In an interview with ESPN.com's Jon Robinson regarding WWE All-Stars, WrestleMania, and The Rock's return, Randy Orton had some interesting words about the latter. Especially interesting because he's one of the "new generation" guys who's actually been in the ring with both The Rock and Cena.
Robinson: The Rock recently came back to WWE. What do you think of his return so far, and what can we expect to happen when he's actually live on Raw this Monday and he's finally inside the same ring as John Cena and The Miz?
Orton: That's an interesting topic. I know them both and I know Cena a lot better than I know The Rock, obviously, but I've been in the ring with both cutting promos and wrestling. I have to say, though, talking about the whole ring rust thing, John Cena has had about 2,000 matches in the last seven years. The Rock? A big, fat zero. So when it comes to ring rust, I don't care what type of athlete you are, and The Rock is obviously an athletic dude, but Cena has been in the ring. He's been at every show and in every show and making appearances and he has been on the road with the WWE over 300 days a year for the last seven years. The Rock? Virtually nonexistent. You see the interviews that The Rock does and he says that he doesn't want to be known as a wrestler. He doesn't want to be known as a sports entertainer or a performer with WWE or a WWE superstar. He wants to be known as an actor. Now all of a sudden he's back in our world telling the fans what they want to hear. He's telling them, "I promise that I will never go away again. I promise that I'm back for good and that I'm here to stay." He said that, what, six or seven weeks ago? Have we even seen him live since then? No. Via satellite. I think Cena will own The Rock. I think Cena is wittier and can go off the cuff. Cena writes his own stuff, while The Rock has stuff written for him. It just all comes down to who you are in the ring and what kind of performer you are in the ring, and I think Cena is 10 times the performer in the ring that The Rock is. This Monday in Chicago, he'll prove it.
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If Randy is right about Cena writing his own material, then that is sad because most of Cena's attempts at humor fall flat. In fact, a lot of people excuse Cena's bad material because they think it is written for him by Raw writers. Either way, this does not reflect well on Cena.
I was never a big fan of Rock's in-ring work, but I think his work in his day seems better to me than Cena's work over the last 10 years.
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Yeah, it's going to come to a point where people notice that Rock isn't so much 'back for good'.
I agree with everything Orton said there until he got to the conclusion. Regardless of who's writing it, I'm thinking that Rock has had the better of the 'war of words', and by a substantial (though not landslide) margin.
If they go promo for promo Monday, I'm not liking Cena's chances of "owning" Rock. Further, I think the hardcore Chicago crowd is going to work against Cena in this one, he'll really have to go to win them over against a once-in-a-decade live appearance by Rock.
But that's assuming they even have 20 minutes to spend on a WrestleMania "go home" edition of Raw. More likely Miz gets in the middle of the confrontation to create the 'triangle of intrigue' angle, leaving time for HHH, Taker, HBK, Austin, King/Cole, probably ADR and Edge as well.. there's a lot of big names that could be vying for airtime Monday night.
I think it can also depend on where you sit. I went to Wrestlemania 12 (Bret/Shawn Iron Man). I had nosebleed seats. For the most part, I was bored silly. (I guess it didn't help that the card was mostly a snoozefest.)