WWE Wrestlemania XXIX: Why This Year's Show Belonged to John Cena

Erik BeastonFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2013

Photo Credit: WWE.com
Photo Credit: WWE.com

Sunday night at WrestleMania 29, a three-year journey reached its conclusion when John Cena defeated The Rock to win the WWE Championship for the 11th time.

In front of over 80,000 fans inside MetLife Stadium, Cena and The Rock threw everything they had at one another, recalling their epic match from last year's event and learning from previous mistakes.

The challenger kicked out of the People's Elbow and Rock Bottom on a number of occasions and, to his credit, the champion fought his way out of his determined rival's finishing maneuvers and withstood a crossface as well as the STF.

In the end, Cena would escape a Rock Bottom attempt and land one last Attitude Adjustment that The Rock simply could not kick out of.

There is no denying the fact that, for eight years, John Cena has been the face of professional wrestling. He is "the guy" for the top company in sports entertainment and has beaten every top star in the sport during his main event run. But during those eight years, there have been questions surrounding his place among the all-time greats. He was missing that one truly great star anointing him as such.

That changed Sunday night.

In the climax of a story that started prior to WrestleMania 27, Cena defeated The Rock, won the title and, most importantly, his respect.

As the show came to its close, "The Great One" met the new WWE champion at the top of the ramp, raised his arm in victory and passed him the torch. It was the symbolic moment that Cena needed and one in which The Rock could be seen telling him, "I came back for this very moment."

It was a moment that fans knew was coming and one that a large majority of hardcore Cena bashers were very unhappy with. But that does not lessen its impact. Like Hulk Hogan did for The Rock 11 years ago in Toronto, the sport's most electrifying Superstar returned the favor in East Rutherford.

In a career of milestone moments and championship victories, Sunday, April 7 was Cena's greatest night.

The Undertaker and CM Punk nearly stole the show, but WrestleMania 29 belonged to the new WWE champion, John Cena.