photo from wwe.com
As most predicted, John Cena got his win back from The Rock at the WrestleMania 29 pay-per-view, snagging the WWE championship in the process.
The match itself was pretty decent, even if it was a little repetitive at points (just how many Rock Bottoms did we see, anyway? Three? Four?) .
OK, it couldn’t really live up to CM Punk/The Undertaker or Triple H/Brock Lesnar, but no one was expecting that going in. Indeed, after his sloppy performances at Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber, Rock redeemed himself on Sunday night.
He worked hard in the match and even his cardio problems, which obviously plagued him during the CM Punk matches, didn’t appear to be an issue.
After the match the two shook hands and embraced. No doubt it was supposed to be a touching heart-warming WrestleMania moment in which Rock passed the torch to Cena, once and for all. Alas, this was dampened somewhat by the vociferous boos of the crowd at the MetLife Stadium.
Man, Cena is just never going to win people over, is he?
But what is next for Rock after this loss?
Well, the ending of the bout—in which the two competitors seemingly made up and put their issues behind them—might indicate that Rock is now done with WWE and heading back to Hollywood.
As Deadline notes, he has the lead role in Brett Ratner’s epic feature film Hercules lined up, as well as bodybuilder crime thriller Pain & Gain out soon. With this in mind, no one could expect the star to stick around long-term.
However, he is advertised for the Extreme Rules pay-per-view next month, indicating he isn’t quite done with wrestling yet (via WWE's Facebook) .
Of course, the first thought is that he’ll take on Cena at the event, in a WrestleMania re-match.
But, as noted, didn’t the ending of Sunday’s match seemingly rule that out? The two don’t appear to have any issues with each other anymore, and trying to claim that they do now might feel a bit forced.
It also might be too late to put him in a brand new program with anyone else. Really, assuming he’s not going to be around past the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, what would be the point?
Besides, who would he even face?
One possibility, of course, is some sort of three-match, with Rock, Cena and CM Punk. This would serve as a (sort of) fresh matchup and allow Cena and Rock to remain in an (uneasy) alliance as they faced off against mutual enemy Punk.
It’s also possible WWE might decide that Rock is wasted on a B pay-per-view—the disappointing buy rate to this year's Elimination Chamber event emphasizes this—and pull him from the show (via PWTorch).
Thus, tonight’s Raw may be the last we’ll see of “The Great One” for a while. Maybe he'll do a nice speech, thank everyone, verbally put over Cena again (probably to heavy boos again) and then say goodbye, for now anyway.
What will WWE and Rock do? We’ll have to wait and see.