Let’s face it: Rock/Cena II hasn’t truly lived up to the hype.
Oh, their feud isn’t a disaster, by any means. And their match this Sunday at WrestleMania should do a good buyrate on pay-per-view when all is said and done.
But the second time around, Cena/Rock just hasn’t taken off.
Last year, theirs was a must-see match—and it did major numbers in terms of business. This year? Their whole feud feels so…pedestrian.
Honestly, Lesnar/Triple H feels like a bigger deal. And at least in that feud you can believe the two participants genuinely hate each other. Does anyone truly believe Rock and Cena are desperate to settle their score on April 7?
The sad fact is, both Cena and Rock have been off their games.
Rock has been only a semi-regular over the last two months, as he also attends to his busy movie career. His absence hasn’t helped, for sure.
And when he has been on Raw, he hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire.
Of course, his promos are fine. He’s The Rock, after all. The man could read the phone book aloud for two hours, and it would still be captivating. But he lacks the passion and energy needed to sell this feud to the masses. Yes, Rock coming out and saying the same old lines and doing the same old jokes is decent entertainment, but it’s not much more than that.
Attempts to give The Rock some depth—he noted on Raw last week that, similar to Cena, he had failed in his life several times but managed to overcome adversity and succeed—have also fallen flat.
Cena has fared worse. His material towards Rock has been rather tired and even a bit silly. Come on, losing to The Rock last year was the cause of his divorce?
Heck, in general, Cena's claims that losing to Rock ruined his life and caused "the worst year of his career" are ludicrous. (Cena main evented practically every pay-per-view, won the vast majority of his matches and no doubt made millions of dollars. This is a bad year?)
He’s also been side-tracked by some bizarre comedy shenanigans with Darren Young and Titus O’Neil.
Blame has to go on the writing team too. Sans the Lesnar/Triple H feud—which has been booked well—they seem to be in a state of disarray at what should be the biggest time of the year. Heck, as disappointing as Rock/Cena has been, it’s not nearly as bad as The Undertaker/CM Punk debacle.
Who knows why the creative team has faltered so badly—reports of Vince McMahon being more erratic than usual may have been a factor—but they have (F4Wonline via WrestlingInc).
This is something that the recent sliding ratings for Raw may be reflecting (via PWTorch).
Of course, all this doesn’t mean Rock/Cena isn’t a big deal or something not worth watching. It will still be a spectacle. But, really, you can’t help but wonder what Rock/Cena II could have accomplished with a truly great build up.
Now let’s just hope WWE doesn’t decide to do Rock/Cena again in the future.
Thrice in a lifetime? No thanks.