Kyle’s Files: Analyzing The Rock’s Raw Promo on the Road to WrestleMania 28 (The Rock, John Cena, Kung Pao Bitch, Chris Jericho, CM Punk…)
by Kyle Riot on March 1, 2012

After the Chris Jericho and CM Punk verbal exchange, Raw was in complete filler mode. It felt as if they didn’t want to do anything too interesting before The Rock delivered his promo so that nothing could possibly overshadow him. Needless to say, the entire show was in The Rock’s hands.

The Rock’s music hit and the fans went nuts chanting his name. He came into the ring and soaked up the adulation. The Rock showed his goose bumps proving that he still cares about being at his home: the WWE. He responded to John Cena mimicking him for never being at shows by saying he didn’t mean he would be on every Raw, SmackDown or PPV. Rock proceeded to say that, while he had previously thought that John Cena was a phony, on Raw last week Cena showed The Great One something that he hadn’t seen from him before…

Just when the promo was going in the right direction, Rock proceeded to call John Cena something less creative than an 11-year-old would come up with: a Kung Pao Bitch. The Rock did, however, make a good point by bringing up that real wrestlers don’t fight for the others in the back; they fight for themselves.

However, just a minute later The Rock sounded like a hypocrite when he said that he fights for the fans, because they are  sick of seeing John Cena “shoved down our throats” on Raw every single week (even though John Cena’s going to be wrestling full-time and Rocky will be making movies after WrestleMania).

The Rock mentioned which of his new phrases are trending on Twitter (as if that has anything to do with their match) and then proceeded to immaturely bash Cena by saying he’s going to stick his boot up John’s lady parts. This led to half the crowd chanting “lady parts” and half chanting “Rocky.” The Rock played along with everyone and led the fans in alternating between the two: first “lady parts!” and then “Rocky!” The Rock then said that having fun and playing with the crowd demonstrated that he’s an innovator, whereas the only innovative thing Cena has ever done is change his shorts. The Rock then talked about Cena lacking balls, and about what’s “trending worldwide” on Twitter.

Cena came out and added more immature jokes, but very quickly got serious. Cena agreed that he runs The Rock down when The Great One isn’t around, but added that he also runs The Rock down when he is around. He used to like the Rock… until he met Dwayne Johnson. Johnson, Cena argued, is an egotistical, self-centered son-of-a-bitch and said Rock wouldn’t give a rat’s ass if this company closed down tomorrow. He said he doesn’t need to trend worldwide or write notes on his wrist. Finally, Cena reminded The Rock about their match at WrestleMania, and said that while The Cenation Leader might not have balls, he’s going to beat the hell out of Dwayne Johnson on April 1st. Cena then left, but not before turning back and telling Rock to carry on and “continue trending”.

Rock had the last word of the segment, stating that Dwayne Johnson and The Rock are the same man and he’s going to kick Cena’s ass at WrestleMania.

The Rock’s promo started off well. He showed that he cared to be back in the WWE by electrifying the crowd as usual, and he made a good point by saying that John Cena shouldn’t be wrestling for the people in the back. It was all downhill after that, though, as he became too involved in pleasing the crowd with immature jokes about Cena rather than telling us why the match with Cena was so important to him. And he was far too obsessed with what was trending on Twitter…

In short, the promo showed that Rock has become a parody of himself. His jokes are less witty and doesn’t seem as electrifying as he once was. The Rock has either lost a step, needs to start writing his own promos again (but just not on his wrist), or the WWE is allegedly holding him down for Cena to appear at his level.

As the Rock would say: It doesn’t matter which one it is; the old Rock needs to come back to hold up his end of the bargain.

That’s going to do it for this week. This upcoming Monday I will be at Raw so I should have my live in-depth report up by Tuesday. Also, a reunion show for NOBS Wrestling Radio is in the works with Michael Brennan and me. We’re aiming for a pre-WrestleMania show and review. There will be more details on the times and dates later on. Be sure to call in. We would love to hear your opinions.


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Kyle Fitta

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  • James A

    I personally think that this promo achieved exactly what it set out to do. I read elsewhere that WWE are hoping for a 50/50 fan split for the ‘Mania match, and the only way they can do that is by making Cena look like a legitimate badass – one who’s every inch Rock’s equal. Which, incidentally, is also the absolute best way to build up a babyface vs babyface main event.
    The heat at ‘Mania will be off the charts.

  • Kyle Fitta

    Yeah, I mentioned that. I don’t see why they’re trying to make it 50-50 by holding Rock down. They should just let go both all out. The fact remains that despite what Cena does, the crowd at Miami is not going to cheer for Cena. Plus, the only source I saw was wrestlezone confirming this, and I don’t take them too seriously.

  • Ohwhut_7278

    the rock said he fights for the people, not the other wrestlers…which isn’t being a hypocrite at all.

  • Ohwhut_7278

    the rock said he fights for the people, not the other wrestlers…which isn’t being a hypocrite at all.

  • Kyle Fitta

    Why not? If Cena is fighting for the wrestlers and not himself, why should Rock bash him when he’s wrestling for the fans and not himself? Whichever way you want to slice it, the Rock is fighting for the same people who have turned on him again and again. And if Rock fought for the fans, he wouldn’t have been gone for 7 years.

