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Thread: Did Rock hold back?

  1. #1
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    Default Did Rock hold back?

    So I was thinking of CM Punk the other day and how hot he was coming after his first "pipe bomb," winning the WWE strap off Cena in Chicago, then re-signing with the WWE. In particular, I was thinking about his little feud with Nash and their first square-off on the mic. I remember how Punk pretty much owned Nash on the mic and how surprising that was considering how skilled Nash is on the stick. Then I remembered an interview with Nash that I either read or watched close to a year after that little feud. I remember Nash saying that he was asked to hold back on Punk and pretty much let Punk go over him on the mic. He said that he in fact did hold back, but that he did throw in one unscripted shot, that being the Waffle House short order cook line.

    So this got me thinking about the Rock/Cena buildup to their Mania match. That buildup, which was completely done on the mic, was strange because Rock wasn't bringing it on the mic. The year prior during the buildup to him hosting Mania he was scorching on the mic. And of course throughout his career he was always brilliant on the mic. There are so many reasons he is considered the most charismatic performer in wrestling history. But despite always delivering prior to the Mania XXVIII buildup, during that buildup he seemed off and quite frankly seemed to be holding back. It always seemed like he was stopping short.

    At the time many fans, Rock fans especially, were baffled; some even speculated that he had been asked to hold back so Cena could gain some momentum, level the playing field, and win some fans, who were overwhelmingly in favor of The Rock. Something had to explain Rock's sudden lack of firepower on the mic. However, many dismissed such speculation as conspiracy theory and wrote it off as Rock simply being off his game or no longer having it. I never knew which way to go, but did think that it was strange that Rock was so off his game when the year before he was killing it as he always had. But after learning about Nash being instructed to hold back on the mic against Punk, I can't help but think that Rock may have been asked to do the same against Cena.

    Thoughts?

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    OBEY THE NARRATIVE Djm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    Oh, boy.

    I remember when PW was in flames over the "Rock was holding back against Cena because Cena sucks" issue. There were at least 3 casualties and Champ was banned twice.

    Anyway, no. I know this may be hard for some people to comprehend (because Cena sucks and all...), but maybe, just maybe Cena just so happened to match up with DWAYNE very well.

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Djm View Post
    Oh, boy.

    I remember when PW was in flames over the "Rock was holding back against Cena because Cena sucks" issue. There were at least 3 casualties and Champ was banned twice.

    Anyway, no. I know this may be hard for some people to comprehend (because Cena sucks and all...), but maybe, just maybe Cena just so happened to match up with DWAYNE very well.
    Oh Cena did very, very well on the mic, but Rock still seemed off his game. I give Cena credit for bringing it because he did, but Rock was so off his game and seemed so hesitant on the mic at times that it strikes me as suspicious/strange/unusual.


    And the Nash revelation makes me wonder.

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Djm View Post
    Oh, boy.

    I remember when PW was in flames over the "Rock was holding back against Cena because Cena sucks" issue. There were at least 3 casualties and Champ was banned twice.

    Anyway, no. I know this may be hard for some people to comprehend (because Cena sucks and all...), but maybe, just maybe Cena just so happened to match up with DWAYNE very well.
    Should have gone to wrestlingforum.com. Their Rock/Cena discussion thread was over 2,000 pages long and many got banned over there. It got real nasty on that one and I even got a warning. At least a dozen bans I could think of. Seemed to bring out the worst in people.

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    I'm not getting into this deeply, just like I didn't last year. What I will say is that no, Rock wasn't holding back. The problem was that the entire basis of the feud was Rock not being there. That immediately puts Rock in a defensive position, which isn't a place you want to be. One of Rock's best promos of the feud was when he directly countered Cena's assertions, by talking about how the business is in his blood, how he loves it, and how he will still be around from time to time, never to leave again like he did.

