Several NBC Universal networks will be airing a special documentary on the feud between John Cena and The Rock, starting with an 8 p.m. airing before Raw on Monday night. The documentary, much as the way WWE is promoting the match, is called "Once in a Lifetime." Yet, this very well may be a case of false marketing. If you believe the rumors swirling on many pro wrestling websites, the WrestleMania 28 confrontation will be the first of three matches we see between Cena and The Rock within one year.
Speculation is that The Rock will not only get into the ring with Cena on April 1 in Miami (a match the Rock would win) but that he would also wrestle Cena again this year, likely at the 25th anniversary of SummerSlam in Los Angeles (where Cena would win) before a final confrontation at next year's WrestleMania in New York/New Jersey.
For the record, I hate the idea of a three-match series. You'd have to really juice things up - much like WWE has had to do by adding Hell in a Cell and Shawn Michaels as a guest referee to the Undertaker-Triple H match - to make next year's WrestleMania match interesting.
Where is all this speculation coming from? It started when the Rock was at the WrestleMania 29 press conference and said he'd be at that show. Then there was a rumor that Vince McMahon wanted him to work at least one more pay-per-view this year, mostly likely SummerSlam, since it's the 25th edition of the show.
Having the Rock at those two shows, and probably making an appearance at WrestleMania 30 in 2014, is great business sense. He is clearly a draw, although I think some of the intrigue has worn off since his return to WWE television in February 2011, as reflected in recent ratings.
But after a year of build-up to this WrestleMania 28 encounter, I just can't see fans being that into several rematches. Let's be honest, neither the Rock or John Cena are the greatest wrestlers in the world. But both ooze with charisma and are legitimate Superstars in the world of entertainment. The match itself might not be that great, but the crowd in Miami is going to turn it up a few notches. But once you've seen it, some of the luster is going to come off.
Remember Hogan-Rock II? Of course you don't. It's the same situation. The match was good, but not great, mainly because by that point, the crowd was over it. It will be even worse when you have a "smart" New York crowd at WrestleMania 29.
Let's plan on the Rock being in action at WrestleMania next year, and maybe one more pay-per-view between now and then. But let's do it against someone else who needs the rub of being in the ring with one of the all-time greats (like the Miz, or Dolph Ziggler), even if the Rock ultimately defeats them.
This year's match needs to live up to it's Once in a Lifetime billing. It's not going to get better if it's presented for a second or third time in less than a year.