WWE WrestleMania 29: Why John Cena vs. The Rock Needs a Stipulation

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2013

Photo courtesy of WWE.com
Photo courtesy of WWE.com

As much money as John Cena vs. The Rock for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XXIX is likely to make the WWE, most hardcore fans aren't particularly excited about it. One way to potentially add some intrigue would be to institute a stipulation of some kind.

Normally when there is a WrestleMania match between two stars as big as Cena and The Rock, a stipulation isn't really necessary. Since they already faced off in the main event last year, though, this match obviously needs something. The addition of the WWE Championship may be interesting to some, but it is blatantly obvious that Cena is going to win, so it doesn't make much of a difference to the diehards.

So many fans have grown disillusioned with this feud due partially to the fact that we've already seen it, and also because The Rock hasn't been on Raw in a couple weeks. With that in mind, maybe there isn't anything that can save this match as far as the regular WWE viewers are concerned, but that doesn't mean the creative team shouldn't try anyway.

It seemed like a lot of fans had the same feeling about Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania as they do about Cena vs. The Rock currently. The WWE has done a nice job building Triple H and Lesnar's feud into something personal, though, and the addition of stipulations such as No Holds Barred and Triple H having to retire if he loses have definitely made it one of the most anticipated bouts on the card.

The same thing happened with Triple H last year as he faced The Undertaker. Triple H had lost to The Undertaker at WrestleMania one year earlier and nobody truly believed that he would beat The Deadman at WrestleMania XXVIII. Shawn Michaels was added as the special guest referee, however, and the match was contested inside a cell. Those factors helped make Triple H vs. Taker arguably the best match of 2012.

I'm not saying that the same will be true of Cena vs. The Rock since neither of them are top-flight technical wrestlers, but a stipulation could help them tell a better story in the ring. The easiest stipulation to throw in would be no disqualification, but I highly doubt that the WWE would go that route since that is essentially what we're getting with Triple H vs. Lesnar.

There are a number of other stipulations that can be eliminated from contention as well. The odds of a Hell in a Cell, cage or ladder match headlining WrestleMania are extremely low. Also, we aren't going to see an Iron Man match and I doubt that many fans would want to. It has been a while since the WWE has staged an Iron Man match, but Cena and The Rock simply aren't the right guys to put in that situation.

While it may seem like that doesn't leave many options, two potential match types are Last Man Standing or I Quit. A Last Man Standing match would allow both men to go all out, use weapons and essentially leave everything out there in the ring. An I Quit match, on the other hand, would be a test of wills and the winner would get essentially the biggest rub possible as neither Cena nor The Rock seem like they would ever give up.

Since neither of those matches have any rules, it would also open the door for interference from any number of superstars, whether it be The Shield, CM Punk, Brock Lesnar or whoever else. It seems like many of the WWE's hardcore fans want something huge to happen in this match, and if it doesn't then they will ultimately consider it a failure. Cena winning is pretty much a foregone conclusion, but there is a desire to see it happen in spectacular fashion.

Not surprisingly, there has been a lot of talk about a Cena heel turn. As much as most of us would love to see that, it simply isn't going to happen. It's clear that the WWE is waiting until Cena's current fanbase gets a little older and starting to grow out of liking him. It would be very similar to what happened with Hulk Hogan when he turned heel and helped form the nWo in WCW.

The Rock isn't going to turn heel either because he is the WWE's mainstream star and the company wants to trot him out on media tours and talk shows whenever possible. Adding an interesting stipulation and creating the possibility of some sort of dirty finish may intrigue enough fans that the backlash will lessen heading into WrestleMania.

There are obviously plenty of fans out there who won't be interested in Cena vs. The Rock regardless of what the WWE does, but there are many more who are on the fence and can be persuaded. The WWE can't really recapture the magic that Cena and The Rock had last year, but simply making things a little different and putting forth some effort would be enough for the majority of fans.


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