We all know about the main event at next year’s Wrestlemania. The epic clash between the WWE’s current leading superstar John Cena and the great one, The Rock is already drawing some discussion as it was announced a whole year in advance. A lot are concerned that making this match a whole year later will make it hard to promote and even more are bothered that Cena intends to defend his WWE Championship against the Rock at that time, which implies to some that he’ll be holding the belt the whole time.
So what does this mean? Well, first of all, I don’t think Cena is holding the belt the whole time. The most common theory out there for how WWE is going to promote the match is a heel turn for Cena. This isn’t something I disagree with. Tons of people, including The Cenation Commander-in-Chief himself, want him to go heel, as this would refresh his character. This is an idea that is reportedly bounced around among WWE Creative, but is nixed because of mark sales. Cena is a huge money draw as a babyface and while I think this won’t necessarily change if he goes heel, it’s probably a huge factor to consider for the company.
Personally, I have two theories of my own. The first is having the Rock wrestle as a heel while Cena is the face. I know, I know. Not what you wanted to hear, I’ll bet. But I actually like Rocky as a heel. My reasoning for this thought is Cena’s constant insistence that the Rock belongs in the ring and not on film. This could lead to an angle in which Dwayne is scheduled for WWE appearances, only to have them canceled or postponed repeatedly due to his filming schedule.
If this serves to anger the fans, this could serve to put a lot more people behind Cena than there would’ve been before. Johnson could heel it up by insisting more and more on adhering to his film schedule and ignoring the WWE while Cena continues to criticize him for it.
Of course, that is just one possibility I offer to counter the (admittedly much more awesome) idea of Cena going heel. My other idea? Just keep them both face. Right now, the biggest appeal of this match is the polarizing effect they have. Some support Cena, some support Rock. The WWE could have a lot of fun with this if they played their cards right.
So, two of the WWE’s biggest stars are set to clash at Wrestlemania. With each side gaining followers, the Great One and the Champ are going to war. Who could ask for more? I can. And I know exactly what I would want too. Stone Cold Steve Austin. What? I said Stone Cold Steve Austin. What?
I said Stone Cold Steve Austin. He has made plenty of Wrestlemania appearances since his retirement, namely as a Special Guest Ref to several matches, including the Battle of the Billionaires, Vince McMahon vs. Bret Hart, and Michael Cole vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler. For the most part, these were joke matches. But I think if he returned to ref at next year’s Mania, they could put an amazing story into it.
Here’s how I would see it. Stone Cold makes several appearances over the year, all the while interacting with John Cena every time. Establish a friendship onscreen between the two. Celebrating with John Cena in the ring over the end of Raw this week would have been a good start for this. Once Mania looms near and the time comes to start seriously putting over the match, I would see Austin making an appearance and being announced as the Guest Ref.
In the coming months, the friendship between Cena and Austin could be put over while the history between the Rattlesnake and the People’s Champ is also highlighted. The angle here could be that only a man like Steve Austin could mediate such a “titanic” battle. This would put three of the biggest things in WWE these past two decades in one ring and elevate the excitement level of the match.
It’s a bold prediction, I know, but seeing this come to pass is the best way I can possibly imagine making Rock vs. Cena an even better match.