When The Rock came back to professional wrestling after a long hiatus, he did so for one reason and one reason only: to feud with John Cena. Sure, he was going to make boatloads of cash, and yes, WWE would prove to be a great promotional partner for whatever movie he was pushing at any given time, but the reason he was able to come back and do all that was because the company has a big star on the roster willing to play ball with one of the legends of the industry.
And he can hang with him too.
The feud started years ago but it really kicked into gear when Rocky cost Cena the WWE championship all the way back at WrestleMania 27 in his match with The Miz. That led to the two setting up a match at WrestleMania 28 the next year the very next night on Raw, leading to a year-long build to a match that would do 1.2 million buys on pay-per-view (PPV), one "The Brahma Bull" emerged victorious in.
You didn't think a proven money winner like that could possibly go without a rematch, did you? And you didn't think WWE wouldn't find a way to raise the stakes considerably, did you?
The powers that be worked a deal with "The Great One" to keep him around for another couple years and had him end CM Punk's historic 434-day title reign at the Royal Rumble before successfully defending the title in the rematch at Elimination Chamber. Cena, meanwhile, won the Rumble match itself before putting his WWE title shot on the line against Punk himself but winning a classic match on Monday Night Raw to make it official.
For the second year in a row -- really, the third -- The Rock vs. John Cena would headline the biggest show of the year, this one WrestleMania 29 on Sun., April 7, 2013, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Only this time, the WWE championship would be up for grabs.
The actual build to this latest encounter has been underwhelming. The theme for the match, and WrestleMania 29 in general, is redemption. Cena is looking for his after coming up short in the biggest match of his life. Rock, meanwhile, is simply trying to fend off the biggest threat to his throne.
It's a simple formula for a showdown between the two biggest pro wrestling stars on the planet right now. All signs point to Cena winning and possibly defending the belt in a rematch at Extreme Rules in May but crazier things have happened.
After all, there weren't many of us who thought Rock would win last year.
Now, the two are all set to headline what could end up being the highest selling pro wrestling event of all time. The match quality is in question but the behemoths are coming to smash the box office, Cagesiders.
Enjoy the ride.