Hot Topics: Should The Rock Get a Title Shot?
By Scott Reid
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Hot Topic, where we take a look at the big news in Wrestling that is splitting the opinions of fans, and ask you, the readers, what you think. Today, we’ll be looking at WWE, and their decision to give The Rock a WWE Championship opportunity at the Royal Rumble. Since it was announced, opinion has been split straight down the middle. Is it fair for The Rock to walk straight back into the title picture, or should the spot be given to a superstar who has been continually on the road, and performing night after night? Let’s take a look.
The night after his “Once in a Lifetime” match at Wrestlemania XXVIII with John Cena, The Rock appeared on Raw to announce his hopes of once again being the WWE Champion. Then, several weeks ago, The Great One returned to confirm that at the Royal Rumble, he would indeed be given a WWE Championship shot against whoever held the title at that time. But with so many superstars in need of that extra push to catapult them to main event status, is it right for The Rock to simply appear and be given a main event spot on one of the biggest shows of the year?
Some would say yes. When you look back over The Rocks career, it’s fair to say that he has earned his place amongst the all-time greats of Professional Wrestling. His charisma, coupled with his natural in-ring ability, elevated The Rock to the top of the WWE during the “Attitude Era”, where he paved the way for future superstars, by helping to shape the WWE into the product it is today. He even went on to conquer Hollywood, and in turn made it possible for other wrestlers to follow in his footsteps. Then, when he finally returned to face John Cena at Wrestlemania, his popularity brought former fans back to the WWE Universe, for what would go on to be the most purchased, and highest grossing, wrestling event in history.
So with all that in mind, it could be fair to say that, having given so much to the WWE, The Rock is totally deserving of a title shot, and depending on who holds the title at the Royal Rumble event, we may see a match that we never thought we would see. Seeing The Peoples Champion go toe-to-toe with someone like CM Punk or Daniel Bryan would definitely be a treat for fans everywhere, and from a business standpoint, a match involving The Rock would mean huge buyrates for the PPV, and would allow lesser known talent to perform in front of a larger audience who may not be familiar with them. The way WWE seems to see it, having The Rock in the title picture can bring only good things.
On the other hand, however, it could be argued that The Rock shouldn’t be in the main event of the Royal Rumble. A major problem within the WWE in recent years has been their inability to build new stars to a main event level. The upper card is in desperate need of new talent to make the title contention more interesting and exciting. While there are a few contenders in the championship hunt, CM Punk and John Cena are, arguably, the only two wrestlers in the main event ranks at the moment who can draw the large crowds that headline superstars are expected to. So what better time to build new, exciting headline stars than now? Talent such as Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler have been performing night in and night out at 100%, thrilling fans and fighting for their place in the company, and yet they haven’t had a proper opportunity to shine a main event match that has been well built and made to seem important. A championship match at one of the biggest shows in WWE’s calendar could be that opportunity for a young superstar to show what they are made of, and grab the upper-card spot they’ve been scrambling for, but instead, WWE has other ideas. Instead, The Rock has come back, and having not performed in the ring since Wrestlemania, has walked straight back into the title picture and taken a spot that could be used to help build a future star that has been working, on the road, non-stop.
That’s not to say The Rock shouldn’t be on the card at all, but why not have him perform in another match on the card that could be built to pull in the big buyrates, and allow younger, fresher talent to compete in the Championship match and give them a platform with which to elevate themselves to the level they need to be at.
So what do you think? Should The Rock just be given a title shot? Or should he have to work gain the spot that so many others are fighting for?
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