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Falls Count Anywhere


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Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and this one's gone all sideways…

The WWE's taking a pretty big gamble, and if it pays off, it could set records. On the Monday after WrestleMania, they announced that the main event for next year's WrestleMania will be The Rock vs. John Cena.

This is the first time they've done that, though they've set up obvious matches between guys in the same way the night after Mania, I'm specifically thinking of the night after the first Undertaker vs. Michaels match in 2009, but they've never come out and said that they're planning on a single match a full year out.

Now, this is very smart for a number of reasons, but also very dangerous. The smart is pretty obvious: this is a match that people want to see. The kids want Cena to beat The Rock because he's their hero and they're willing to cheer him through any challenge. Give these kids a year to build up a hatred for The Rock and you've got big payoffs.

You DO understand that I'm a busy Hollywood celebrity, right?
The Rock is likely only available for a limited number of shots during the next year, maybe as few as one a month, and by saying that we'll have to wait a year, it gives them time to build without having to have him on every week. This adds flexibility, and just the thought that he could be coming back to TV at any time might lead to an increase in the general TV ratings.

The negative is also pretty obvious. Given that much time, a feud can quite easily go cold, and having that happen to your most heavily pushed Mania match is a terrible thing. The Rock showing up will likely also have less of an impact on the ratings as time goes by, so spreading his appearances out over a year is possibly a bad idea.

The idea of building a match for a year is a good one, but building an ANNOUNCED match for a year could be a giant risk unless they are very smart. The Rock has a year to get back into shape, though honestly, he looks as good as he did when he was on his last run, and he's got some time to work out a match, which will almost have to be built along the lines of the Warrior-Hogan match from WrestleMania VI. It's got to be big, it's got to be long and it's got to deliver on what they've promised by announcing it a year out.

The one thing this does have going for it is that it's the natural ending of one era and the pinnacle of the next. The Rock is really the most visible member of the Attitude Era. Yeah, Stone Cold was bigger and he's still around, but really, it's The Rock and his promos that I think of when I think of the period between 1997 and 2002, the biggest years in wrestling history. And The Rock always rose to the occasion.

You know, for the kids!
Cena is the current generation's Rock. He's the star to kids and to women, though most adult males tend to reject him. He's a good worker, not great but good enough to have a really good match with the right opponent.

There's also no obvious heel in this one. That's a risky move for Mania.

Still, they've got lots of time to build things up and to make them work. I am betting we'll have a contract signing which will feature some sort of stare-down. We'll probably get a couple dozen taped Rock promos, which are never a bad thing. The Rock will also likely enter the WWE Hall of Fame that weekend, which I can't say is a bad thing.

This match is a lot like Nature Boy Buddy Rogers vs. Natural Boy Ric Flair in 1980, determining the one that will go forward as the Nature Boy: the last generation or the present.

I, for one, can not wait for it to happen.

Chris Garcia

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