  • gemstonewarrior

    The fact that Rock has to hold back and bring his promo down to Cena’s level to put Cena over, the fact that Cena had to agree to the wristgate angle to make Cena look good, and the fact that Eve has to completely discredit her own character to make Cena look good, is a testament to how pathetic Cena is as a face of the company. It’s also a testament to how pathetic the WWE Creative and WWE Upper Management are for being so one-tracked minded by attempting to force Cena on society.

    It’s bad for business when superior talent has to hold back in order to prop up the face of the company. It shows the face of the company didn’t get to where he was by being good, but rather, by being handpicked and helped along the way with crutches. This is why Cena, no matter how many championships he wins, won’t really be considered among the greats in the eyes of the general public. Sure the kids will accept it, they already have. But kids won’t be kids forever.

  • Kyle Fitta

    I agree. If the rumors are true that they’re holding the Rock down just in order for Cena to appear as if he’s on his level, it is embarrassing to everyone. It is embarrassing to Cena because they’re admitting he’s not on Rock’s level. It is embarrassing to the Rock because he has to water down his material and, as a result, look like an idiot. And it is embarrassing to the WWE that they’re trying to neglect and brainwash people to cheer for Cena by pretending as if the Rock isn’t head and shoulders better than him. I’m not saying either of these statements are true or if I believe they’re true. It’s simply the principle.

    Not to mention that the WWE’s scheme won’t’ even work if true. The Rock is already way more over in a positive manner than John Cena is with the crowd right now. The places they’ve been haven’t even been close to Miami except at Wrestlemania last year. What I’m trying to say is if the Rock is way more over than Cena is at these random venues then it’s going to be virtually one-sided in Rock’s hometown.

    It will be interesting to see what responses they get in Cena’s home state. Every time I’ve been a WWE show John Cena has been bood out the building, thus I am not expecting anything different. Which is why it would be a smart idea for the WWE not to have The Rock on the show Monday.

  • Ryan Alarie

    It’s possible that the intention is to create a progression.

    Cena recently stepped up from his sort of lame crappy persona in recent weeks.

    Rock has come back, so that’s a step up from his normal pre-taped segments.

    Cena’s “one upping” Rock on this show leads, logically, to Rock stepping things up. By holding back initially, they allow each progressive promo to escalate. This prevents them from blowing their load early on, and having say, one amazing promo, but nothing that follows it being able to measure up. It creates a story, going into the match, that Cena and the Rock are forcing each other to be at their best. That half-assing it isn’t going to be enough.

    It’s about story telling. One could argue that Cena is being held back all year round, in terms of his restrictive goody two shoes persona, PG infantile humor, the classic “faces need to smile more” mantra, etc.

  • TWC14

    If Rock was “fighting” for the people he would be a full time wrestler. So it kinda is.

  • Starcade

    The problem is that there is no truly _great_ person in the roster, and the WWE hasn’t really found one in the last five damned years!

    Why do you think they have to effectively call on Rock, HHH, Taker, HBK, and Jericho to prop up Mania 28?

    (And, if Austin could’ve actually gone a match with CM Punk, you could’ve added him to the list as well…)

  • Starcade

    And it’s doubly embarrassing because, as I said in the other comments, he sounded unprofessional Monday night — almost as if it was Michaels going unprofessional in overselling for Hogan because of creative control or something like that.

    It looked SO BAD on his part that it was as if he was making a statement to McMahon that this match might as well not take place — that Cena is so far _beneath_ him (and that most of the millions (AND MILLIONS!) believe so as well) that this match is more a coronation for The Rock and a burial of the entire WWE circa 2011-2012…

    They’re saying they want 50-50 for the match. They’ll need to truck in about 30,000 people in families and people like me to get that done. This is why they can’t put Cena over at Mania: Someone’s finally going to have had enough (and it’s not going to be just one yahoo) and is going to take matters into their own hands and it’s going to be ugly.

  • Starcade

    The problem is: There’s no story to tell here. That story has already been told a year ago, and this is supposed to be THE Greatest Match of All Time.

    Most of the fans would rather see Cena legit shoot-brutalized out of the sport and the Attitude Era returning with Rock on top than anything the WWE has for them right now.

  • Starcade

    To answer your question: Because The Rock does not believe in the WWE — not _this_ WWE.

    He’s here to answer the prayers of the Attitude-era wannabes who are sick to death of WWE circa 2011-2012. They want a full break (firstly, because it’s the only way you’re getting rid of Cena!) from this WWE.

    The Rock bashes Cena for that comment because the Rock doesn’t believe in these wrestlers. He doesn’t believe in the Randy Ortons and the CM Punks and the Daniel Bryans and the Santino Marellas and the Sheamus’. He doesn’t.

  • ShamanOfHedon

    You’re in denial dude. The Rock didn’t lower anything, he did the exact same thing he’s ALWAYS done; Easy-peasy sing-along promos with no real substance who takes nothing seriously. And Cena DID get to where he is by being good, then was stunted by Vince and TVPG.

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