The ongoing saga of The Rock returning to WWE has been an interesting one, not just because of what he's doing in the ring opposite John Cena but also because of what's happening behind-the-scenes.
The three biggest stars in the company at present time -- Cena, CM Punk and Randy Orton -- have all come out against "The Great One" for bailing to do movies and then coming back and acting aloof in the locker room. Indeed, even Punk made mention of not digging the fact that Rock didn't stop to shake hands and say hello.
Oh, that silly WWE locker room etiquette.
Of course, we mostly passed these issues off as nothing more than minor gripes. Hell, it's entirely possible Punk and Orton went into business for themselves and attempted to set up future angles with Rock, a big money superstar who still commands quite the audience. Indeed, we know Rock is going to be wrestling at WrestleMania 29 now but we don't know who his opponent will be.
Why not Punk or Orton?
The larger issue, of course, has been wrestlers hitting the dirt sheets under the protection of anonymity openly complaining about Rock just showing up and taking up a spot on the biggest show of the year, leaving out guys who are busting their ass for the company night in and night out.
It's certainly understandable to be slightly upset, all things considered. But as John Layfield explains on his Facebook page, he's not necessarily buying it. But if there are those who are complaining, here's a message for them:
"I hear the resentment/jealousy of the Rock backstage and I quite frankly don't believe it. Four of the world's biggest superstars in Cena, Rock, Undertaker and Triple H will headline WM-this is huge for WWE and the business-guys should be dying to be on this card and my guess is they are. It's very simple to those who do have any problem with it, if there is anyone truly that does-replace them and there won't be a spot for them. Until then just say 'thanks!' There is a reason why Jericho and others can always come back-they earned that right and they still draw. Shawn Michaels does as well. CM Punk and John Cena earned the right to be on top. If these guys ever quit drawing then they know it's time to hang it up-that hasn't happened yet, and I hope it won't. Piper and Diesel ares guys who still draw interest and create buzz. Shows how great these guys are that they still create interest-it's Darwinian, once they stop or are replaced then you won't see them anymore. Batista would draw if he decides to return."
This is Layfield essentially echoing Rock's sentiments when he responded to his critics via Twitter by saying it's "incredible how many of the boys don't get the 'business' part of our business."
It is quite incredible how many WWE folks fail to grasp the basic concept that a star the caliber of The Rock is good for everyone, no question about that. Even Triple H, a guy who killed a couple of potential big money names throughout his career, knows to leave well enough alone these days. Others, obviously, haven't quite gotten the memo.
Here's some more info from the latest Figure Four Weekly to really drive home how important Rock is to WWE's business right now:
For the year, thanks entirely to wrestling operations, they grossed $483.9 million, up from $477.7 million last year. And by wrestling operations, I mean the impact Rock had on WrestleMania and Survivor Series this year. That's literally the entire reason, which makes it even more preposterous to hear wrestlers complaining about the Rock coming back to main event WrestleMania this year.
In the end, it must hurt to see numbers like this and know how inferior these anonymous wrestlers who complain must feel about The Rock coming in and having the kind of impact on business they surely wish they could have. Jealousy is a strong feeling, after all.
When it gets down to it, I tend to side with Layfield on this one. You don't like Rock in the main event? Take his spot.