John Cena and the Rock answering questions from a panel of former WWE superstars and Hall of Famers? Can't possibly miss, right? No way these old wrestlers will all try to mug it up for the cameras and take the heat off of the actual match they are promoting?
That would never happen!
Actually, the panel is fairly subdued, yielding the stage to this generation's top stars. Bret Hart, Dusty Rhodes, Booker T and Mick Foley all got a good reception from the crowd, but nothing compared to the huge pop both Rock and Cena got.
After an endless debate-style interview with no one but Dusty Rhodes really on his A-game, things finally got physical. The Rock challenged Cena to bring it, then planted him on the mat with the Rock Bottom. The People's Champ left the ring with a disdainful look on his face, the same look I had on my face through much of this terrible episode.
"If you were to talk to me last year about losing, I wouldn't even speak of it. Because I said losing was not an option. And then the Rock defeated me." - John Cena.
"If I lose April 7, I will carry the legacy of Donovan McNabb....because statistically I may be good, but I will never be able to win the big one." - Cena, drawing boos from the local crowd.
"This man right here, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, knows nothing of failure. Well, not yet. But he soon will." - Cena.
"Let the Rock tell you something. When I was 23 years old, I was so broke I had to get my mattress out of a dumpster in the back of an hourly motel." - The Rock, on his own failures.
"I said, 'Just give me a mic.' Two years after that, the Rock became the youngest WWE champion." - Rock.
"Those failures led me to become the man that I am today. And that man is going to whip your ass at WrestleMania in 13 days." - Rock, after bringing up cheese steak and popping the crowd.
"I started this years ago. The Rock would say, 'I love WWE,' and I simply said, 'Prove it.' And he did. - Cena.
"I appreciate you saying I took my loss with class and dignity. In two weeks, we'll see how you're going to handle yours." - Cena.
"Because I have to." - Cena answering Booker T's question about how he's going to beat the Rock.
"How about you wipe a monkey's ass with, 'I have to.'" - Rock.
"You didn't beat me. You cannot beat me. I beat me. That's the first time I've said that publicly. But it's a fact." - Cena.
"You want a reason? I know I am better than the Rock. More importantly? The Rock knows I am better than the Rock." - Cena
"There's another legend, and when I was young, I wanted to be just like him. And he has a saying, 'To be the man, you have to beat the man.' And you aren't the man." - Rock, referencing Ric Flair.
"I want to win the big one. Not only win the big one. I want to dominate the Rock." - Cena.
"I want to prove the Rock wrong." - Cena.
"How about you prove me wrong right now?" - Rock.
That sound you hear? That was millions for dollars being burned. Look at Bret Hart in the photo above—that look is exactly how I felt about this angle. WWE has one more week to sell WrestleMania, and they have a lot of ground to make up after this dud of a segment.
Earlier in the show, even earlier in the month, I would have given this a different letter grade. There was nothing wrong with it. I didn't hate it. But you have different expectations for a show closing segment, especially one this close to WrestleMania. This just didn't do it for me.