The Return of the Rock

Time for my annual pre-WrestleMania post…

The main event for this year’s event is current poster boy John Cena vs. the last generation’s poster boy The Rock.  So who will win?  The answer is obvious if you know how pro wrestling works…

The last true ‘Icon vs. Icon’ match also involved the Rock, when he went one on one with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania XVIII in Toronto.  The Hulkster walked in as the heel (bad guy), but the crowd instantly turned him face (good guy) for the sheer nostalgia of seeing the guy we all grew up with back at ‘The Showcase of the Immortals’ for the first time in years.  The Rock won that night, but the memory of the match is seeing one of the Icons of the Business deliver a show on the big stage one last time.  That match, in my opinion, should be the blueprint for Rock-Cena.

But should the outcome be different?  WrestleMania this year is in Rock’s ‘hometown’ of Miami; this time around the roles are reversed and he’s a bigger mainstream star than his opponent.  And (as Cena has repeatedly pointed out in his promos), Rock is way more celebrity/movie star at this point than wrestler.  He’s been that way for years.  And when was the last time a celebrity guest lost or was made out to be the fool at WrestleMania?  Think Snooki, Floyd Mayweather…it just doesn’t happen.

But this time it will.

And generational bias aside, this is why it irks me to no end when people hate on the Rock as a wrestler.

Rock grew up in the Business.  He understood, like Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels, that ring psychology thrives when you make your opponent look like a superstar.

I ask you, who sold a Stone Cold Stunner better than the Rock?

I ask you again, when Brock Lesnar was pushed to the moon, who (unlike some of his peers) put company first and dropped the belt to make the new guy legitimate?

So as much as I’ll be rooting for the Rock Sunday night, the smart fan in me knows he’s going to do what’s best for business and, in all likelihood, lose clean to John Cena.

But not without being The Most Electrifying Man in Entertainment along the way…

If all goes well, I’ll have a KU post going into Monday night…

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