First things first, why is this not the main event? There are numerous reasons this shouldn't be the main event.
- It was the main event last year; give someone else a chance.
- It is not as intriguing as last year.
- The WWE made a mistake last year not having Undertaker vs. Triple H close the show. The fact is that Undertaker has a proven track record over the last few years of stealing the show, and with CM Punk as his dance partner, nothing is likely to come close to being able to follow his match. The crowd would be too spent to invest in anything else properly.
- CM Punk has been the WWE's workhorse for the past two years. He was the WWE champion for 434 days. He puts on consistently great matches and deserves a chance to main event WrestleMania this year.
- Fans in general are more interested in this match than a predictable rematch from last year.
- It is perfectly feasible that the match involving The Shield could be better, especially if they alter the stipulation to falls count anywhere.
That being said, this match still has a lot of significance, mainly due to the Raw segment last week.
John Cena cut a promo saying that The Rock cannot beat him, that he beat himself at last year's event. There was a slight heelish edge to Cena in that segment.
I'm not saying he will turn heel—he probably won't—but the whole dynamic of the match changed with that excellently worked segment from Raw.
I was dead against this match before that segment, and I still am in principle. I just dislike it a little less. But now I feel like I can watch it without falling asleep. The possibility of foul play by Cena and the fact that The Rock is scheduled for Extreme Rules makes this match a little less predictable.
Sure, Cena has around an 80 percent chance of winning, but if he does win, how will he win? Will it be clean, like I am inclined to believe? Or will he resort to any means necessary and beat the Rock?
If The Rock wins, will Cena attack him after the match?
There is plenty to get your teeth into, even if the outcome does turn out like expected.
I feel that the quality of this match should be better than last year's; after all, The Rock has wrestled two more matches since then.
How I would book it
Cena hits The AA for the second time in the match, and The Rock kicks out. Cena stares into space in disbelief.
Cena then has an argument with the referee over the count. As The Rock gets to his feet, Cena "accidentally" shoves Rock into the official as a counter to The Rock Bottom.
A look of inner turmoil shows on Cena's face; he steps out of the ring and grabs The Rock's title. A shot to the head of The Rock with the belt resonates worldwide and perhaps signals the biggest heel turn since Hulk Hogan joined the NWO. An attitude adjustment seals the match, and as Cena leaves the ring, he does his signature hand gesture to The Rock's prone body.
Would he actually turn heel following that? It may not be enough to cement it in totality, and he may remain face, but it would show an edge that many fans want to see. It could be a short-lived heel turn, but it would pull in the viewers! Or they can make him a full-on heel. Either way the fans are winners.
How WWE will likely book it
Cena wins cleanly.
A plea to The Rock
As much as I am a supporter of The Rock and appreciate his worth to the WWE, I would be naive to suggest that he isn't a shadow of his former self.
Gone is The Rock we once knew, replaced by the characters he plays in his action movies.
His once sharp, cocky and creative character has been shelled in favour of the action hero with the gravelly voice, endless pandering and overall lack of creativity.
We don't want G.I. Joe or Hobbs in the WWE; we want The Rock. You know, the jabroni-beating, pie-eating, trail-blazing, eyebrow-raising son of a gun who took the WWE to new heights back in the day.
When was the last time Dwayne Johnson cut a real "Rock promo"? I'd probably say the night he returned in 2011, because let's face it, we haven't really seen The Rock since. Its like a shell of the former entity that was The Great One.
This is not meant to disrespect Dwayne Johnson; he is still mildly entertaining and deserves to come and leave as he pleases after what he has done for the WWE (except when he is the WWE champion in the run up to WrestleMania), but he could be so much more.
At the moment, it's like watching a nostalgia act, and that is what The Rock is relying on: his prior run with the company, which is how people remember him and why they still support him regardless of the quality of what he does (which, as I say, is still good).
In all due respect, that is fine. But The Rock is better than that, surely?
Winner: John Cena
Time: 35:00 (With entrances/video package)
Projected rating: ***3/4