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  • 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?

  • #2
    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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    • #3
      Re: Did Rock hold back?

      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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      • #4
        Re: Did Rock hold back?

        They're coming.........
        Who is the boss? Who made wrestling? Who is sports entertainment?

        WRESTLEMANIA 4 LIFE~~

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        • #5
          Re: Did Rock hold back?

          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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          • #6
            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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            • #7
              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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              • #8
                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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                • #9
                  Re: Did Rock hold back?

                  gotta love Rock getting over "Fruity Pebbles"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Did Rock hold back?

                    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.


                    Thanks JV for the artwork!!

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                    • #11
                      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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                      • #12
                        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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                        • #13
                          Re: Did Rock hold back?

                          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.

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                          • #14
                            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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                            • #15
                              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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