We're just over two weeks away from WrestleMania 28, which is scheduled to take place on April 1, 2012, at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. The main event that night has been up for discussion in boardroom meetings at WWE headquarters but the powers that be have seemingly come down on the right side of things and will close the show with the John Cena vs. The Rock match that has been more in the makings for more than a year.
With that settled, talk quickly turns to how exactly to book the match. It's an interesting discussion, considering the myriad factors at play here. For starters, 'Mania is taking place in Rock's adopted hometown, where he went to college and just recently purchased a multi-million dollar home. The company has done a great job of bringing Rock down to Cena's level in the weeks leading up to the pay-per-view in the hopes of garnering a split reaction in Miami but the chances of that are cemented firmly somewhere between slim and none.
In short, those folks aren't cheering John Cena. They're going to be pro-Rock in a way we haven't seen since his return to television. When his music hits and he makes the walk down the aisle, Sun Life Stadium is going to light up like it's CM Punk in Chicago. No matter how hard they try, the reaction will not be mixed. If it is, WWE will deserve accolades the likes of which they've never received.
So if the fans who pay to come to the show will do so to cheer on Rock and watch him win, how do you send them home happy without Cena jobbing clean? The reality of the situation is Cena shouldn't be losing here, the obvious reason being he'll be the one sticking around to carry WWE's torch for many years to come while Rock will simply disappear back to Hollywood to continue his successful movie career.
But Cena going over clean wouldn't necessarily be good for business, either, as it would likely hurt at the box office later if a rematch is in order, which it may very well be. A lot of this depends on what Rock is willing to commit to post-WrestleMania and while he's said he'll compete at "The Grand Daddy of Them All" next year in New Jersey, there's no telling if that will actually be the case after all that's happened since he's been back this year.
In the latest Figure Four Weekly, Bryan Alvarez discussed the possible finishes:
They appear to be teasing that Miz will be doing something dastardly on the show. Most likely he'll do a run-in during this match to build up a nearfall, but after the last few months of TV it would be ridiculous to directly involve him in the finish. Most likely, there will be someone else involved, and there is at least the possibility that this person will have a match with Rock at SummerSlam, and that Cena and Rock could rematch next year at Mania 29. At press time the idea was still for Cena to win, although over the last few weeks there has been talk of putting Rock over. Everything largely depends on what Rock commits to post-Mania.
I disagree with Alvarez on Miz not being acceptable as the man to interfere in the match due to how he's been booked lately. I tend to see it from the opposite side, that it's because of how he's been booked lately that he would stick his nose where it doesn't belong.
Imagine: Miz's gimmick these days is that he main evented WrestleMania 27, defeated John Cena and retained the WWE championship only to turn around this year and be without a match and he can't get anyone to care about that fact. So how does he make an impact? How does he actually get noticed?
He screws up the biggest WrestleMania event of all time.
This solves a lot of problems, namely the fact that no one would need to go over clean and a rematch would most definitely be in order. But if the interfering party would need to go on to feud with Rock for a match at SummerSlam, that's where Miz comes up short. Because, for as much success as he's had in his tenure with the company, Miz is nowhere near the level of Rock. In fact, he's so far below him it would be almost laughable to think of a match between the two.
Even if he was booked strong for the past year, Miz just can't measure up to Rock. And, really, that's the issue. There isn't anyone on the current roster who will be around long enough to do so. The few who qualify -- Chris Jericho and CM Punk come to mind -- are busy with each other and will be for the months after 'Mania.
WWE really is in quite the predicament. They have to keep Rock happy to make sure he comes back, Cena happy because he's the flag bearer for the entire company and they have to find someone big enough to step in without looking like a complete fool.
Anyone feel like giving this a go and fantasy booking the match and its outcome? Anyone?