Why Can't More Be Like The Rock?
The recent and limited addition of The Rock back into our lives is bittersweet for me. I guess we should be happy just to have him back at all, right? Monday certainly proved that he still has "it". And wow, he looked absolutely jacked! I never doubted his work ethic physically and it should have been no surprise to anyone that he stayed in great shape without pro wrestling.
The fact that Rock is back isn't the part that bothers me this week. The fact that he's a constant reminder of what wrestling is missing these days, however, is bothering me.
Tell me one guy in wrestling today that comes even close to Rock's ability on the microphone. One guy that draws the type of reaction from the crowd as he does. Or like Austin did. John Cena may have reached their level in terms of merchandise sales and overall fame and recognition, but his current gimmick doesn't allow him the ability to produce the electricity and energy those guys could (and still can) everytime they hold a microphone.
John Cena can certainly talk, don't get me wrong. He draws a reaction, albeit a mixed one, and fans are emotionally invested in his career whether through love or hate. John Cena is truly the "next best thing" to a guy like the Rock, but let's say I give you that one…who else is there?
I remember when Ken Anderson was supposed to be that guy. Paul Heyman saw greatness in Anderson and gave him the opportunity to get over. I think he started to do just that before injuries plagued him. That, and Heyman leaving the company. Orton not liking him clearly didn't help either. Did Mr. Kennedy actually have what it takes? We'll probably never know now, but he wasn't the only "guy with potential" either.
Is it the PG rating that prevents stars from rising to that level? I don't think so. Look at what CM Punk has been able to accomplish within the confines of PG. Of course, it shouldn't be hard when you are given full reign to verbally tear everyone in the company a new a$$hole week in and week out. Kudos to Punk for delivering to perfection, but very few are given golden opportunities like that.
Punk still has what it takes, but Vince McMahon seems scared to let go..completely. Punk has been reeled right back in and his "pipe bombs" aren't what they were just a couple of months ago. It's sad, too. WWE really had something going there for a minute.
Wrestling is cyclical, so they say. And I'm not here claiming wrestling is awful or unbearable without The Rock every week. However, it's definitely not the same. Will there ever be another? I have no idea, but I can say this: The Rock proves it's still possible.
Chris Cash can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @RealityofChris this Sunday night as he'll be tweeting live during Survivor Series. His review of the show will be posted on WrestleZone Monday afternoon.
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