When Vince McMahon announced there would be a WrestleMania host at this year’s event, I hoped it would be The Rock.
After all, there was nobody else left in the WWE Universe who would seem like a big enough deal to merit much celebration amongst wrestling fans, let alone drive WrestleMania buy rates.
We had already witnessed the return of Bret “Hitman” Hart, and Stone Cold Steve Austin has made a few appearances over the years.
When The People’s Champ returned on Valentine’s Day to lay the verbal smackdown on John Cena and Michael Cole, and also to accept the role as WrestleMania host, a fire was lit under WWE that hadn’t been lit in a long time.
People who hadn’t watched WWE in years were crawling out of the woodwork to discuss The Rock’s return. The Rock is back? What’s he doing back? I’m definitely going to order WrestleMania now! Is he just back for a cup of coffee or is he really back?
The excitement has been so strong that fans haven’t really cared that he isn’t actually going to wrestle. Either that speaks to how great Rocky was in his heyday, or wrestling really stinks now and we just didn't want to admit it.
The casual fans had been gone for years and we diehards tried to pretend WWE was just as entertaining with John Cena and Batista at the controls, but it just wasn’t.
And while we are being honest, if The Rock wasn’t going to appear at this year’s WrestleMania, then the anticipation wouldn’t be what it is now.
The Rock just may be the greatest entertainer in the history of professional wrestling, but does his WrestleMania return mean he’s finished in Hollywood? Let’s look at that question from both perspectives:
Yes, The Rock is done in Hollywood!
The Rock has stated, in his first returning promo, that it was a dream of his to become a movie star. He has played a tough guy (The Rundown), a football coach (Gridiron Gang), tooth fairy (Tooth Fairy), a homosexual (Be Cool), and a gun-toting avenger (Faster).
He has been in good movies, decent movies, and crap-tacular films. He has made money beyond what Vince McMahon could pay him a regular basis.
So why come back to wrestling? Why agree to get chest-slapped and slammed in the ring again? Why take a pay cut to wrestle again? Because I doubt the workers on a movie set take time from their busy schedules to chant his name in unison.
He doesn’t have his own theme music on his mediocre movie sets. Plus, after tearing his ACL while filming the Tooth Fairy, he is just as prone to injury while filming as he is wrestling.
Maybe after making enough money in Hollywood, The Rock is just bored, or maybe he’s just come to his senses.
It’s like choosing between a high school sweetheart from your hometown and the girl you met after you’ve graduated from college and been in your career for years.
We, the fans, are the hometown girl. We met Rock when he was awkward and a little in over his head. We fixed him up, made him get a haircut, gave him tough love when he needed it, allowed him to grow up and mature in front of our eyes. He was a young boy before he met us and became a man with us.
We supported him before he was famous and continued to support him through the years, even though he acted as if he was too good for us at times.
He wasn’t too good for us in 1996 after he was sleeping on filthy mattresses in Canada (read his autobiography), but after he filmed The Mummy Returns, things got weird between us.
The Rock started showing up when he felt like it. I mean, we’d go months without seeing him and then he’d just show up like he never left and we would forget why we were upset in the first place, just like now.
Hollywood is like the hot girl we couldn’t get in high school but it was because of all the work the hometown girl put in that got us noticed by hot girl in the first place. But hot girl looks like Beyonce!
Hot girl doesn’t insist on keeping the lights off. Hot girl doesn’t mind if you hang out with the boys and come home at four in the morning, reeking of cigarettes and cheap perfume.
But hot girl can’t cook and doesn’t want to clean. She just good for one thing and when you use her up, you wake up one day and realize you had a good thing and it’s not too late to get her back.
So The Rock went out and bought some roses, showed up and told us what we wanted to hear, and we were so happy to have him back, we forgot he was ever gone.
The Rock isn’t coming back and we fell for the banana-in-the-tailpipe again.
Rock: It feels really nice to be back here with you. You know, even when I’m halfway around the world, you’re always in my heart. I think about you every day. I have never forgotten about you.
Fans: it’s been so hard without you. John is nice and he tries his best, but he will never make me feel the way that you do.
Rock: We go way back. We have grown up together; we’re connected. John will never understand that. I mean John is okay, but me and you baby, when we are together, its magic.
Fans: So are you really staying this time? Oh Rock, wait until I tell Mom. She will be so happy.
Rock: Oh…yeah. About that...Maybe you should wait a while before telling your mom. You see, I can’t stay. I have to go back to Hollywood just this last time. I know what you are thinking; “Rock is doing it again.” But it isn’t like that, baby. I love you, you know that. I just have to go back this one last time. But I swear, on a stack of Bibles, that I will come back for you. You know that?
Fans: (holding back tears) uh…yes Rock. I know.
Rock: Now, who’s my favorite girl?
Fans: (wiping tears and smiling) I am.
So does the Rock’s ‘Mania return mean he is done with Hollywood? Hopefully, but if he isn’t, don’t say you weren’t warned.