The Rock and John Cena was featured as “Once in a Lifetime” at WrestleMania 28. The only problem was, it wasn’t.
The iconic pair would meet at the very next WrestleMania in a rematch. Considering WrestleMania 28 garnered 1,217,000 buys, making it the most bought wrestling event in history, with worldwide gross sales of over $ 67 million, in addition to the event establishing setting a new record for the highest grossing live event in WWE history, at $ 8.9 million, it becomes less surprising that they wanted to do it again.
And although the two men respect each other today, during the feud, things heated up. The original plan was for John Cena to pass, but on WrestleMania weekend Vince McMahon changed his mind.
So what was the catalyst for the first meeting? The Rock had left WWE for Hollywood for good around 2003 after a few years of diving and leaving. He was truly gone after WrestleManai 20 in 2004 and wouldn’t be seen again until 2011 on WWE TV.
Of course, he was becoming a huge star in Hollywood during this time. In 2002, a young recruit named John Cena made his debut. In 2005, he won his first of 16 world championships.
Cena essentially replaced The Rock, to an extent, as WWE’s main babyface and a simple comment in an interview got The Great One thinking.
“I was gone and he had done a bunch of interviews, radio interviews and I just felt – someone referenced me and said, ‘Hey, is The Rock coming back?’ and he said, “I’m not quite sure.”
“I just didn’t like the way he said it and it stuck with me. Years later when I returned I spoke [chairman] Vince McMahon and we thought what would happen if we took this and created this sort of thing. It’s perfect.”
Cena had never hesitated to share his aversion to part-time artists. As one of WWE’s hardest working talents, he felt he had every right to hold on.
“That’s my take on The Rock, and it’s really sweet,” Cena said in 2010 before their feud. “I met him and he’s a fantastic human being.
“What gets on my nerves a bit is, and I guess it’s my fault because I hear it every day with young talent, middle talent, with people who aspire to be successful in this business. , I hear ‘I’ve wanted to do this my whole life. Rock falls into this category. At one point, he loved wrestling and wanted to do it all his life.
“So explain to me why he can’t come back for a birthday show, why he can’t make an appearance at WrestleMania.” Simply put, it’s because he wants to be an actor, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
“He’s a really good actor, he’s very successful, he’s done really well for himself, and associating with sports entertainment doesn’t do much for his acting career, so I understand why he Don “t come back.
“Just don’t fuck me and tell me you like it [wrestling] when you’re doing it just to do something else.
The irony now, of course, is that Cena has done the exact same thing and is carving out a life for himself in Hollywood. Funny how things change!
But, back in 2011. Rock returned to host WrestleMania where Cena was headlining against WWE Champion The Miz. It would ultimately cost Cena and the following night on RAW, the duo hosted a match for the next WrestleMania a year in advance for the very first time.
While preparing for the match, the pair had a promotional battle in the middle of the ring on RAW and Cena actually called The Rock out – one of the greatest speakers in the company’s history – for notes on his arm to help remember. his promo.
The Rock was instantly and visibly enraged. From there, reports suggest that behind the scenes the Brahma Bull was ready to kill Cena backstage after the segment and The Rock admits they almost came to blows.
“He’s a great guy. He’s one of the best guys out there, but here’s what we achieved: If we wanted to build the two biggest showdowns in a row and create something special in Miami and New York, we’re going to do it from this. way.
“And we could fail miserably. People may think it’s not real or you run into the challenge of people’s potential to say, “It’s so real it’s not real.” But in this case it worked out really well and through all that edge, that attitude and that bite that we had and almost getting to the backstage shots and a night in the ring.
Literally, we were face to face, it was second to second. And thanks to this in a crazy, strange and totally unexplained way, we have become big buds.
Most reports have claimed that what Cena said was unwritten and that almost any indicator would back it up.
The Wresting Observer reported that the era: “The verbal battle between The Rock and John Cena at Monday’s RAW Supershow in Portland was designed for Cena to take over this time around.
“WWE officials are determined to get a 50/50 reaction for both men at WrestleMania 28 in Miami.”
Reports suggest Cena was supposed to win at WrestleMania 28, but over the weekend of the show those plans changed. Since the show was in Miami, which is The Rock’s hometown, it was speculated that this played a role in The Rock’s victory and it gave WWE the opportunity to tell a longer story. .
Much like at WrestleMania 18 with Rock and Hulk Hogan the current star, the full time guy is the one who has to end with the win. But Rock won and proclaimed on RAW the following night that he would once again be WWE Champion to secure his tenth reign.
“I think Cena had a little problem getting the job done because Cena has been carrying the torch for 10 years at that point,” said WM28 umpire Mike Chioda.
“He was breaking hers, day after day. Here is the Rock back after so many years in Hollywood and he has to work for the Rock? “
Chioda continued, “There was a bit of heat there. I think there was a bit of disagreement, but you have to go where the money is going. So they put Rock on and I was happy with it. I felt bad for John in a way.
Rock would win the WWE title at the Royal Rumble from long-reigning CM Punk the following year. At the same event, Cena would win the titular event to hit his ticket to the WrestleMania 29 main event. Rock v Cena II was on, but this time for the title.
Mainly because of an injury to The Rock in the game, the second outing was not as good as the first. The finisher-fest ended with Cena taking the win and Rock raising his hand on the stage for the real put-over. Some may argue that it was more important for Cena to get the win this way, but many also think of CM Punk in this equation. Maybe it should have been a triple threat.
It worked for Punk that year, to be fair. He was able to give The Undertaker one of the last big games of his streak with WrestleMania.
As great as The Rock is, and it is, it seems Cena’s big win was more about The Rock than Cena. The final victory was a byproduct of Rock getting his moment in Miami and another title race. Did it mean more to Cena when he finally won? It is debatable.
A first categorical victory would have done just as much, one might say. Perhaps the strongest motivation to do it again was the amazing money earned the first time around.
It’s Wrestlemania week, so join the talkWRESTLING team for a huge Mania preview show! Hear exclusive talkSPORT interviews with 5x WWE Champion Daniel Bryan and first-ever British WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, plus ‘The Game’ Triple H on why he’s not having a match this year, and Simon Miller from WhatCulture joins us in breaking down the map. Enjoy!