3. John Cena vs The Rock – WWE Championship Match, WrestleMania XXIX, 2013
Storyline and Buildup
On Raw after Mania episode in 2012, Cena accepted his defeat and called The Rock out to congratulate him. Instead, Brock Lesnar came out and started a feud with Cena. Cena would later be unsuccessful in his attempt to win the WWE Championship from CM Punk.
While appearing on RAW 1000th episode on 23 July 2012, the Rock announced that he will challenge for WWE Championship against the champion at the time. Resultingly, Rock faced CM Punk and despite the interference from the Shield, he went to win WWE Championship. On the same night, John Cena also won the Royal Rumble Match, setting up another match against the Rock at WrestleMania.
As CM Punk wanted to face the Rock at WrestleMania for a rematch, he challenged Cena for his number one contender status. On 25 February episode of Raw, Cena would go on to vanquished CM Punk challenge after defeating his decisively and set the repeat of last year’s main event match from WrestleMania. During the buildup to WrestleMania, Cena accused his loss against the Rock previous year for his misfortunes, injuries and losses. And that he wanted redemption.
Match in New Jersey
The second match started almost the same way as it started last time. This time Cena showed more athletic side of him. With some wrestling moves back and forth were performed. A couple of clotheslines from both of them, and then the traditional side headlocks, suplexes, Samoan drops all moves were in display.
The Rock dodged a 5 knuckle shuffle and placed a perfect DDT to Cena. Cena would counter Rockbottom and then people’s elbow into an STFU. Later, Rock also kicked out after an AA and Cena also kicked out after a spine buster and people’s elbow. Another noteworthy moment was when Cena countered a Rockbottom to hit one of his own Rockbottom.
Cena teased people’s elbow again but changed the move to AA as to show he doesn’t want to repeat last year’s mistake. However, the Rock countered with Rockbottom, only for Cena to survive again. Cena would get his redemption and the 11th WWE Championship reign as he finished the match with the third AA of the match on the Rock.
Both men ended the feud by shaking hands in the ring as a sign of respect. Cena would give one of his trademark salutes for the Rock. And in return, Rock would raise Cena’s hand on the ramp, signifying his respect for him. The Rock was supposed to show up at RAW after Mania episode but as it turned out, he has ruptured his biceps and had to undergo surgery soon after.
The two showdowns between these two are among the best matches for both of them and we even listed Cena’s win in 2013 as his biggest win of the career. Fans were also invested in the matches for the most part. But, a lot more was expected from these showdowns. The disappointment would also be due to the fact that Cena just had some of his best matches against CM Punk just prior to this feud. The same CM Punk who had the best match of 2013 WrestleMania against the Undertaker.