WWE’s cover for their upcoming 2K14 video game was revealed to the world on the June 24 edition of Monday Night Raw, and it has created somewhat of a stir among fans. Actually, that may be a bit of an understatement, as not all of the people agree that The People’s Champion should be featured on the cover.
That’s right folks; The Rock is making headlines in WWE once again.
When the reveal happened, my Twitter timeline was flooded with one obscenity-laden tirade after another, as fans began to voice their extreme displeasure over the announcement. As I sat back and watched the tweets pile up, I began to wonder: is this really a big deal?
Honestly, I see where the criticism is coming from. Even The Rock’s most ardent supporters cannot ignore the source of fans’ complaints.
Basically, the guy is just not there. Since his WrestleMania 28 victory over Jon Cena back in 2012, Rocky has worked a grand total of three matches in WWE; twice against CM Punk and once more against Cena at WrestleMania 29. At that pace, The Rock cannot even technically be described as a part-time Superstar.
Yet he is on the cover of a major money-making piece of merchandising for the company?
Think of all the stars who could have been featured on the cover, talents who have been carrying the load for WWE while The Rock was making his occasional appearances.
Daniel Bryan is at the height of his WWE career. He has arguably never looked better in the ring and has surely never been more popular with fans. Bryan has proved that size no longer matters when it comes to being a top-level talent in Vince McMahon’s company, and many fans believe he should be rewarded for his efforts.
What better way to do that than give Bryan the prime spot on the 2K14 cover?
And what about the Shield? If you’re talking impact, then look no further than Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. The trio from NXT has truly come into their own and are viewed as a top attraction in WWE.
They have run over every top WWE Superstar—including The Rock—and the ride continues to this day. They are the company’s future main-event stars, and fans are connecting with them because of it. Why are these three men not featured on the 2K14 cover?
Let’s not forget about CM Punk, the man who appeared on the WWE '13 game cover from last year. Spending 434 days as WWE champion, Punk represented the company every time he stepped into the ring and was arguably the top worker on the roster.
Being on the cover for two consecutive years is not that hard to imagine, especially for CM Punk. So why did he not get the nod?
The point is that while all five of these men carried the load and entertained fans night in and night out, The Rock was just coming and going as he pleased. The moment he came back, it seemed that he was gone again, as loyal WWE fans likely threw up their hands in disgust.
And this is the guy that made the WWE 2K14 game cover?
Now for the flip side of that argument.
This is The Rock, one of WWE’s biggest Superstars of all time. He is a legend who has faced the greatest and beaten the greatest on a worldwide stage. He is known all over the world and is widely respected among his peers for what he has accomplished in the industry.
He is also a big-budget action star, appearing in one blockbuster movie after another. He has made the leap from the ring to the silver screen more successfully than anyone in recent memory, solidifying himself as a major player in Hollywood.
Why would you not want him on the cover?
Again, I understand where some of the criticism is coming from. There are some legitimate complaints out there from fans that do not necessarily dislike The Great One; they just disagree with him being featured on the game.
But at the end of the day, this is WWE’s call, and they are choosing to go with the guy who is a guaranteed money maker for them. Rock has a proven track record in the business and the media attention he brings whenever he comes back is priceless for the McMahons, who seem to constantly seek the approval of the outside world for their product.
Simply put, The Rock brings in some serious money, ratings and publicity anytime he sets foot in a WWE ring. That is why he is on the cover of the new WWE 2K14 video game. He is the one they want, and maybe that should be enough for fans.
But is it? Is this really a big deal for anyone?