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The X-Factor

Posted in Ask X by Jack at 18:28, Feb 17 2011

by Jason X

Now as I write this?we are still getting over the hangover from Monday?s return of The Rock. Which was so much of a breath of fresh air in WWE that even I myself marked out and enjoyed his promo, possibly because it didn?t come off scripted and contrived? However, there is a bigger picture to look at with The Rock?s return and promo. It shows that there is massive unrest with the ?WWE Universe? when it comes to one John Cena. For all his hard work (which many of us who dislike him give him credit for always giving 100% in the ring) he has lost a lot of fan support since 2004 when he was at his height with the rap gimmick. WWE, has shown that they will stick by him which is great because he is a huge draw, but at what expense? His gimmick is stale, and the only fans who cheer for him at this point are children and teen girls (thankfully not the same teen girls who love Jeff Hardy).

A lot of people will argue that Hulk Hogan was only cheered by children but that really isn?t true. Children weren?t the ones staying up late at night to set a ratings record to watch him and Paul Orndorff in a steel cage on Saturday Night?s Main Event, it was adults. It was the key 18-34 age demographic that WWE gets the majority of the ratings from. The problem is, is that in WWE?s quest for a PG product they have homogenized wrestling so bad that the major demographic they rely on have all but turned their back on the product and the ones who have stuck around are turning their back on the biggest draw. What WWE has done is forget that you can have a ?PG? wrestling showcase and not be insulting to your main group of fans. All you have to do is look back 25 years or so and you will see that WWE was much more family friendly than the NWA but they weren?t family friendly to the point that the product was neutered. Sure you had wrestlers like Hillbilly Jim and Koko B. Ware who you knew weren?t huge stars, but you also had huge stars like Roddy Piper who would say exactly what he thought on the mic in a promo. Was what he said PG no far from it on most nights, but it was still safe enough for children to watch with their families. Somehow that has been lost in their quest now, there is a lack of edginess to the shows that they could have even with their current PG rating.

How does all of this related to a possible Rock Vs. Cena match up. It?s simple, WWE is banking on a Hogan Vs. Rock type match up, and a Hogan Vs. Rock type of crowd reaction where two beloved wrestlers meet in the ring on the grandest spectacle in all of pro wrestling, which is Wrestlemania. Here however is the snag in those plans:

1) You cannot manufacture that kind of reaction. That is the simplest and nicest way to put it. What happened with Hogan and Rock back in 2002 was pure happenstance. It wasn?t planned to happen by any means, it happened because the fans still respected Hogan and still looked at him as how he was in the 80?s. That is why the crowd reacted that way. Vince and company were banking on Hogan being completely hated by the fans, but when Hogan was delivering on the mic and showing enthusiasm in his matches the fans started to cheer for him. I believe had Hogan acted like he did when he was in WCW the fans would?ve been 100% behind the Rock. But because Hogan was working hard on the mic and in the ring the fans showed him respect and cheered for him like they did back in his 80?s heyday. You can?t manufacture the fans respect and loyalties

2) Cena is not wholeheartedly loved by the majority of pro wrestling fans the way Hogan and Rock were, and because of that no one will look at him on the same level of Rock where as they looked at Rock on the same level as Hogan. That is the 2nd major downfall of this possible angle.

In his quest to create a legendary match, Vince has failed to realize that John Cena is a mainstream wrestling icon like Hogan or Rock were and are. Hogan?s first two films while in WWE (no holds barred and suburban commando) both finished in the top 5 films the week they opened, Rock?s first two films while in WWE (mummy 2 and the scorpion king) both finished in the top 5 their opening weekends. Cena?s two films bombed. The only saving grace is that I know The Rock can bring out the best in Cena both on the mic and in the ring. It could refresh Cena?s gimmick, but it still won?t be enough to make the Hogan Vs. Rock match that Vince is hoping for, and it certainly won?t be the cash cow that Vince is hoping for.

When you look over the entire WWE main event roster, there really isn?t a match up that could possibly bring in the kind of ratings and money Vince is looking for with The Rock. Here is a breakdown of possible match up?s for The Rock and a basic idea of what the opponent will bring to the match.

Rock Vs. Orton: This one match wise would be tremendous and on that alone it would be worth watching, the problem however is that Orton is no where near the level of Rock in terms of promo?s and Orton would lose a lot of heat because of that.

Rock Vs. Punk: This one both on the mic and in the ring has the most to offer in terms of quality, because punk will be able to hold his own with the Rock in promos, and be able to bring out the best in The Rock in the ring. The problem is, is that Punk is not near the level main eventer that he should be to have a feud with Rock at this point. He is only now starting to feud with Cena and Orton. The matches with him and Rock would be great, but the time isn?t right yet

Rock Vs. Edge: This one I think is the best possibility out of the bunch. The fans will buy into to both guys to help give the match a true big time feel, and I think it will draw tremendous ratings. It will also probably make Edge care enough to put in the effort he was back in 2005 and 2006. which if that is case it will be one of the greatest feuds of all time, because you will have two of the best guys on the mic and two wrestlers that the fans respect and cheer for in the ring. The Rated R Superstar vs The People?s Champ could be the best drawing feud WWE has had in almost ten years

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