I was one of those people who wanted The Rock to finally come back to WWE. After all, The Rock was one of my favorite wrestlers in the era I grew up watching. He was a role model for many adolescents, including myself. The Rock never possessed the in-ring capabilities of a Chris Benoit but his magnetism made up for that.
Without a doubt, he had multitudes of heart, passion, and adoration for this business. In fact, his heart was so immense that it sprung through all our televisions. Unquestionably, The Rock's chief attribute was his ability to talk. Because of his well-written, witty dialogue, impeccable timing, essentially unparalleled charisma, and exceptional catchphrases, The Rock became astoundingly popular with the fans.
The people anticipated The Rock to finally come back to WWE, but this depressing parody version came instead.
Two years ago, The Rock rejoined WWE after seven long years to become the special guest host for WrestleMania 27. After he was done with his shtick, he verbally assaulted the figurehead of WWE, John Cena. Mind you, this was before CM Punk's initial pipe-bomb, so the things he was saying about John Cena were equivalent to the Rock setting Vince McMahon's house on fire.
At the time, John Cena was heavily protected by WWE, to the point where they practically pretended that Cena was not receiving a voluminous amount of jeers. The Rock was the voice of reason for everyone who disliked Cena's character for any particular reason as he ranted about the character's impairments.
The Rock was back, baby!
Or was he?
After that speech, The Rock's promos seemingly kept getting worse every time he spoke and they shockingly became downright sickening during his feud with Cena.
In fact, due to the way WWE booked the Cena/Rock feud, I had no desire to see a match I had been fancying about for roughly five years. Instead of promoting the feud as this epic quarrel amongst two of the biggest stars in wrestling's existence, it was akin to seeing two elementary kids insulting each other at recess. The Rock, who had long been known for trademarking some of the funniest put downs of all-time, debuted some of the lamest insults I had ever heard -- such as, "Kung Pao Bitch".
Personally, what I would have done to emphasize the importance of the match was show vignettes of both wrestlers training hard for it, similar to how Samoa Joe Vs. Kurt Angle's Lockdown 2008 match was built up.
Granted, the build was not spectacular to say the least; however, The Rock and John Cena had an opportunity to redeem themselves by putting on a prodigious match at WrestleMania. To be perfectly honest, The Rock and John Cena could have honestly competed over who could take the biggest bowel movement and people would have still paid to see their match. The rusty, off his game, blown-up Rock had John Cena hold his hand all the way to the crescendo. There was neither a story nor transitions to bring you from point A to point B. They just did random moves for little apparent reason until the "epic" climax.
To make matters worse, The Rock faced one of the best workers in the world, CM Punk, twice, and the results were two more mediocre, middling matches. The matches were tedious, plodding, and lacked chemistry between the two grapplers. WWE even interjected smoke-and-mirrors into the match last night, hoping it could mask the in-ring issues between the two but it felt similar to one of Jeff Jarrett's 2005 TNA title matches. In other words, they tried to force drama into the match, but nobody was caught up in it. In fact, for the most part, the crowd was silent during that match.
I realize The Rock's lackluster in-ring performances are not going to affect Wrestlemania 29's buy rates. In fact, I anticipate this buy rate to be bigger than last year because the title is on the line (assuming John Cena beats CM Punk next week). The issue is minimal for WWE, but it does not hinder the fact that Rock's performances are marring important Pay-Per-Views that people pay a lot of money to see.
The Rock will always be enjoyable for nostalgic reasons. Whenever his music cues, the hairs on my back still stand up. Whenever he does his, "Finally, The Rock has come back to (insert city here)" routine, I get goosebumps. In addition, anytime he tells someone it does not matter who their name is, I belly laugh.
However, The Rock obsessed about talking about "bringing it" when he is doing anything but. It is time to start bringing on the microphone and in the ring to give back to the millions and millions of fans who supported and still are supporting you.