    In most situations, that would be the end of it. After all, the only thing Cena asked for in the beginning was for Rock to show up and say hi. That didn't happen, though. Cena doubled down (with false accusations) despite Rock surpassing Cena's request. This put Rock in the position of having two choices. First, he could continue to defend himself. And second, he could attack Cena back. He did a mixture of both. Defending himself became repetitious, and attacking Cena is just difficult. He's hard working, he's the #1 wrestler in the world, he does a lot of work for kids, and he's a future hall of famer. So all Rock had to go on was Cena's corniness. It paid off a few times, but it's just not as powerful as the argument Cena had against Rock, however full of it he may have been in his arguments and moving of the yardstick for what is an acceptable level of Rock involvement in the company.

    But of course people say "If Rock is so great, he could've made it work!" No, you don't get to shove aside the logic of an unbalanced selection of available criticisms and a changed landscape in WWE, in which it is now less based on portraying characters than in the Attitude Era, having been replaced by more realism.

    This is the extent of my posts in this thread.


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    The Poster You Deserve Darkestearth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    Who cares to be honest, even if Rock was holding back the back and forth between Cena was always good....

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    I don't believe for one second that Rock held back. His promos, although not quite at the level of Rock in his prime, were still extremely good in terms of his style and delivery. On the other hand, the content was very hit and miss, but as TGO said, Rock had little to work with.

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    gotta love Rock getting over "Fruity Pebbles"

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Djm View Post
    Oh, boy.

    I remember when PW was in flames over the "Rock was holding back against Cena because Cena sucks" issue. There were at least 3 casualties and Champ was banned twice.

    Anyway, no. I know this may be hard for some people to comprehend (because Cena sucks and all...), but maybe, just maybe Cena just so happened to match up with DWAYNE very well.
    Hopefully people learned something from that then.

    Even if the Rock did hold back, who cares? The Rock's job should be to make Cena look good.


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    Senior Member Greywolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    The Rock we have right now, likes to win over the crowd more than harass his opponents. So, did The Rock hold back? He probably didn't think he did.
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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    The Rock lost the promo battle plain and simple. Cena just simply got the better of him and wasn't acting like Rock fucked his mothere when Rock cracked jokes

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Industry View Post
    The Rock lost the promo battle plain and simple. Cena just simply got the better of him and wasn't acting like Rock fucked his mothere when Rock cracked jokes
    Regarding promos, it just depends on who you liked more. Ultimately, both guys did a helluva job, and even though the wrong man won the match, they still made a metric fuck ton of money doing it. But yes, I whole heartedly agree that Cena was far superior than The Rock was at the promo game.

    There was one particular promo I remember from The Rock, it was along the lines of ..

    "The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, Dwayne Johnson, The Rock, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, IT DOESN'T MATTER!"

    For the first time in his career, another wrestler (CENA) left The Rock speechless. The Rock is well known for his quick come backs and wit too.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    I like Cena more and Rock shit was played out just like it was in 2002

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    The only time I really enjoyed the content of Rocks promos was his 2003 Hollywood heel run.

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    Nope, I think Gewirtz held his own against Cena.


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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    Nope, I think Gewirtz held his own against Cena.

    What are your thoughts on Rock and Cena's promos?

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    There were a couple of really cool promos but overall I found the feud to be a disappointment.

    It seemed like The Rock was always given 20 minutes each appearance whether he needed it or not and usually he had to extend 2 minutes of material into 20. It lead to a lot of boring crowd pandering, twitter pandering and generic insults at Cena.

    Cena wasn't much better. Yes, he exposed the Rock at times, particularly in Boston when The Rock minced his lines and the crowd roared but it just seemed like he was being as respectful as he could be for 12 of 13 months which came off as phony. He 'loved' The Rock but he couldn't let go of the fact he hadn't appeared in 7 years...for months and months and months on end.

    I don't think it would have been difficult to build this match. Rock comes out, helps Cena because he respects him and challenges Cena to a match at Wrestlemania 28 to prove himself against the greatest in the world. Easy and you can easily give these two talented mic. workers the leg room they need to cut all the promos they have to.
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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    At times I really felt Rock did hold back, But as an avid Cena hater even I can admit it was best for business for Rock to not just cut Cena apart. Im in a fair mood today haha so ill admit, The character Cena plays on TV limits what he can say back to The Rock. Cena isn't gonna react to The Rock as im sure he would in reality. Cena the man would probably call Rock a mother fucker without hesitation, Cena the character probably wouldnt even be able to call him a mother ducker. So Rock has more rope to work with because his target audience isn't a bunch of 7 year olds.

