Every once in a while we get a match in WWE we never thought we’d ever see, The Rock versus Hulk Hogan was that match in the 00s. In 2011, the night after Wrestlemania 27, The Rock who had just hosted Wrestlemania the night before, as well as cost John Cena the WWE championship, was challenged by John Cena to a match, and The Rock declared the match would happened at Wrestlemania 28 the following year. From there we were off to a year long build to match we never thought we would see ever, it was build as “Once In a Lifetime.” Let me just clarify there will be some story from the latter part of 2011 because that’s when things started to heat up for this feud.
2012 – “Once In a Lifetime”
For most of the year prior John Cena would focus on the WWE Championship, at the October Pay-Per-View, Vengance, John Cena was attacked by The Miz and R-Truth, So John Cena challenged them to a match, and would continue to be attacked The Miz and R-Truth. So John Cena was given the opportunity to choose his partner, and he picked, The Rock. The man who he’s been building a whole year to facing at Wrestlemania. Now of course they won and after the match, the delivered a Rock Bottom to John Cena.
This would be the last time we’d see The Rock until the build to Wrestlemania in March. John Cena however would start a feud with Kane. The whole premise of the feud, which was very dumb in my opinion, Kane didn’t like Cena’s new t-shirt and the slogan that came with it “Rise Above Hate”. Kane believed that Cena needed to “embrace the hate” in order to beat The Rock. Kane would try to get under John Cena’s skin, by attacking his friend Zack Ryder. On numerous occasions leading up to Zack Ryder would get destroyed to the point where he was in a neck brace and a wheelchair in storyline. Zack Ryder lost his US title due to the injuries that he received from Kane. John Laurinaitis then forced him to face Kane while injured in a falls count anywhere and telling Cena if he interfered Ryder would never get a rematch for the US title. Ryder was Chokeslammed off the stage, Tombstoned on the stage at the Royal Rumble, in which Cena and Kane fought to a double count out. Then a couple weeks later Cena saved Ryder’s girlfriend, Eve Torres, which Ryder would witness, and while in a wheelchair, Kane would throw Ryder off the stage. All of this to get Cena to “embrace the hate” and this would culminate in Cena and Kane facing again in an ambulance match that Cena would win.
To me, all of this, was unnecessary. All of this was stupid, all of this didn’t help anyone at all, and it absolutely ruined Zack Ryder. He had made himself with his YouTube show, but all this with Cena and Kane ruined him to the point where he couldn’t be saved. So after all of this, the real build to The Rock versus John Cena began. For the most part, they just threw verbal attacks at each other. John Cena brought back his rap character, The Rock made fun of John Cena’s merchandise and threw most of it in a body of water. A lot of these promos were very good. Then we got to the match. The match itself was very good, however the thing I disliked was the result. The Rock absolutely didn’t need to win this match. That’s what ruined it for me. John Cena was the one sticking around, he was the one who needed the momentum from beating The Rock. The Rock left after Wrestlemania, he wasn’t here after this match. I will never understand why this was booked the way it was and that’s why WWE ruined this. Also let’s not forget where John Cena was after this, feuding with John Laurinaitis, talk about bad. Make sure you keep it here for more as I will continue this series in the coming weeks.
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