About a year ago, John Cena and Kane were involved in a terribly boring feud where Kane tried to get Cena to “embrace the hate”. As we sit here about 24 hours away from the return of the most electrifying man in all of entertainment, I’m here to say “Embrace The Rock”.
I’m sure you’ve all read my original rant on The Rock and my subsequent rebuttals. If you haven’t you can catch yourself up by reading my review of last week’s WWE Main Event. What would cause me to throw TJR and its readers into such a tizzy? Well, it’s because I was shocked and astonished to see all the hate for the former WWE Champion. I said that if you hated on The Rock, then you were wrong. A lot of people came after me for that statement but I’m not going to back down from it.
I genuinely love pro-wrestling. I’ve been a fan for 25 years and have stuck with it through the highs and lows of the business. I will say that there is one thing that really turns me off from wrestling and it is the internet. The IWC as it is called is a very vocal and mostly disgruntled group. When CM Punk wasn’t getting pushed they wanted to know why. Now that he has been WWE Champion for 400+ days, they are bored of him and want a change. They are a hard group to please and a lot of the time they make a lot of irrational statements that make you wonder why they watch wrestling in the first place. I really want to remove myself from the internet all together but I enjoy writing for this website too much and I’ve met some really awesome people that I like discussing things with. When you read people saying they don’t want The Rock on RAW it makes you wonder if it is all worth it.
I can reason with some of you. I understand that Rock has won exactly one singles match in seven years and finds himself competing for the WWE Championship in a few weeks at the Royal Rumble. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me and I’m even against him winning the title. That doesn’t mean I want him banished off WWE TV forever. The Rock doesn’t have to be in WWE. He makes something like $10 million a movie. Why would he want to batter his body when he doesn’t have to? Because he misses being in the ring. It is in his blood and he misses being in front of the crowd and entertaining the millions and millions of his fans. I understand that Rock isn’t back in WWE for free but he is also not doing it for the money. He doesn’t need too. As The Rock moves along in his movie career he is getting bigger roles with bigger stars. It is a big risk for him to wrestle. God Forbid he blows his knee out at the Royal Rumble. It could cost him millions if he has to pass up on a role because he is sidelined with an injury. It is a risk he wants to take because he wants to entertain us.
If The Rock does win the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble you shouldn’t be too mad by it. Sure, it doesn’t make a lot of sense in long term booking goals but think of it like a lifetime achievement award. The man has done all there is in WWE. He wants one last run. We should be grateful that he wants to. We should be enjoying the ride and watch one of the greatest of all time before he does indeed hang up the boots for good. Everyone is always going bonkers whenever there is the slightest hint of Stone Cold Steve Austin coming back for one last match. I’d love to see it too but The Rock is here and he can give us at the very least, three more matches and great promos along the way on RAW. This isn’t going to last forever. You should enjoy it while you still can. Hulk Hogan is a shell of a man. Bret Hart can’t bump anymore. Austin probably won’t ever wrestle again because of the risk. Edge can’t wrestle again. Randy Savage is gone. The Rock is still here. The Rock can still wrestle. The Rock can still entertain. There is going to be a time when Rock joins those legends in retirement and you don’t want to be left with regret because he spent his run in 2013 hating the man.
If you want to hate something, hate WWE. It is their fault and their fault alone that they need to bring back guys like Rock and Brock Lesnar to boost PPV sales. Outside of Cena and you can argue he is no Hogan, Rock or Austin, WWE has done an absolutely horrible job of creating THAT guy. That guy that the company knows will sell tickets and move merchandise. I wish WWE didn’t need to bring back Rock and Brock to create a legit spark and interest in the company. With guys there like Cena, Punk, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton and Sheamus, they have the talent. There are guys there that people genuinely would pay to see but the problem is that WWE has never booked them as guys you needed to go out of your way to see. If you saw one Cena match or promo you’ve seen them all. Dolph Ziggler should be one of the biggest stars in the company but he’s lost so many big matches it is hard for the fans to really believe in him. He is just now starting to gain some of that traction. Stone Cold was must see TV. The Rock was must see TV. Hogan had all the charisma in the world and drew people to him. No one in WWE fits that mold. Punk was becoming that but then he became a babyface and was quickly neutered. All of this is not Rock’s fault. It is Vince McMahon’s fault. He is the boss and has final say on all things WWE. If guys were booked differently and were made to be superstars then you wouldn’t see Rock and Brock getting these sweetheart part –time deals to boost ratings and PPV buys because Vince wouldn’t need them.
A big problem in WWE is that it isn’t must see TV right now. There isn’t anything special about it. The Rock makes it special. He makes it must see. Everyone moans and groans that we always see the same old thing on WWE TV. When Rock is here it is not the same old thing. The dream matches of the generations can happen with him. We can’t see Austin vs. Hogan but we saw Cena vs. Rock. We can’t see Bret Hart vs. Kurt Angle but we will see Rock vs. Punk. To see the stars of this generation battling one of the biggest stars of the past generation is great. We always wonder how Cena or Punk would do in the Attitude Era. We can get to see it now with The Rock back. I know it is not exactly the same thing but it gives you an idea of what it would have been like. No matter how you slice it, Punk being in a feud with Rock makes him a bigger star. It is going to make him more money. For all the WrestleMania Main Events that Cena has been in, none were bigger than last year’s because he was in the ring with The Rock. This would all be mute if The Rock was in the shape the Hulk Hogan is in but he is not. He can still give us an entertaining match. He is in great shape (pharmaceutically enhanced or not) but he is not in ring shape. It is tough to be in that kind of shape when you haven’t had a singles match since 2003 and I think he did a damn good job at WrestleMania and pulled off a damn good match.
There’s another part-timer I want to mention before I wrap this up and that is Chris Jericho. I’m a Chris Jericho fan and it would seem as if the internet is too. I saw no hatred toward him when he came back. We all knew he’d only be here for a few months just like Rock. He came back and lost the Royal Rumble Match and then got four straight PPV Championship matches despite losing all the time. I don’t want to hear that it’s different because The Rock is winning the title and Jericho didn’t. Did anyone really think that when Jericho jumped into the feud with Punk that he wasn’t going to win the title at some point in the feud? Jericho has taken a lot of extended breaks from WWE since 2005 to go and work on outside projects. Yet nobody seems to be upset at that. Only upset at Rock for doing all of the same things.
Embrace the hate. No. Embrace The Rock. Yes. Hating The Rock is wrong. He is here to entertain. We should be embracing that. There is going to be a day when his charisma is gone from WWE forever. We should embrace it while it is still on our TV screens. If The Rock is going to show up five times a year, I’m going to embrace it. If The Rock is going to win the WWE Championship, I’ll embrace it. He is going to electrify and entertain like no other and I’m going to embrace it. The man is a legend in this business and I respect and appreciate all that he has done. He is one of the biggest reasons that WWE survived and won the Monday Night Wars. When he comes back to WWE to entertain us, I’m going to embrace it. He is the only legend of this business that can still come back. We should embrace it. Sure, we have The Undertaker and Triple and as great as they are they aren’t looked at like Hogan, Rock or Austin. What we have is The Rock. We should to embrace his presence. We should embrace the great TV. We shouldn’t hate The Rock. It’s time to Embrace The Rock.
(That’s what she said.)
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Thank you for reading.