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    Quote Originally Posted by oWn View Post
    At times I really felt Rock did hold back, But as an avid Cena hater even I can admit it was best for business for Rock to not just cut Cena apart. Im in a fair mood today haha so ill admit, The character Cena plays on TV limits what he can say back to The Rock. Cena isn't gonna react to The Rock as im sure he would in reality. Cena the man would probably call Rock a mother fucker without hesitation, Cena the character probably wouldnt even be able to call him a mother ducker. So Rock has more rope to work with because his target audience isn't a bunch of 7 year olds.
    To be fair, Cena did follow The Rocks footsteps and said some pretty tasteless shit.

    I don't think The Rock held back at all. I just think that he was more focused on pandering to the crowd than he was focused on coming up with original and decent material to work with and use against Cena.

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    Fair enough. Honestly I thought it was still good, I didnt sit there and say "Oh this should be better". Rock hadnt really been "The Rock" in 8 years so I wasnt really sure what to expect from him. I figured he'd be a little rusty especially after his HOF induction of his father where he didnt even remember half his "Rock" lines. The crowd was reminding him of them haha. It was good though, I enjoyed it. Glad Rock won lol

    I think Rock was taken back by just how accepted he was when he came back. I "think" he was humbled a bit but I dont know that. It just seemed like he was happy to be back and a little shocked by the reactions he was getting. I hope this is the case because I like The Rock, I dont know him personally but he seems like a straight up guy and Iv always appreciated him returning to WWE. He gets alot of shit for being someone who doesnt care, And I find it stupid because IMO he may actually care the most. He doesnt get anything from WWE that he cant get on a larger scale in Hollywood.
    Last edited by oWn; 10-14-2012 at 10:28 AM.

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    Quote Originally Posted by King_Steve View Post
    What are your thoughts on Rock and Cena's promos?
    The Rock concert was hilarious, other than that I didn't like much from the Rock. Cena was considerably better IMO although again not always brilliant. The original rap by Cena was the highlight of the feud for me.

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    Quote Originally Posted by oWn View Post
    Fair enough. Honestly I thought it was still good, I didnt sit there and say "Oh this should be better". Rock hadnt really been "The Rock" in 8 years so I wasnt really sure what to expect from him. I figured he'd be a little rusty especially after his HOF induction of his father where he didnt even remember half his "Rock" lines. The crowd was reminding him of them haha. It was good though, I enjoyed it. Glad Rock won lol

    I think Rock was taken back by just how accepted he was when he came back. I "think" he was humbled a bit but I dont know that. It just seemed like he was happy to be back and a little shocked by the reactions he was getting. I hope this is the case because I like The Rock, I dont know him personally but he seems like a straight up guy and Iv always appreciated him returning to WWE. He gets alot of shit for being someone who doesnt care, And I find it stupid because IMO he may actually care the most. He doesnt get anything from WWE that he cant get on a larger scale in Hollywood.

    Very well said. I agree. It's like would you rather get beat up and make 5 million? Or make a lot more just making movies and have a much larger fan base?
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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    Umm.. Aren't all the promos scripted and written by shitty soap opera writers they have in the back now and you can't really deviate from those anymore like you used to? It all depends on who you have writing your material for you in the back nowadays.

    I'm sure if the Rock really wanted to go "all out" he could have.. Not to mention he was a baby face.. Not a heel. So you have to follow the lame ass bland baby face format they give to u

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    Default Re: Did Rock hold back?

    You really think The Rock of all people was being limited by the writers and not given freedom to say whatever the hell he wanted?


    And of course there is also blame on not being an awesome heel, why do I keep coming back?
    That's all, folks.

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