Superstar Spotlight: I STILL Smell What’s Cookin’

Bill Pritchard

Superstar Spotlight

The RockThere's been alot said this week about notable absences from the recent episode of Monday Night RAW. No Dolph. no AJ Lee. (No Divas match either, but I don't think anyone minded, it just ended up like a "meh… move on" footnote) Oh, here's the big one. The Rock, the new WWE Champion, wasn't there. Where was he? Apparently "on tour," but don't worry, he'll be back. I've come to terms with CM Punk's title reign ending, and I am excited for seeing where the next few weeks take us, but to borrow a phrase from ESPN, C'MON MAN! Rock is the WWE Champion, you need to free up Mondays, and I mean all of them. I don't want to sound like I am unappreciative, because his appareances on Smackdown were well done, but he's got the belt now, and this Monday needed some appearance of Rock, no matter how small.

CM Punk showed up while his knee was busted up, and to a smaller extent, John Cena was on TV while he was rehabbing his elbow injury. Rock needed to do something on TV, it would have been effective even if he did a pretaped promo. Punk could have had more ammo to throw back at 'Dwayne,' it's not like they don't work well together and they seem like natural rivals. Rock said he'll be back next week, and I'm sure they'll make good use of his time, but they need to pay attention to the times that Rock won't be there, which this time of year shouldn't be any. If he's not there, cut a promo on location, or have him live via satellite to go back and forth with Punk or someone else. Rock is the new 'face' going into Wrestlemania season so he absolutely needs to be seen on TV.

Now that I said he needs to be on TV, I also think we need to see him wrestle again on free TV. WWE doesn't need to try very hard to get most people to order the Royal Rumble or the next two pay-per-views. It's the freakin' Rock. He sells, that much is known. What they don't want to do, however, is just have him cut promos for three months. I don't want to sound hypocritical because I said he sells the pay-per-views, but he can help raise the ratings for RAW. One idea is feature him in a warm up match, or at least have some sort of physical altercation. Brock Lesnar's schedule is different because he is that 'UFC guy' so you may be used to long periods of time between each match. Brock also comes and goes away sporadically, so he can afford to limit his appearances and use his time effectively, as seen this week with his interruption of Miz TV.

Rock is good for WWE. I want to stress that point so I don't come across as being bitter. I get that Rock is going to be at Wrestlemania and there is a big plan for a payoff; I'm just worried about what WWE does with that time in between then and now. The WWE Championship rematch at Elimination Chamber is a very good start, and I hope every one of his appearances retains that 'big time' feel. I saw the Fast Six preview during the Super Bowl; it looks like another big hit. Snitch is coming out soon, GI Joe 2 is due, not to mention he's also going to be in Empire State and Pain and Gain. The Rock has a loaded schedule, he's going to promote the hell out of the movies, but he'll also gain more press for WWE because he's holding the belt. I completely respect the direction they are going in by Rock winning the title, I just hope they make great use out of his time on WWE TV, where it matters most for 'the people.'

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