29 this year.
“Twice in a Lifetime” it is, as for two straight years, the WWE’s biggest event of the year will likely be headlined by a match between two of the biggest stars in wrestling history.
That shouldn’t happen.
It’s not that The Rock and Cena aren’t headliner-worthy or that they’re not two of the biggest draws on the WrestleMania card. Whether you like them or not, you can’t say that about either Cena or The Rock.
What you can say, however, is that the “buildup” to this feud has been so lackluster that—regardless of how popular the stars involved in it are—it isn’t worthy of main eventing WrestleMania, especially when you consider that the bout closed the show last year.
When The Rock took on Cena in the final match of WrestleMania 28, it was a highly anticipated match that many thought would never happen. The buildup to it started a year earlier at WrestleMania 27, and by the time WrestleMania 28 rolled around, there was all sorts of buzz surrounding the match—buzz because it was The Rock’s first singles match in eight years and buzz because it was an intense feud between two major stars from two different eras.
But this year on the road to WrestleMania 29, that buzz is nowhere to be found.
A big reason why is because the way things have played out has simply been far too predictable. From the moment that Cena lost to The Rock at last year’s WrestleMania, it became all too obvious what would happen to get to WrestleMania 29: The Rock beats CM Punk for the WWE title, Cena wins the Royal Rumble and the two collide once again at WrestleMania 29.
The predictability of this entire feud is viewed by many as nothing but laziness by the creative team—laziness that’s become apparent with some atrocious booking of this second part of the Rock/Cena rivalry.
Much of that booking has stemmed from the fact that—personal feelings about The Rock aside—the guy simply hasn’t been around enough to make this feud seem to matter. He missed two straight Raws prior to this week’s episode, which means he will, of course, have missed two of the final four Raws before WrestleMania.
We get that The Rock’s a busy man, but his absence from Raw has made his rehashed feud with Cena that many didn’t want to see anyway seem even worse. It’s one thing to see a recycled feud, but it’s another thing to see a recycled feud with remarkably little effort put into it.
That’s what has plagued Rock vs. Cena II so much.
At least on paper, a match of this magnitude seems like a huge deal and definitely fits the bill as a match that should main event WrestleMania. But not this year.
The predictability of this match and rivalry, combined with the lack of interest in it and the laziness that has defined its booking, has given us an angle that doesn’t feel entertaining. In fact, it’s a tiresome and boring one that feels unnecessary and forced.
That’s not the type of match that should main event the biggest pay-per-view of the year, regardless of the names involved.
Although, because of the way this year’s WrestleMania is shaping up, no match really stands out as main-event worthy, it’s clear that The Rock vs. Cena doesn’t deserve that spot, either. It did in 2012, when effort was put into the feud and the match felt fresh, but neither of those statements are true in 2013.
The Rock vs. Cena feels like a feud that is being done this year just because it made the WWE a boatload of money last year. That’s not a good enough reason to close WrestleMania with the same bout for two straight years.
If the buildup was entertaining like it was last year, then no one would have a problem with The Rock and Cena closing out the PPV again in 2013. Because true entertainment is missing from Part Two of this rivalry, however, it shouldn’t be the main event of WrestleMania 29.
But we all know this: It will anyway.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!