It was obvious heading into WrestleMania XXIX that the WWE was facing an uphill battle in terms of getting The Rock vs. John Cena over with some of the more pessimistic fans. The jury is still out with regards to whether the company was able to do that, but the main event was booked to perfection nonetheless.
For any wrestling fan who frequents Internet message boards and social media, it probably seems like everyone hated the match between The Rock and Cena, but those numbers are obviously skewed. In the real world, there are plenty of fans who recognized the match for what it was and don't feel the need to micro-analyze everything that happened.
It's no secret that the Internet crowd is largely anti-Cena, and that same demographic has rebelled against The Rock since he became WWE Champion by dethroning their messiah, CM Punk. With two unpopular figures taking part in the WrestleMania XXIX match from a "smark" perspective, many already made up their mind ahead of time that the match wasn't going to be good.
That self-fulfilling prophecy probably made it impossible for some people to enjoy it. When looking at the match in an unbiased manner, however, it is blatantly obvious that the WWE handled it correctly. Even if it wasn't the greatest 'Mania main event of all time, it eventually captivated the live crowd and made sense as well.
It seems as though there is a legion of fans that doesn't understand there are a number of different types of fans out there. Just because some people didn't want to see The Rock vs. Cena again, it doesn't mean that there weren't many more who were excited about it. The Rock vs. Cena is money in Vince McMahon's wallet, so it makes no sense to criticize the WWE for going through with the rematch.
The Internet crowd should have been satiated by the epic encounter between The Undertaker and CM Punk. That was one of the best matches that anyone will ever see both from an in-ring and a storytelling perspective. The Rock vs. Cena didn't measure up, but few matches in recent memory have been as great as Taker vs. Punk.
It almost seems as though some fans wanted The Rock and Cena to be something they weren't at WrestleMania. The main criticism is that their match turned into a finisher fest, which is obviously true as the latter part of the bout featured a number of false finishes. With that said, there wasn't a better way to lay out the match aside from how it actually played out.
The Rock and Cena are supposed to be nearly impossible to beat, so it's only fitting that their match was essentially a stalemate with neither man being able to put away the other. Cena was trying to gain redemption by beating the man who supposedly sent his career into a tailspin, so it would have been extremely anti-climactic for him to end the match with a single Attitude Adjustment.
Also, Cena isn't Punk and The Rock certainly isn't Daniel Bryan, so if fans were expecting a technical affair with an abundance of chain grappling, they were kidding themselves. Cena and The Rock are entertainers above all else, and even if their match didn't entertain everyone, it definitely engaged the majority of fans in attendance and those watching around the world.
Did you like the way that John Cena vs. The Rock was booked?
There seems to be some resentment regarding the post-match celebration as well. There are plenty of people out there who wanted Cena to turn heel on The Rock, but the two of them embraced instead and showed mutual respect for each other. Cena turning would have been shocking and it would have been intriguing, but it wouldn't have been logical.
At the moment, there isn't a single face on the roster capable of stepping into Cena's role as the No. 1 guy in the company, so it would have been irresponsible of the WWE to turn him. The story that the WWE was trying to tell was one of two wrestlers who couldn't stand each other, but came to appreciate each other after doing battle on the WrestleMania stage twice.
Perhaps that didn't jibe for everyone, but it's an age-old story has worked in the past and it will continue to work in the future. Fans wanted the WWE Championship off The Rock and that is precisely what happened at WrestleMania. Also, it looks like he might be out for a while due to injury, so there will be a focus on homegrown talent moving forward with Cena as champion.
If things don't go 100 percent the way that some fans want them too, though, a match automatically becomes the worst ever and a WrestleMania automatically becomes the worst ever as well. In actuality, The Rock vs. Cena and WrestleMania XXIX as a whole were both middle-of-the-road when compared to what came before it the previous 28 years.
Based on the options that the WWE had at its disposal, though, The Rock vs. Cena was the best possible main event it could book, and the result was a feel-good moment that will resonate with fans in the future.