Rock vs. Cena – Booking Out of the Corner

Nick Paglino

Rock vs. Cena – Booking Out of the Corner
By Kevin Kelly

Summer blockbuster season is winding down and Hollywood movie studios are rolling out their films for large audiences. Some weeks you’ll see head-to-head battles for audience’s affections and wallets, where the media proclaims one film “beat” the other at the end of the weekend’s tally.

One movie does $50 million and the other does $40 million. A winner and a loser? I always think about the $90 million combined box office and snickering studio heads, laughing all the way to the bank. Sometimes you get a box office bomb that really confounds those who believed it would make money. But more often than not, if a film runs during the summer, it’s going to make a profit.

For the WWE, the “summer box office season” is the time between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. In 2012, The Rock vs John Cena are two franchises that are squaring off head to head. Who will win? Who will lose?

Reading the pontificators this week with thoughts on the eventual outcome to the Rock vs Cena match and how it’s being discussed internally within the WWE. How will fans take to Cena and how will that shape the result?

The real question is how does the conclusion of the match affect the perception of the main drawing card of the company going forward?

This is not a question that Vince should fret over, nor do I think he is. It would be like if David Stern worried about LeBron not winning the NBA Championship. LeBron haters are Cena haters… same mindset. Cena is disliked by that group for a variety of reasons while LeBron just comes up short in big spots.

But unlike LeBron, Cena will lose with dignity and that’s a huge difference. Cena drops the fall to The Rock in Miami and he’ll still be loved by kids and hated by twenty-something’s. Cena will come out on Raw the next night, tip his cap and set the stage for the rematch. LeBron loses and he takes his shirt off and leaves the court. He shoots 2 for a zillion, passes up open looks and plays like a guy who took his talents to South Beach but his talents stayed on vacation.

The Rock makes Cena look great in the match and at the end, folks go home happy. Both Rock and Cena get million dollar payoffs and Vince is happy no matter who wins.

Just like in Hollywood, the blockbuster of Rock vs Cena will lead to sequels, each doing less business than the first. No worries as the franchise this rivalry could create will be enormous and the hope is that this can be the bridge until he figures out who can replace them as the top act.


Thoughts on ROH on SBG TV

Getting ready for the start of a new venture for Ring of Honor and really looking forward to calling the matches. The weekly show will begin on September 24th and if you don’t have a Sinclair station in your market, you’ll be able to see the weekly TV show on the internet.

Both new and existing ROH fans will be able to enjoy the program, as you will see what makes Ring of Honor such a unique wrestling promotion, while spotlighting the current champions and their challengers.

I stirred the pot this week by saying on “Right After Wrestling” on Sirius/XM Radio that I dispute CM Punk’s claim that he is the best wrestler in the world. He’s great, no doubt and the most complete competitor in the WWE. But I think Punk can’t say he’s the best until he beats Davey Richards.

At least on Twitter, I faced slings and arrows but I stand by what I say. There is one way to settle it…

Thoughts? @realkevinkelly on Twitter and/or email to

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