Minasan Konnichiwa! Hello everyone and welcome to your tenth edition of The Shoot. I can?t believe it has been ten columns already, then again, that’s not much of a milestone to begin with, but I needed an intro and well, here we are. I am going to play arm chair booker once again for this column. Over the past two columns, I made mention about the whole John Cena vs The Rock scenario and since it is probably never going to happen, I figured that I would take the reins of the proverbial booking sheet and do things my way. While we have all that goodness ahead, I must divert your attention away because it is time for your weekly Quick Shots!
While many people are clamoring over the Larry Sweeney vs Ring of Honor debacle, I found something a little more interesting. Apparently AAA has suspended Konnan after actions he had other wrestlers take on Juventud Guerrera. ?The Juice? stated that Konnan is trying to run AAA like a mafia and that what happened to Juventud is what would happen to any lucha on the roster that Konnan doesn?t like. What’s even more perplexing is that former ROH mainstay, Jack Evans, took part in Juvi’s beat down. I really don?t know which side of the story to believe, but if I were a wrestler, I wouldn?t get booked in AAA if this is what’s going on south of the border. This is another reason as to why I hate wrestlers being placed into booking scenarios. Sometimes egos cause a person to go on a power trip and it seems as if that’s what has happened to Konnan. Good thing I never liked Konnan to begin with otherwise I?d feel disgusted by his actions. Instead, I just roll my eyes and turn the cheek in the other direction.
As if there hasn?t been enough animosity in the news this week, Eric Bischoff fired a shell in Kevin Nash’s direction calling him ?Big Lazy.? We all know the history of Kevin Nash and his multiple knee surgeries, minor heart attack, and increasing age. Nash was one of the best big men in the business and the key here is ?was.? It is time for Kevin Nash to hang up the boots activity-wise. TNA had him in the perfect role and that was being the mouth piece because despite not being able to go full out anymore, Nash can still rock a mic like nobody else. When he managed Sonjay, Shelley, Sabin, Lethal, etc, he was golden and had to be one of the most entertaining things to ever come out of TNA and that’s not easy to say with the way they have been running. If Bischoff was referring to backstage politics in trying to favor Nash when he was in charge of booking in WCW or his workrate remains to be seen, but for his limited mobility, I think Nash is still out there giving us what he can and I don?t believe that comment is warranted.
In some sad news, it looks like CIMA and ROH are done. Apparently CIMA claims ROH owes them money. ROH says they don?t and there is another reason as to why they are no longer doing business with Dragon Gate and all I have to say is that is heartbreaking to hear that. Wrestlemania weekend had quickly become a tradition for ROH as they presented Dragon Gate Challenge and Supercard of Honor back to back on that weekend and what we were given was two nights of phenomenal fast-paced juniors action and while the wrestling isn?t scientific or psychological to appease some of the ?wrestling geniuses? out there, you have to admit watching guys go full speed like that can be very entertaining. Sadly, it doesn?t look like we will be seeing that kind of action in an ROH ring ever again unless they do the right thing and find a mutual agreement between the two companies.
Just looking back? Sweeney/ROH, CIMA/ROH, Juventud/Konnan, Nash/Bischoff? there has been a lot of hatred in the news this past week. Can?t we all just gather under the Ecto Cooler fountain and just get along!?
Anyway, ever since John Cena took his shot at TAFKA The Rock, now known as Dwayne Johnson, this seemed like an elaborately planned WWE storyline, but with Mr. Johnson getting bombarded week after week after week with questions regarding John Cena’s challenge and answering it with the same answers of ?That’s laughable, he’s an interesting guy, he’s a funny guy, it’s baffling? I can?t help but think two things:
1) The Rock really is clueless as to why Cena is making this challenge and there is no way in hell that this match will ever happen (which is the most likely scenario and hence why I?m writing this column)
2) The WWE is feeding The Rock these answers and he’s just playing along and what could be a year’s long storyline that will culminate at Wrestlemania XXVI in Arizona.
We all know the first option is the most likely scenario and if it isn?t, my hat is off to Vince and company for attempting to swerve the fans, but what would happen if the world was shocked and The Rock ends up accepting the challenge? Well, that is what I am here to answer so let’s start at the obvious place, the beginning with the already given information.
John Cena makes the media appearances for his movie 12 Rounds. As he is going around from city to city to promote his movie, he takes a shot at The Rock by stating that he walked away from the wrestling business. The Rock then ignores the comment so John Cena tries to get underneath Mr. Johnson’s skin once again by throwing a challenge out to him to come back to the squared circle for one more match against him on the grandest stage of them all: Wrestlemania.
