The Rock Vs. John Cena: Who's Been More Successful?
It's been over two weeks since the highly anticipated return of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who was announced as this year's WrestleMania guest host.
The first thing that hit everyone's mind was the heavily awaited Rock vs. Cena match-up that every fan has wanted since the day the Rock left and John Cena debuted.
Vince McMahon is sitting on a gold mine waiting to be exploited, and he would be foolish to not take full advantage of this so-called instant classic. Consider it an old-school vs. new-school match, just like the one we got when The Rock faced Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 18.
But of the two wrestlers, who has been more successful?
Let's start off with one of the favourites, match storytelling, because we all know that, as wrestling fans, one of the things we watch wrestling is for that very thing in itself—wrestling.
The Rock could put on a match like no other wrestling superstar can, which he has proven time and time again over his eight-year career. He's had iconic feuds with The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Triple H, Mick Foley—just to name a few.
The Rock also had plenty bouts full of excitement, and you were always tuned in to see what the next action was. His ability to control the tempo of a wrestling match was amazing, and the raw emotions he could emit to the fans through his promotions were jaw-dropping.
With John Cena, you could tell that Vince was looking to groom the next "Rock," and his logical choice was John Cena. Over his nine-year career, Cena has had his share of feuds—most recently with the Nexus.
One of the things that made John Cena great was his ability to rap. During his feuds, he'd always come out and pull a rap on his opponent—much to the fans' excitement.
There were times when John Cena would have to work a little harder, dig a little deeper to possibly pull off some matches. However, there was never a question of his heart or desire to be in this business, and I think it translated on-screen in his later years.
Still, there is only one Rock, and I don't think Cena will ever touch him.
Another popular, fan favourite section would be the promos that wrestlers put on—mostly targeting their opponent. It's no secret that one step to being a successful superstar in the WWF/E is the ability to cut a promo, and if there was one person who could do that, it'd have to be the Rock.
Through the years, we were treated, maybe even spoiled, with The Rock's ability to cut a promo on anyone at any given time. The Rock just oozed natural charisma, and that translated into his mic work. We all remember him telling Kevin Kelly to shove his finger up his nose or make the Coach dance on television.
John Cena, on the other hand, had one talent that I felt correlated greatly into his mic work—his rapping ability. I get the sense now, however, since he moved away from his "Thuganomics" days, that Cena really depended on rap, as I find his latest mic work to be weak.
Again, The Rock takes the nod here as—even after being away for six years—he was able to take everyone's breath away and cut one of the best promos we've seen since the day he departed from WWE.
One thing that The Rock has done very well—better than any other superstar who has tried—is be successful in Hollywood, albeit some of his choice roles were questionable. But if there was one person who could pull it off, it would be the Rock.
To date, the Rock has been in 13 movies, grossing more than $650 million at the box office.
Taking a look at John Cena in comparison, is well, not really worth the time. You have to wonder if John Cena is really made for movies, or if Vince McMahon is trying to bring his WWE Films company up and limiting Cena's abilities.
The Rock was not under contract for many of his movies, and I find that has allowed for him to pick his own roles and really do some creative things.
Finally, if there is one thing that could determine who is more popular—John Cena or The Rock—it would have to simply come down to fan favouritism, and you would be questioned heavily if you picked John Cena.
For sure, since the PG era began, John Cena's fan stock has risen with the teens and children. However, The Rock will always be cheered louder than any pack of children and teens could imagine.
Just watching, never mind hearing, The Rock's music on Feb. 14, 2011, there is no doubt in my mind that the Rock was, is and will always be a fan favourite—even more so than many of the current superstars on the roster, and that worries me.
There is no question that Vince has been trying to find the right superstar to bring up as the next Rock. While his pick in John Cena hasn't been a failure, I still do not see John Cena being more popular than the Rock.
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