John Cena vs the Rock Rivalry: Matches and Storyline

The below article records the rivalry between John Cena and the Rock- the matches between them at WrestleMania on 2012 and 2013 and the storyline and buildup for those match.

The John Cena vs The Rock Full Rivalry
The John Cena vs The Rock Full Rivalry

Ahh! What a mouthwatering feud it was supposed to be. But it never reached the levels of feud The Rock previously had with Stone Cold or Triple-H. It is obvious because of the time and other commitments of both the Athletes but the audience would have loved to see a proper feud between the two.

How many times John Cena and the Rock faced each other in a match at WWE?

2 times
1. WrestleMania XXVIII, 2012
2. WrestleMania XXVIII, 2013

What is the win-loss record of John Cena vs the Rock?

Matches- 1
John Cena’s wins- 1
John Cena’s loss- 1

1. Start of the Rivalry in 2011

It all started when the Rock was guest-hosting WrestleMania XXVII and The Miz and Cena were main eventing the event in a WWE Championship match. First shots were fired from the Rock, who mocked both Cena and Miz during his first appearance in 7 years at WWE. Cena answered The Rock in his own fashion with a Rap song.

After weeks of talking The Rock and Cena met, and Cena attacked the Rock with Attitude Adjustment. At WrestleMania XXVII, Cena and Miz battled to a double count-out, however, The Rock restarted the match and Rock Bottomed Cena that allowed Miz to retain the Championship.

On the very next episode of Raw Cena challenged The Rock and asked him to listen to the People as he proclaimed himself as People’s Champion. The Rock accepted the Challenge and agreed to face him in the main event of WrestleMania XXVIII.

2. John Cena vs The Rock- WrestleMania XXVII, 2012

The Rock vs John Cena Wrestlemania 28
The Rock vs John Cena Wrestlemania 28

Storyline And Buildup

After WrestleMania XXVII, for almost 1 year, Cena had multiples feuds with The Miz, CM Punk, Alberto Del Rio, and Kane. Cena originally wanted to face the Rock at WrestleMania for the WWE Championship. But this was the time Punk dropped the Pipe Bomb and started an incredible reign as the WWE Champion, keeping Cena away from the title.

Cena entered a feud with Miz and Truth, who kept on assaulting Cena for almost two months. Cena was then permitted to pick his accomplice to challenge Miz and Truth at Survivor Series and Cena picked The Rock. In spite of trading affronts in the next weeks, they defeated Miz and Truth. However, Rock shut the show by giving Cena a Rock Bottom.

Cena then started a fight with Kane, who referred to his nauseate for Cena’s “Rise Above Hate” slogan and asserted that Cena would need to motivate himself with this catchphrase so as to overcome The Rock at WrestleMania. At WrestleMania XXVIII, Cena confronted The Rock to headline the main event which had been working for a year and was promoted as “once in a lifetime”.

ShowDown at Florida

Before even the match started, the ambiance was like the “Brahma Bull” says was electric. The Rock’s entrance was special as FLORIDA performed for him. Two Miami Giants in the house the crowd was going berserk. The match was also above average. Will you see better matches than this? Probably yes. But the match didn’t have any relevant botches. It had lived up to its hype.

The match started as initially both showcased their strength. Commentator Michael Cole quoted “Both trying to show who’s the best (performer)”. There was very less ring rust for Rock, it was like he never left. A sign of a legendary performer. Good side headlocks, good spine busters. These moves are pretty basics in pro wrestling but since he was going one on one in the main event after such a long time, the transition of these moves being so clean, was wonderful to see and very easy on eyes.

Obviously, Cena was performing flawlessly. He also executed a couple of shoulder tackles before the trademark 5 knuckle shuffle. After that Rock escaped from the first Attitude Adjustment Cena tried. The Rock also hit the People’s elbow successfully but Cena kicked out. Rock performed Sharpshooter and Cena tried STFU on The Rock, but the Rock bailed out of it as he reached the bottom rope. After Rock kicked out of Attitude adjustment, Cena tried to attempt Rockbottom on The Rock himself in frustration. It turned into an anticlimax as The Rock got up hit Cena with Rock Bottom and defeated him.

3. John Cena vs The Rock – WWE Championship Match, WrestleMania XXIX, 2013

The Rock vs John Cena Wrestlemania 29 2013
The Rock vs John Cena, WWE Championship Match, Wrestlemania 29 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.

See Also

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