Chair Shots: WWE WrestleMania predictions -- John Cena vs. The Rock
By Wayne Carter
Apr 01, 2012 | 3:00 AM
During the course of the last 10 days on the Road to WrestleMania, I'll be taking a look at each match on the card individually in order to fully explain the background of the storyline, a breakdown on why each Superstar could and should win, and the bottom line -- my prediction on the result of the match and the immediate aftermath, plus any other random thoughts. Today, it's the once in a lifetime match between John Cena and The Rock.
A few years back, John Cena told the U.K. Sun newspaper in an interview that he had a problem with the Rock, because he he left WWE to become a movie star. In February 2011, the Rock returned to host WrestleMania 27 and immediately brought up his problems with John Cena. The two went back and forth over the next few weeks, until the Rock ultimately cost Cena an opportunity to win the WWE Championship in the main event of WrestleMania. The next night on Raw, the two agreed to have a one-on-one match at next year's WrestleMania. Rock returned in November to team with Cena at Survivor Series, defeating Miz and R-Truth, but gave Cena a Rock Bottom after the match. Rock returned in Februrary of this year to start promoting the main event, with the two exchanging verbal barbs over the last six weeks.
Why John Cena should win: As the face of the company, and from a business standpoint, Cena needs to go over because he's the guy who is going to be on the road full-time. Just as when Hulk Hogan put over the Rock a decade ago at WrestleMania 18 -- because it was thought at the time the Rock was going to be the guy to carry the business the next few years (whoops) -- the Rock needs to return the favor and put over Cena. Who wants to pay money to see a guy in his prime who can't beat a guy whose prime was 10 years earlier?
Why The Rock should win: If the Rock were returning full-time, then he absolutely should win this match and reclaim his place at the top of WWE as the Greatest Superstar of All-Time. But he's not. However, on this particular night, the fans aren't paying to see John Cena, they are paying to see the Rock. And in Miami, his hometown, the fans aren't going to be happy to see their guy lose.
Unlike Triple H vs. the Undertaker, where it isn't about who wins the match, this match-up is all about who wins. The promos between both men the past few weeks have focused on why it's so important each one wins. Despite many calls for outside interference in this one to allow the loser to save some face, I think that will really sour fans on this match. There needs to be a clean 1-2-3 finish in the middle of the ring. Afterward, all bets are off. Do as many run-ins as you want as long as, at the end of the day, Cena and Rock finally shake hands, having earned each others respect. But one thing that I hadn't thought about until recently, is what's next for both of these men? If the Rock is defeated, he loses a lot of luster, and likely isn't the same draw next year, assuming he plans to get back in the ring. For Cena, if he wins, then what? What else does he really have to accomplish, short of attempting to end Undertaker's Streak. As Cena said on Monday, everyone "knows" he's going to win, because that's what he does. But what if he doesn't? That sets up any number of storylines going forward. For that reason, despite having told anyone who will listen for the past year that John Cena was going to win this match, on this WrestleMania Sunday, I'm changing my mind. The winner of arguably the biggest match of all time? The Rock.