Now here is where I would start the storyline and, ironically, it starts out exactly how real life is playing out right now. The Rock is going around promoting his movie and, of course, the media will have one special question with each interview and that is ?What do you think about John Cena’s challenge?? Ironically, I would have also had Dwayne answer each confrontation in the same manner where he would say that Cena is crazy, out of his mind, his actions are laughable, etc. Once the media buzz dies down, things get kind of quiet for about a month or two.
The reason for this is because Wrestlemania XXV just happened and obviously the challenge for Wrestlemania XXVI is nothing more than a marketing ploy to get people interested in a possible super match. Once all of the post-Wrestlemania hoopla is done and over with there is really no need to keep this charade up. May, June, and July pass by and there isn?t really any mention of Cena or The Rock. Now comes August and this is the time where the WWE holds their second biggest show of the year, Summerslam. By now, The Rock will either be close to being done or completely done filming his next movie (assuming that he is going on to make another film so soon.)
John Cena, being the poster boy for the WWE, goes around again, to media outlets and begins hyping up Summerslam for Vince and company. While on his media tour, he recalls that the last time he made the rounds like he is doing now was when he was promoting 12 Rounds and Wrestlemania. Cena recalls that he made a challenge to The Rock for the next Wrestlemania and his only response was that he was a funny guy. Cena will then state that it really wasn?t a joke and that the challenge is still on the table for The Rock to come back to the wrestling ring for one last match.
A few weeks go by with no response until The Rock starts making his rounds to promote his next film. Again, the reporters ask him if he heard about Cena’s challenge, but this time, The Rock’s answer is slightly different. He believes that Cena is just trying to make himself a little more famous with the casual fan by throwing his name out there with a challenge. The Rock says that while he still loves wrestling and the WWE, he still has no wish to return to the ring because that is in the past and he must look ahead to the future.
Over the summer, WWE Films places John Cena in another movie role (hopefully not 13 Rounds). John’s movie is slated for a Christmas time release. Once again, Cena makes the rounds and helps plug his movie along with WWE’s next biggest event, The Royal Rumble. This time, Cena addresses The Rock one final time, recalling to an interview that he did back in the summertime stating that he said he still loves wrestling and that he must look forward to his future. Cena then says that he should look forward to Wrestlemania being in his future and if he loves wrestling as much as he says he does, he will show up and go one on one with him.
Now the press really starts getting to The Rock. Almost every single interview he does is about John Cena and how, for the past year, he has done nothing but called out The Rock. The Rock seems to be very agitated in his interviews and keeps beating around the bush until one interview he says that maybe he?ll finally give John Cena his definitive answer.
At the Royal Rumble, Vince McMahon comes out right before the Rumble Match and has a major announcement. He said that he has been aware of a situation that has been brewing for quite some time now and that in order to get it out in the open, a certain someone had contacted him about making an appearance to clear the air so the announcement is that for the first time in a very long time, tomorrow night on Monday Night Raw, The Rock will appear live and in person to address John Cena!
The next night on Monday Night Raw, they promote The Rock appearing live in front of the crowd all night long. This ends up being the closing segment of the show. John Cena comes out first and grabs the microphone. He says that he has waited almost a full year to hear The Rock’s answer to his challenge. Cena said he never tried to rub the challenge in The Rock’s face, but he said throughout the year, he made mention of it here or there so he would never forget that the challenge was still out there and that it would always be in the back of The Rock’s head. He said the time for waiting is over and that Cena anxiously awaits The Rock’s answer.
Rock’s music hits and the arena goes berserk. It is one of the loudest pops in recent history, but after about a minute or so of The Rock’s music playing, it cuts off and The Rock comes on the Titantron with the words ?Live Via Satellite.? Half of the crowd still cheers, the other half is now booing The Rock. He starts off with his famous? ?FINALLY? The ROCK HAS COME BACK?.? And then stops and says ?no? this is not true because The Rock hasn?t come back. He hasn?t come back to (insert the name of the town Raw is in) just like he hasn?t come back to sports entertainment. I told Vince McMahon that I would appear live on Monday Night Raw to give John Cena his definitive answer, but I changed my mind for you see after thinking long and hard about it, I felt that I shouldn?t waste my time appearing live for something I no longer believe in.?
