Mark interviewed RIC FLAIR on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh on 3.28.12! Check out the podcast at WXDX.com!
CENA-ROCK: THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
Let’s recognize Mania’s Cena-Rock main event for the battle it really is: “Everybody wants Rock to win” vs. “Cena’s gonna be there the next day.”
It’s a tough decision. I’m not sure what’s right.
Old-time fake wrestling logic holds that Cena should win. The guy that’s departing puts over the guy that’s staying.
But aren’t we WAY PAST old-time fake wrestling? Does that logic still hold? You’re performing in front of your biggest audience of the year. Is it good business to disappoint that audience?
There’s not necessarily an easy road to compromise, either. The most logical compromise would be for Rock to win, but Cena gets much of the match and is seen as having given an admirable effort. Rock shakes Cena's hand in a sign of respect, and even though Cena gets the loss, he also gets the rub. I bet that's what's attempted.
Thing is, Cena already has the rub. He’s worked with Rock, at some level, for a YEAR. Cena’s already a top guy, anyway – THE top guy in terms of WWE full-timers. Does he really need the rub? Is anyone big enough to give Cena a rub that helps more than a loss in a Mania main event hurts?
Furthermore, do Rock and Cena have what it takes to tread such a delicate path? We’re talking subtlety and balance in the vein of the Hart-Austin double turn at Mania 13. Given Rock’s ring rust and Cena’s very basic style, it’s easy to imagine these two not having the collective chops to pull it off. (BTW, watch that double turn again: Hart and Austin were brilliant. So was ref Ken Shamrock. Austin attacks Hart before the bell, a tried-and-true heel move. Twenty minutes later, Austin is a resilient, never-say-die babyface. Amazing.)
I would bet Vince doesn’t yet know who’s going to win Rock-Cena. I would bet the decision hasn't been made.
I would have Rock win. But I’d second-guess myself in advance LIKE CRAZY. I wouldn’t want to disappoint my audience. The basic theme of WWE PPVs is, almost always: MAKE THE AUDIENCE HAPPY.
But if Cena doesn’t lose in just the right way, WWE Universe is gonna stick it up his ass FOREVER. Rock will dog him FOREVER. At that point, maybe a heel turn is forced. But who’s gonna be a top babyface? Who's gonna sell merch? There’s a lot at stake.
I mentioned earlier that Rock and Cena might not have the collective chops to pull off what’s needed. I KNOW WWE creative can’t script what’s needed. This is up to the performers, and the crowd. No one else.
Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh, PA (105.9) . Check out his web page at WXDX.com. Contact Mark by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . FOLLOW MARK ON TWITTER: @MarkMaddenX