The WWE should not waste any time promoting the rubber match between The Rock and John Cena for the WWE Championship for Extreme Rules on May 19.
Their WrestleMania 29 main event was one of the biggest matches in professional wrestling history, and only time will tell if it will go down as the main event of the highest-grossing pay-per-view extravaganza for the WWE. Many fans were disappointed WWE decided to have Cena vs. Rock II at WrestleMania 29, and even more fans were probably left disappointed by the actual match itself.
Still, despite the immediate reaction from diehard fans, the WWE desperately needs to prevent a "WrestleMania hangover." The best way to keep business booming, much like the company did last year when it brought in Brock Lesnar, is to immediately promote The Rock vs. John Cena III for Extreme Rules. There is still more for The Rock and Cena to do from an in-ring perspective, and an Extreme Rules element would benefit both of their in-ring styles and masterful storytelling abilities.
The Rock has been rumored to work in some capacity at Extreme Rules, but the WWE needs to immediately make it a reality with a main-event match against Cena. Considering both men are squared up 1-1, every fan knows that they will eventually lock horns for (at least) a third time. Aside from perhaps an unprecedented third consecutive main-event matchup at WrestleMania XXX, the most logical time for WWE to hold Part III is May 19 due to The Rock’s current schedule.
The Rock is still in the midst of a major media blitz as he continues to promote his upcoming movies, Pain & Gain and Fast & Furious 6. The WWE wouldn’t need The Rock to appear on every single Raw between now and Extreme Rules, because the storyline is built off The Rock utilizing his rematch clause after losing the championship to Cena.
As long as fans know these stars are going to wrestle again, they will tune in to the pay-per-view. It’s no different than the buildup for WrestleMania when The Rock had to miss a few episodes of Raw due to his promotional tour. The WWE didn’t need The Rock on Raw because it was looking ahead to WrestleMania 29; the same would be said for Part III at Extreme Rules.
Fans might rebel leading up to Extreme Rules if The Rock missed more episodes of Raw, but the WWE knows well enough not to care about that minor and tiny contingent of fans. The fact of the matter is that wrestling fans will always tune in to see The Rock vs. John Cena because it is still, despite already taking place twice, the biggest draw in the wrestling business right now.
Most importantly, the WWE needs to maintain momentum. Those inside and outside the company should only see WrestleMania 29’s hype and overall outcome as a success. The buildup was fantastic and the matches all delivered. Last year it hit a grand slam with WrestleMania 28 and refused to take its foot off the pedal. Brock Lesnar’s first match back in the WWE in eight years against John Cena reportedly brought in more than 250,000 buys for the Extreme Rules pay-per-view.
If the WWE promoted The Rock vs. Cena for this year’s event, it would surely do better numbers and maintain interest in the product for a longer period of time. The WWE decided to nix a second April pay-per-view in favor of pushing Extreme Rules back to the middle of May, so it needs to find a way to keep fans intrigued after building such immense interest leading in to WrestleMania. The worst thing that could happen for the WWE is for fans to immediately tune out of the product.
Given The Rock's mainstream appeal and the interest he has provided, the WWE would be foolish to let him slip away now while he still has two movies to promote. The handshake and salute between Cena and Rock to end the show proves there is mutual respect between these two men finally. At this point, the only thing left to do is settle the score. At every level of business, it only makes sense for The Rock to wrestle John Cena at Extreme Rules.
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