WrestleMania 28: What Happens After the Rock and John Cena Clash?

Mike Shannon@@DLman91Featured ColumnistFebruary 29, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 16: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson attends a press conference to announce that MetLife Stadium will host WWE Wrestlemania 29 in 2013 at MetLife Stadium on February 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images)
Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images

John Cena and the Rock are on a collision course that will finally culminate with a main event match at WrestleMania XXVIII.  Make no mistake, this is definitely your main event of the evening.

This past Monday on Raw, Cena finally showed some guts and, for possibly the first time, verbally dueled with the Great One and actually came out on top.  Rocky seemed legitimately flustered when Cena pointed out to the millions that the Rock writes promo notes on his wrist, something he's done for years.

In any event, this match is going to be be well worth y$60.  Cena always brings it on a big stage, and the Rock knows that the pressure will be on to deliver a great performance.

But how do you book the match?

Do you turn John Cena heel at WrestleMania and have him destroy the Rock, sending him back to the movies and cementing Cena as the focal point of Raw yet again?

Do you have Cena beat Rock in a grueling match and have Rocky shake his hand, endorsing Cena as the man going forward?

Or do you have the Rock beat Cena?

I guarantee you that each one of those scenarios has crossed Vince McMahon's mind at least once.  Does WWE really have the guts to turn their top babyface of the last decade heel?  What about the merchandising?  What about hustle, loyalty and respect? 

What about the children?!

You have to consider if there is money to be made with turning Cena to the dark side.  Would you watch a babyface CM Punk or Randy Orton take on a mega heel Cena?  I'm not sure. 

It would definitely be intriguing the first couple of times, but what kind of heel would Cena be?  He can't return to his white rapper past because it is too gimmicky, and he wouldn't be believable as a sniveling coward. 

So, while the idea of a heel Cena intrigues me, I'm not sure if it's the best idea in the world.

As for the next possibility, do you really think that the fans would buy the Rock endorsing Cena? 

Rocky has verbally torn Cena a new one every single time he's gotten a live microphone.  If the Rock endorses Cena with a handshake or (shudder) a man-hug, older fans are going to crap all over it. 

Attitude Era fans see the Rock as their guy—the man who is going to put John Cena in his place, a man who represents when wrestling was cool—not this watered-down PG-era stuff where Cena kisses the fans backsides every week. 

An endorsement would absolutely ruin that image, and fans might be extremely turned off by that.

Finally, would WWE do the unthinkable and actually have the Rock pin Cena to close WrestleMania?  It's seems extremely unlikely, but you have to think that the possibility is there.

Look, I know that the Rock is finished full-time with WWE.  He makes way too much money as a movie star and doesn't have to put his 40-year-old body through a beating 200 days a year anymore.  Having your top guy lose to a part-time movie star doesn't seem like good business.

However, wouldn't that be an interesting twist to this whole saga?  The Rock pins Cena and heads back to Hollywood with his mythical image still intact.  Meanwhile, Cena has to rededicate himself to his career and not just being a pandering, joke-spewing idiot to the crowd every time they boo him.

Smart money says Cena is going to get the win; that's the way I'd wager if gambling on wrestling was legal.  However, WWE is very weird when they believe fans know something is going to happen. 

Look at the Royal Rumble.

WWE felt too many fans knew Chris Jericho was penciled in as the winner, so they switched it to Sheamus at the very last second. The crowd went apathetic at that one. McMahon is in a very strange place right now, so don't put anything past him.

Fans aren't too worried about the night after WrestleMania because we already know Rock vs. Cena is going to be one hell of a show.  However, WWE should be extremely careful about how they book this match.

You could end up with John Cena as the new heel on Raw, you could change his character entirely fora nice change of pace or, worst of all, you could maintain the status quo.