On the Valentine's Day edition of Raw in 2011, The Rock made his long awaited return to the WWE, announcing himself as the official host of WrestleMania 27. He was welcomed back to a roaring reaction, which was one of the loudest pops anyone has ever received in recent years.
In his first promo in nearly seven years, The Rock made mention of how he would seek vengeance on John Cena for the derogatory remarks he made about him in his absence. Right then and there, the build to the biggest blockbuster of the modern era began.
One night removed from 'Mania 27, Rock and Cena agreed to face each other at WrestleMania 28, thus setting the stage for the most monumental match in recent history. They engaged in a war of words via satellite and social networking in the year that followed, but once 'Mania came around, the trash talk was put to rest.
In the main event of The Show of Shows, The Rock decisively defeated Cena to lay claim to the title of the greatest wrestler of all time. As The Brahma Bull scored the three count over Cena, the world stood still in total shock and awe for a split second.
Very few people thought it was possible, but The Rock had done what he set out to do: he overcame the obstacle that was John Cena.
While Cena may have been beaten, he was far from broken.
Fast forward to January 2013, Cena emerged victorious in the Royal Rumble match to earn a shot at the WWE Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 29. That same night, Rock defeated CM Punk to win "the big one" for the first time in over a decade.
As expected, Rock and Cena clashed once again at 'Mania 29, this time for the WWE Championship. Despite a valiant effort from The Great One, Cena went against the odds and beat Rock for the first time in his career.
After sharing a handshake and hug with Cena at the top of the stage, Rock disappeared to the back, never to be seen again.
It was reported the next day that Rock suffered an injury during his match with The Champ and wouldn't be on hand for that night's edition of Raw. Originally, it was reported that Brock Lesnar was supposed to attack Rock at the conclusion of Raw and set up their match for WrestleMania 30, but those plans were obviously nixed at the last minute.
The Rock is currently filming Hercules as we speak and it is unknown as to when he will be returning to WWE. However, some are still questioning whether he'll be returning to WWE at all.
Rock revealed in a candid interview that he might have wrestled his last match at WrestleMania 29. It's quite possible that he's only saying that to build suspense for when he eventually does return, but what left does he have to prove?
He was injured in both of his matches with Cena and had to spend a significant amount of time on the sidelines following WrestleMania 29. As a movie star in Hollywood, Rock can't continue to take risks by stepping inside the squared circle.
As far as I'm concerned, his primary reason for returning to WWE back in 2011 was to "pass the torch" to Cena. Now that that has been accomplished, he doesn't serve much of a purpose in the company.
Sure, he's extremely entertaining and can still make one-off appearances, but I don't see who else he can feud with going into WrestleMania 30. Of course, there's Brock Lesnar, but they feuded back in 2002, not to mention the fact both individuals lost their respective matches at the most recent 'Mania.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of The Rock and would love to see him back at some point, but I don't see the point in bringing him back on a regular basis if he's not going to be involved in something meaningful.
Prior to departing from the company in 2003, Rock adopted a heel persona and embraced the boos he was receiving at the time. Rock is still very much over with the WWE Universe, but the reactions he's been getting as of late pale in comparison to what he received when he first returned in 2011.
That being said, why not attempt to turn him heel? I'm not saying he should face off against Cena in a rubber match or anything like that, but it'd be a nice change of pace for The People's Champion.
Since this year's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view will be taking place in Rock's billed hometown of Miami, it would make sense for him to return at that event. However, it would all depend on what his movie schedule will be like come October.
Until then, it appears we will have to wait and see what the future holds for The Rock. He has tremendous talent and mega star power, but he shouldn't be brought back for a throwaway feud that could potentially tarnish his legacy.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to drop a comment below with your thoughts on The Rock's potential return to WWE. As always, your criticism and overall feedback of my latest piece is welcomed and greatly appreciated.
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