WWE: The Rock vs. John Cena and Their 20-Minute Promos on Raw

Mike ShannonFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2012

ST. PETERSBURG - OCTOBER 04:  Celebrity John Cena takes in Game Four of the American League Division Series  between of the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field on October 4, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

I blame HHH.

That's right, I blame Hunter for introducing the 20-minute promo to us during his infamous title run about 8 or 9 years ago.

Last night on Raw, both John Cena and the Rock participated in "concerts" that were designed to make us, apparently, want to see them wrestle at Wrestlemania.  I have no idea what they were thinking on this one.

Cena's rap was pretty dull.  He said the exact same things he's been saying for months only this time he dressed like the Vanilla Ice ripoff from his earlier heel run.  Big whoop.

The Rock's portion of the show was essentially just PG-rated jokes with a dash of "yo momma" cracks which probably had Vince McMahon rolling on the floor in laughter.  Don't forget, this is the guy who thought Katie Vick was hilarious (Google it).

The problem was that the Rock's concert simply wasn't funny.  Don't be fooled by WWE cameramen showing you shots of marks crying from laughing in the crowd, those jokes were about as dated as your wardrobe.  Does a "dream match" really need mother jokes three weeks before it for buildup?  Of course not.

Now, please don't jump all over me here, I love the Rock.  Rocky is absolutely phenomenal on the mic and can get a crowd going like no one ever has in this business.  20 minutes though is just simply too long to listen to someone talk.  The best promos are under five minutes and many are under three.  If it takes you twenty minutes to set up a story or angle, then your angle/story is way too complicated.

Look at the great promo guys in this industry:  Flair, Rhodes, Rocky, Foley.  Most of their awesome stuff was only a few minutes long and left you amazed.  No one remembers a quarter-hour speech, they remember great one-liners and intensity.

Cena and the Rock are probably going to have a match for the ages at Wrestlemania since Rocky and John always bring it in a big-match situation.  However, in terms of good television going forward after the event, these 20 minute promos have got to go.