Sunday's WrestleMania 29 is sure to be an epic pro wrestling showcase, but the main event clash between The Rock and John Cena for the WWE Championship won't quite live up to last year's enthralling matchup on this same stage.
It's hard to fathom how these two superstars will duplicate the success of their last outing at WrestleMania 28. Cena attempted to use the People's Elbow as a finishing move before The Rock stymied his effort, closing the deal with The Rock Bottom.
For a complete look at how that action played out, check out the video below.
The tagline for this fight is "Greatness vs. Redemption," since Cena endured an unusually losing 2012 campaign before bouncing back to get this title shot, courtesy of a win at the 30-man Royal Rumble.
But what is not working in the match's favor is the fact that many fans expect The Rock to step away from the WWE scene in order to focus on his other career interests, particularly in film. That doesn't diminish the hype around this showdown, but it does diminish The Rock's narrative.
Considering how long Cena has been paying his dues and that he hasn't been the WWE champion since the summer of 2011, it almost seems inevitable that he will emerge victorious.
Plus, a Rock win wouldn't create as juicy of a storyline moving forward.
It would put Cena's career in a precarious position, and it would heighten the criticism around The Rock. He isn't as much of a prominent presence in pro wrestling as he once was and would continue getting the beneficial treatment of retaining his titles in spite of that.
Cena has to be a prohibitive favorite to snag the title belt. Another strategy that Vince McMahon and Co. may deploy, though, is handing another loss to the veteran babyface, then letting him redeem it immediately thereafter on Monday's Raw episode.
That wouldn't make much sense, either. It would be a rather anticlimactic development and leave those who invested heavily in WrestleMania perplexed.
On the other hand, a win by Cena would allow for The Rock to put the WWE on the back burner once again, while still leaving open the possibility of a rubber match at either Extreme Rules in May—where the Rock will reportedly be working—or Summer Slam in August.
Regardless, the scene inside of MetLife Stadium is sure to be chaotic and raucous, but the suspense surrounding the ultimate outcome seems to be lessened this time around. Cena and The Rock will still put on a highly entertaining display, but the winner seems nearly predetermined.