Movie star Dwayne Johnson, known in a previous life as "The Rock," returned to WWE and his old nickname in February of 2011. He was announced as the special host of WrestleMania 27, which featured a main event of The Miz vs John Cena.
During the build to that WrestleMania match, a subplot developed between The Rock and John Cena. Tensions began mounting, as the two traded insults over the weeks. Below are two posts from February 2011, which includes promos from both men.
The Rock returns to WWE
John Cena responds to The Rock
The night after WrestleMania 27, Cena issued a challenge to The Rock for a match. The Rock one-upped Cena and accepted, with the condition that it take place at WrestleMania 28. A lot of people were worried how interest could be kept in this match over the span of a year, especially with Cena being involved in other feuds between now and then.
For the most part, this feud has played out over Twitter. Both @TheRock and @JohnCena have traded insults back-and-forth online, which has kept anticipation going. Both mentioned the match in mainstream interviews. Rocky even showed up on Raw a few times to promote the feud, in addition to their tag match they had at Survivor Series against The Miz & R-Truth.
As we approach March, the biggest WWE event of the year is only a month away. WrestleMania 28 will be Sunday, April 1, from The Rock's hometown of Miami, Florida. There are no other distractions for either man. The Rock doesn't have any movies to promote and Cena has no other feuds in his way. Both are focused on what is arguably the biggest main event in WWE history.
YouTube videos will be embedded below showing how this has played out so far.
The crux of this feud looks to be that both think the other is phony. Cena does not respect the fact that The Rock left the WWE and took the high-paying Hollywood career. The Rock does not respect the fact that Cena panders to kids and doesn't come off as legitimate.
The first video is from the February 20, episode of Monday Night Raw. In it, Cena fires the first shot, talking about how fake he thinks Dwayne Johnson is, talking about his entourage and how he'll be gone as soon as WrestleMania is over. He notes that The Rock will be in attendance the following week. The next three are from the February 27, episode of Monday Night Raw. They show The Rock doing what he does best, electrifying the crowd. Cena comes out and "shoots" about his feelings on The Rock, before throwing the microphone down and leaving.
Feb. 20, John Cena talks about The Rock
Feb. 27, The Rock returns to Monday Night Raw (part 1)
Feb. 27, The Rock returns to Monday Night Raw (part 2)
Feb. 27, The Rock returns to Monday Night Raw (part 3)
I'm not sure when The Rock will return to Monday Night Raw again, but I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of him as we get closer to April 1, and one of the biggest main events in WrestleMania history. I'll share more thoughts about The Rock's return (and these reports that others wrestlers are jealous) at some point over at Under the Ring.
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