10: WWE Championship Match: The Rock (c) vs John Cena
This was the match that headlined WrestleMania 28 last year, and it was billed as “Once In A Lifetime.” In that confrontation, the icons of two generations met in a tough, evenly-matched bout. In the last moments of the match, Cena made an uncharacteristically cocky move by mocking The Great One, and attempting to use The Rock’s own finishing move, The People’s Elbow, to end the match. The Rock countered with a last second Rock Bottom to seal the pinfall, and win their highly anticipated match.
In the year since, the two men’s careers went in different directions. While The Rock did go back to Hollywood, he returned at Raw 1000 to announce that he would face the WWE Champion at the Royal Rumble. At the Royal Rumble, the Rock defeated CM Punk to win the title, ending Punk’s historic 434-day reign as champion.
Meanwhile, Cena had the roughest year of his career. He barely triumphed over the returning Brock Lesnar in a brutal match at Extreme Rules, and lost to CM Punk twice, Dolph Ziggler, and even John Laurinaitis. While he did win the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match, he became the first and only man to cash in the contract and fail to win the title. Cena vowed to make his 2013 a better year, and he started by winning the Royal Rumble for the second time. He chose to use the Wrestlemania 29 title shot to challenge for the WWE title, which meant that he would get his rematch against the Rock.
Their feud is a different kind of animal this time around. It’s still heated, but in a different way. Cena wants to prove that he can beat The Rock after missing his chance last year. The Rock however wants to prove that he can defeat Cena again, and remain the champion for as long as he can.
In both of these feuds, Cena has taken a bit more of a heel role than usual to foil the Rock’s babyface persona. Some fans are thinking that this will finally lead to a full-fledged heel turn from Cena, but I just can’t see it. If Vince were ever going to pull that trigger, he would have done so already. Would it cool to see? Absolutely. I think Cena has the potential to be a really good heel, but not half as good as he is as a face.
I was lucky enough to see the John Cena / CM Punk match in Dallas live. It was easily the best Raw main event match since Shawn Michaels was on the roster. In that match, both Cena and Punk pulled out some desperate moves out of their arsenals. Punk gave Cena a Piledriver, while Cena powerbombed Punk and actually won the match with a hurricanrana followed by the Attitude Adjustment for the pinfall. If we can see both Rock and Cena pull out some moves like that, then they’ll add a lot more spice to the meal that a lot of people don’t have too much faith in.
At the end of the night, John Cena finally beats the Rock cleanly. The Rock takes the loss like a man, and both men share the spotlight as the show closes.
Winner: John Cena