At this time, massive heat is now generated on The Rock and Cena is standing in the middle of the ring with a quizzical expression on his face. The Rock will go on to deliver a very heated heel promo about how he never intended to accept the challenge and that there is only one thing in his life now and that is Hollywood. He says that he is the most successful wrestler turned actor in the history of wrestling and acting has served one purpose and that was to open his eyes and show him that life can be much better than traveling for 300 days a year and getting hurt night in and night out for a fraction of a paycheck.
Cena would retort and tell The Rock that it’s not supposed to be about the money. It’s supposed to be about the love for the business and that’s enough to keep a man doing what he does every single night. He will then say that it is true that money does change people and that by saying you love wrestling was nothing more than just to save face for public relations.
The Rock will then respond by saying that money has indeed changed him. It made his life so much better and that it was true. He doesn?t love wrestling anymore and that even if he did, John Cena is nothing more than a Rock wannabe. He’s the top guy in the WWE, he’s the next big WWE movie star, the new people’s champion. He says that John Cena is only trying to emulate The Rock by being the biggest name in the wrestling business, but the only problem is that no one can duplicate the electricity that he put out there night after night. Cena can try all he wants, but he will never be as successful as The Rock was.
This gets under Cena’s skin and he then tells The Rock that if he thinks he is better and that he cannot see him surpassing The Rock then he must feel that he’s a better wrestler than him (Cena). So he tells The Rock one more time that he can put his money where his mouth is and accept his challenge and he can get his ass kicked one last time at Wrestlemania. The Rock just laughs at Cena and uses his interview quotes from before calling Cena laughable. He then says he came here tonight to give Cena his definitive answer and that the answer is, was, and always will be no. The titantron then cuts off as Cena just stands there disappointed. Cena looks very frustrated and is at a loss for words. He just drops the mic and exits the ring. Raw goes off the air.
John Cena is absent from Raw for the next two weeks. Many are questioning if what The Rock said really got under Cena. The announcers then put over The Rock as not being the true people’s champion as they once thought.
At the start of the next Raw, it is announced that they had a sit down interview with John Cena and that they would deliver that interview tonight. In the interview Cena calls out The Rock and said that he used to admire him when he worked for the WWE. He said that he never aimed to be The Rock and that he only aimed to be John Cena because that’s who he is. He doesn?t live his life as a lie and he said that he cannot believe that The Rock would use this business and pretend to love it just to get where he is today. He wonders if The Rock is only using Hollywood to get what he wants and said that The Rock has been nothing more and always will be nothing more than just a fake. After saying what he said, he hopes The Rock gets hounded by the media and the press and he hopes that they ridicule him for what he has become because as far as he is concerned, The Rock doesn?t deserve the fame and fortune he squandered his way into.
Over the next month, up to No Way Out, the media does just as John Cena hoped and hounds The Rock. They keep trying to bury The Rock and WWE puts up all of these ‘stories? (which are obviously works) up on WWE.com. Cena will come out and feature at least one story per week on Monday Night Raw and this will push The Rock to his breaking point.
The Raw after the No Way Out PPV, The Rock once again appears on the Titantron and tells John Cena that he is really sick and tired of him trying to ruin his life. He says that Cena is only jealous because he could never be The Rock so he is only aiming to destroy what he could never be. Cena says that it is not the case. He says he is only proving to the world that The Rock cares about nothing more than himself and that he shouldn?t be allowed to live with himself the way he is. He is merely doing this open his eyes and to get him to realize what an asshole he had become.
The Rock would then respond by saying that nothing Cena can say will ever phase him because The Rock is above Cena and above the WWE as a whole. Cena then says that if he is so great, then why doesn?t he come to Wrestlemania and let out his frustrations. He says to even sweeten the deal, he would even pay The Rock with his own money. All The Rock has to do is name a price and John Cena will pay it. Win or lose at Wrestlemania, The Rock will be guaranteed the money and he will have his opportunity to shut him up and get his life back to the way he wants it.
The Rock, intrigued by this, actually accepts the challenge on the condition that $1 million of John Cena’s own money be paid to The Rock. Since Cena wants The Rock so bad, he shouldn?t have a problem paying the amount. Cena, without thinking, accepts the challenge.
