Lost in a lot of the buzz about the WWE WrestleMania 29 announcement at Met Life Stadium is an even bigger story to WWE fans. The Rock announced that he will be appearing at WrestleMania 29, returning for his third WrestleMania in a row.
“My goal right now is to make WrestleMania XXVIII the greatest WrestleMania of all time,” The Great One stated before breaking the news: “I will also come to WrestleMania XXIX, and I will electrify MetLife Stadium like never before.”
[ad 6]Quite frankly I was surprised as to how little buzz this story received. The Rock will be wrestling at his first WrestleMania in eight years in just a few weeks. Most assumed that while The Rock would pop in from time to time, his days as a semi-regular WWE performer were over. Apparently that is not the case.
This also follows a story earlier this week in the Wrestling Observer newsletter in which Dave Meltzer reports that The Rock will be involved in something big at SummerSlam 2012, schedule permitting.Obviously involved doesn’t always mean wrestling, but I think we are at the point where The Rock isn’t going to show up on pay per view unless he is lacing up the boots and putting them to a$#ses.
If the plan going forward for the WWE Network for WWE pay per view shows stays in place, you could see The Rock on 50% of the pay per views in the coming years which is huge. Earlier reports indicated that all of the WWE “B” pay per view events would migrate over to the WWE Network, leaving the four big shows on pay per view. To me, that is saying The Rock will be playing a big role in the WWE in the next few years.
Unfortunately a part of me wonders whether announcing The Rock for WrestleMania 29 before he even wrestles at WrestleMania 28 was smart promoting? Sure, we all figured The Rock would be around part-time after 28, but now you are telling fans that this won’t be his only match. I may be possibly reading too much into it (which I have a habit of doing), but I almost wonder if the premature announcement took some shine off of his match with John Cena in Miami.
WrestleMania 28 is expected to do big numbers. But a decline overall in the WWE business has me pondering whether The Rock would lose that megastar appeal by appearing semi-regularly? While the Survivor Series 2011 buyrate was good, it was hardly what anyone in the WWE hoped for with the in-ring return of The Rock. If he is wrestling 2-3 times a year, he would almost be somewhat marginalized due to the current trends in the WWE’s business.
[adinserter block=”1″]Looking ahead to next year, where do you take The Rock from here? The only real mega money match that is on the table is The Rock vs. John Cena. They could do a rematch and honestly, I don’t even think I’d have a problem with that. If he was to go in another direction against a Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, or even CM Punk, the WWE Creative team would have to get out of this pattern of booking for parody. The tag team match at Survivor Series proves that while people want to see The Rock, they aren’t going to go out of their way to watch him squash an inferior opponent.