Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Team "O": Overrated & Overhyped

Photo courtesy: WWE
By Chad Smart

Over the last two months, the WWE Universe has worked itself into a frenzy over the possibility of John Cena and The Rock settling their differences in a wrestling ring. I’m in the minority though as my interest in this "feud" dwindles more and more each week. I think part of the problem is this feud violates my number one rule for "storylines I don’t want to see in wrestling," it’s based on real life.

For me, wrestling is escapism entertainment. I appreciate the larger than life personas and the athleticism wrestlers exhibit in their matches. What I don’t like is when behind the scenes attitudes; personalities or incidents get put in front of the camera. Didn’t like it Road Warrior Hawk’s addictions led to him falling off the Titantron. Didn’t care when WCW did the New Blood vs. Millionaires Club to address how guys were being held down. And currently don’t care to watch the Jeff Jarrett, Kurt Angle, Karen (Angle) Jarrett story going on in TNA. So when John Cena comes out and whines about The Rock deserting the fans by walking away from WWE for seven years, I tune out.

I understand the appeal of a Cena/Rock match. It’s the modern day Rock/Hulk Hogan match. Seeing the top stars from different generations go at it is alluring. Heck, WWE just came out with videogame based on that concept. It’s the reasoning behind the war of words that doesn’t interest me.

After Cena talks about The Rock walking out, The Rock responds by mocking Cena’s catchphrase and clothing. Why does the Rock care about either of that? The Rock made his name, achieved his goals in wrestling then left to try a new career. Meanwhile, The Rock’s absence opened up a spot for John Cena to slide into and become the face of WWE. If anything Cena should be thankful The Rock left.
As for the Rock being critical of Cena’s personality, that’s more a reflection of the current WWE product. There’s been a significant change in the WWE’s business model since The Rock was one of the most popular stars. While Cena has been a plucky baby face for the majority of his time on top and Rock was more of a tweener during his time on top, both guys are generally embraced by the wrestling audience so why would they be feuding anyway?

Throw in Cena’s rebuttal from the 3/28/11 Raw and I’m even more confused as to the purpose of the feud. Cena’s defense was so what if his fans are kids and he wears colorful shirts. I’ve seen some lame reasons for wrestlers to feud, but at least they had reason. What this boils down to is;

Rock: I’m cooler than you. You’re lame
Cena: You took your ball and went home. I entertain the fans every night.
Rock: Did I mention how cool my 5 catchphrases are? Pop culture insult.
Cena: I don’t care if the fans cheer or boo me. I’ll give them my all.
Rock: I’m doing this because I’m not shooting a movie.
Cena: Why don’t you love me, Daddy Rock? Why can’t you say you’re proud of me?

If Rock isn’t going to wrestle, why is having a verbal feud with anyone? Rock could have come in, put over the current product and wrestlers… I mean, superstars, hosted Wrestlemania and walked away again. Fans would have been excited and happy Rock came back at all. Not to mention, Rock and Cena’s verbal back and forth has cast The Miz into role of guy who comes out to remind people he’s there. Not exactly the position the champion should be in going into the biggest show of the year.
Going back to the Rock not wrestling, what will be accomplished if after Wrestlemania, Rock heads back to the Hollywood hills? The groundwork has been laid for a match that never happens. Not to mention the fact it’s been seven years since Rock wrestled his last match for WWE. While he seemed fluid and natural in his movements when he was wrestling, can he really step right back into the ring and pick up where he left off?

Again, I understand the appeal of the feud. I just don’t think it was well timed and the reasoning behind it is lacking in my opinion. Or maybe I’m just upset The Rock is doing this instead of making Tooth Fairy 2. So many unanswered questions from the first movie.

I hope that come Sunday when I’m sitting in the arena and the crowd is going wild, I can send my cynical side out to the concession stand and enjoy whatever happens just for the pure excitement of it all. And if not, well you can follow my snarky tweets on Twitter. Search for my123cents.


  1. Haven't even thought they are so cool! Mighty guys, huh?

  2. Completely agree... Love your blog (I'm a fairly new subscriber though).

    Do you have anything written on how the Miz actually started off in MTV's The Real World? He used to call himself the miz and joke around for years and his 15 minutes gave him the opportunity to meet the right people and actually get in (though it took quite a few years).

  3. Haven't written anything about Miz's start in reality TV. To be honest, I stopped watching Real World after season 3 so I didn't remember him being on there. I've seen some clips of him after he became part of WWE. But I wouldn't know anything he did on Real World or Road Rules so I wouldn't know what to write about.

    Thanks for reading.

  4. If they started the fued at Wrestlemania instead they'd had a whole year to work a storyline for next Wrestlemania. I think its hype gold if done right but just weekly trashtalk is getting no where.