The WWE then does its thing over the next month with video packages and whatnot, hyping the Wrestlemania match between Cena and The Rock. Come Wrestlemania, Cena vs The Rock is scheduled in the middle of the show. John Cena comes out first, but The Rock comes on the titantron. He says that this isn?t going to happen. He says that the only way this match would happen would be if it was the main event of Wrestlemania. The Rock feels that he is bigger than the World Title, bigger than the WWE Title, bigger than any star on the roster and since this is a million dollar match, it needs to be treated as such by being put into the main event. All of a sudden, the WWE Champion’s music hits (and I am presuming that it’s going to be HHH. I don?t know why? I just have a hunch!). HHH walks down and grabs the stick and says, ?John. Main eventing Wrestlemania is one of the biggest honors of one’s life, but this year, it would be an even bigger honor to watch you shut him up. If you want my spot, you can have it.? Cena shakes HHH’s hand and the match is now set for the main event.
The match happens and Cena comes out first. The time between Cena and The Rock’s entrances are deliberately set far apart. This is a mechanism to make the crowd wait even longer. Finally, after all this time, The Rock makes his first live appearance for years and by this time, the heat is off the charts. When he gets to the ring, he demands that he is announced as Dwayne Johnson instead of The Rock. When the match concludes, John Cena pins The Rock to send the fans home happy. As The Rock lays there, Cena writes him a check for 1 million dollars and throws it onto the canvas. Cena grins as he exits the ring. After Cena leaves, The Rock picks up the check, looks at it, smiles and grabs a microphone. He then says ?Win or lose, I still have my money and that’s all that matters. ? He looks into the crowd and says ?Goodbye and Good Riddance?.
As The Rock is about to make his way to the back, he is bombarded by the face portion of the WWE locker room. They each take their turns pummeling on The Rock, but he eventually squirms through them and makes his escape. They chase him through the backstage area where The Rock dives into a limo and drives off. Good ol? JR then closes the show and says ?Well, folks. There have been many Wrestlemania moments over the years, but whoever thought that this would be one of them!
So there you have it. That is my proposed storyline for Rock vs Cena. It mixes Hollywood with wrestling and it’s the perfect fit for Vince’s vision of Sports Entertainment. It’s the classic up tight Hollywood celebrity vs the guy who has his head on his shoulders. Vince has always showcased the WWE as if it were a television show rather than a sport and this will showcase the WWE has the better form of entertainment in the end, which puts over the WWE product as a whole. The promos between Cena and The Rock could be simply outstanding going on this precedence and it would make for one of the most compelling storylines in recent times. It has that big Hollywood feel to it and the match would be a huge draw for Wrestlemania as well.
With that being said, let’s move on to some reader email!
Chet Lemon writes in
This was the first time I read your column and I must say,it’s very enjoyable. This weeks Wrestlemania column had alot of good stuff on the AWA. I didn’t like WrestleMania either it was a major fail on WWE’s part. The best part of this column was the CCW refrence,I have been to CCW and it was cool to see it get a refrence even if its kind of lame. Again nice column and I will keep reading The Shoot.
-WV Chat Room’s Chet”MR.TNA II”Lemon
Steven D. Harris writes in again with an interesting note.
It just goes to prove that miracles happen!? I sent you this at the beginning of March ? look at the bit I?ve highlighted!
I found your article very interesting; at times, I thought you had read my mind!? There are definitely far too many titles flying around (to the same old people ? but that’s for another column!).? My pet hate is the use of ?WORLD title?, when it isn?t ? it’s only open to wrestlers from that company, usually only wrestlers from that country!? Perhaps you could inform me; when was the last time that a wrestler from outside the U.S. or Canada actually held a ?world? title within the WWE?? I agree with you ? scrap ?world?, keep ?WWE?.? Hold a unification bout, like they did with the WWF and WCW belts.? While you?re at it, hold a tag team unification match ? and give it to anyone except Miz & Morrison ? please!? Hey, maybe they could sign Jim ? er, sorry ? John Morrison into a ?loser loses their hair? match ? then see how smug he looks!!!? And finally ? could someone please teach the ?divas? how to wrestle!? C?mon girlies, Chyna learnt it, it can?t be that difficult ? can it?
Back on The Shoot #4, I wrote a column about rejoining the brands and that some talent needed to be let go. Soon after that happened, some of those mentioned in my column were future endeavored by the WWE. Now it seems my psychic powers have been passed along to my readers!
That’s going to do it for me this week.
Of course, this week’s feedback question is. If you had to book The Rock vs John Cena, how would you do it?
I will look forward to your answers as well as anything else you would like to discuss. So if you wish to answer the question or talk to me about where I can pick up some Japanese candy named ?Gumi?, or if hacking really a survival trait (god I love that movie) you can send all of that and more to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next week…
Because I can.