Powell's Blog: No Rock on WWE Raw may not be a bad thing
By Jason Powell
The Rock is not in the building at Raw due to an injury, according to a report by Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline.com. While I don't mean to kick WWE while they are down, I must say that I am not crazy about the angle they had planned with Brock Lesnar attacking The Rock to set up a WrestleMania 30 match.
My concern is not so much with the match itself, rather it's with the presentation of The Rock. WWE did the one year out announcement of the first Rock vs. John Cena match for WrestleMania 28. I have mixed feelings on that decision, though it's hard to argue with the pay-per-view buy count or the big numbers it did at the box office. And obviously WWE believes in delivering a big angle while they had access to Rock and while they have increased interest coming out of WrestleMania 29.
If the angle had played out on tonight's Raw, fans would know The Rock isn't finished with WWE. They may not know when or where the Rock vs. Lesnar match would take place, but they would know that it was only a matter of time before The Rock returned and the match occurred.
If the fans know Rock is coming back, then it takes away some of the magic of his return. He becomes yet another part-time WWE performer. Rock is a huge movie star, a household name, and a pro wrestling icon, yet the more he appears or even if fans know that he will be returning, the more the special feel of the Hollywood A-Lister working for WWE starts to fade away.
Rock has appeared on three consecutive WrestleMania events and was a big part of the build in the months leading up to the last three shows. It felt special when he returned after such a long hiatus and served as the guest host of WrestleMania 27, and it was huge when Rock returned to the ring and faced John Cena in the main event of WrestleMania 28.
It still felt special to have The Rock back in the ring against Cena in the main event of WrestleMania 29, but it did not feel as special as the year before. It was the main event of the biggest show of the year, yet nothing tops the initial dream match involving two big names you never thought you would see in the same ring together, as I mentioned earlier today in the WrestleMania 29 Hitlist.
Even before the news came out about Rock not being in the building today, I thought the best approach they could take tonight on Raw is to make viewers think they had seen the last of Rock. And not just for a few minutes until Lesnar came out and destroyed him to set up a match, I mean go off the air with people thinking there was a chance that Sunday was the last match of his career. Thus, once he did return, it would make Rock's return feel special again rather than something that most fans are starting to assume will happen in January.
It's unfortunate to hear that Rock suffered an injury significant enough to keep him off of tonight's Raw show. Yet assuming it's not a serious situation and plans are still on for Rock at WrestleMania 30, his absence from television tonight could actually work to his and the company's advantage.
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