WWE Wrestlemania XXIX: 5 Things to Know About the Rock-Cena Match
A year ago, The Rock and John Cena squared off in the most anticipated main event in Wrestlemania history. Now, a year later, they return to the "Granddaddy of Them All" to settle the score, this time with the WWE Championship on the line.
Some fans have criticized the fact that sports entertainment's most sacred event will end with the same match for the second year in a row, while others loved the original match and are excited to see two of their favorites square off once more.
With so much already out in the open about the match between the two iconic figures in World Wrestling Entertainment, what is there possibly left to know about the biggest rematch in company history?
How about these five things...
Rematches Are Not All Bad
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock at Wrestlemania X-7 and XIX.
The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXVI.
The Undertaker vs. Triple H at Wrestlemania XXVII and XXVIII.
What those classic matches have in common are that they were rematches of bouts that had previously happened at Wrestlemania events. Yet, despite having already happened and, in Austin and The Rock's case been done to death, those matches were some of the best and most memorable of any Wrestlemania.
They managed to overcome the fact that they had been seen before and still managed to compel, captivate, excite and thrill audiences with the stories they told and the action they presented.
John Cena and The Rock have not gotten to the point they are at by disappointing audiences all that often. Come April 7 at Met Life Stadium, expect the two elite performers to deliver a match as equally as good, if not better, than last year's encounter.
Speaking of Rematches...
In 28 years of WrestleMania action, there have been nine rematches. Of those nine rematches, six of them featured the same winner the second (or third) time around. The overall record for first-time losers is 2-6-1, the one coming at Wrestlemania IV, when Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant fought to a double-disqualification.
As one can see by the numbers, the loser of the first match, more often than not, loses the rematch as well. Now, it should be taken into account that four of those rematch losses involve The Undertaker, who has never lost at Wrestlemania. Take them away and the record suddenly becomes a much more evenly matches 2-2-1.
Sunday night, John Cena will get his second crack at The Rock, this time with more than pride or ego on the line. The WWE Championship, the greatest prize a Superstar can reach, is up for grabs. With The Rock heading back to Hollywood anytime between April 8 and the night after May's Extreme Rules pay-per-view, expect Cena to more-than-likely fall on the "win" side of the column rather than the "loss" side.
This Is Not Cena's First Wrestlemania Title Shot
John Cena has dominated World Wrestling Entertainment since he took the WWE Championship from John Bradshaw Layfield back at Wrestlemania 21. He has been the unquestioned face of the company and, as such, the most celebrated one as well.
He has also been among the most decorated.
In seven Wrestlemania heavyweight title bouts, Cena's record is an impressive 5-2. If you include his United States Championship win from Wrestlemania XX, that pushes his record to six wins.
Sunday night, he will have the opportunity to improve upon that already-stellar record by defeating The Rock and winning his record eleventh WWE Championship.
A feat that is easier said than done.
History of Rematches for Both Superstars Likely to Help Quality of This One
Neither John Cena nor The Rock is a stranger to rematches. In their time as main event attractions, they have each had their fair share of repetitive feuds and, as a result, second, third, fourth and even fifth matches against the same opponent in big-match situations.
The Rock had Triple H, Steve Austin, Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho throughout the early-2000s. John Cena had Randy Orton, CM Punk and Edge more recently.
The point is that both men have been faced with the task of delivering a satisfying rematch for the fans despite not having the luxury of recalling the same spots or stringing together the same series of moves in the same progression.
A lesser performer would find it difficult to do what The Rock and John Cena have to on Sunday night. After an iconic match billed as "Once in a Lifetime", it will be hard to match the excitement the crowd in Miami had for that contest. But Cena and Rock are seasoned professionals who specialize in getting a crowd to react, one way or the other.
Sunday's Wrestlemania rematch will not disappoint.
At least if The Rock and John Cena have anything to say about it.
Main Event Rematches Are Uncommon at Wrestlemania
The Rock and John Cena will become just the second pairing to compete in the main event of Wrestlemania in consecutive years when they take to the ring this Sunday night.
The first? Bret Hart and Yokozuna. At Wrestlemania IX at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, "The Hitman" took on the behemoth number one contender in the scheduled show closer. Yokozuna won the match, and the WWE Championship, only to lose it seconds later to Hulk Hogan in an unscheduled bout. For the purposes of this article, that "match" will not count.
One year later, Hart and Yokozuna once again met in the main event, this time inside the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden. Again, the title was on the line and, again, a new champion would be crowned. This time, Bret would make up for the disappointment a year earlier by pinning Yoko and picking up his second WWE Championship.
To be picked to go on last two years a row in today's WWE, with so many marquee names populating the main event scene at any given Wrestlemania, is a tremendous feat. The Rock and John Cena are undoubtedly the two biggest box office attractions in the sport and for there to be enough interest in a second match just a year later is unheard of.
That means there is also a great deal of pressure to make sure the match lives up to expectations.
Cena and Rock have been there before, each faced with that pressure. If their match Sunday night is any less epic than their first one, and fans leave Met Life Stadium or turn off their televisions disappointed, do not expect the company to revisit the match any time soon.
No matter how much money it makes.