WWE Championship Match
– The Rock (c) vs. John Cena
John Cena’s music hits, and Cena is getting a TON of heat from this crowd who is booing him not only out of the building, but maybe out of the entire state.
The Rock is out next, and the WWE Champion gets a huge pop from the crowd. If there was a roof on this stadium, it would have been blown off.
After formal ring introductions for both men from Justin Roberts, we’re ready to begin the main event of the evening.
The bell rings and Cena and Rock circle each other for a bit before Cena tries to work over Rock’s arm. Cena puts on a headlock, then hits a shoulder tackle to knock Rock to the mat. We get a lock up and Rock clamps on a headlock. Cena fights out and Rock hits a shoulder tackle of his own. Another headlock from Rock and he grinds Cena down to one knee. Cena fights out of the hold and tries for a hip toss, but eats a hip toss from Rock instead. Cena rolls to the outside for a breather.
Cena heads back into the ring and after a bit of posturing and trash talk from Rock, Cena catches Rock with a right hand, then a series of punches in the corner. Cena sends Rock into the opposite corner hard, then waits for him to stand before hitting him with a couple of big rights. Cena sends Rock across the ring, then eats a big clothesline. Rock hits Cena with a couple of rights, then kicks away at him before sending him across the ring, crashing into the turnbuckles. Rock kicks Cena in the chest and sends him flying. Rock heads to the outside and hits Cena with a forearm smash to the chest.
Back in the ring, Cena hits a big clothesline for two before trapping Rock in a rear chin lock. Rock fights up to his feet, but Cena puts him back down to the mat with more leverage on the hold. Rock stands up to his feet and he powers out of the hold, but Cena hits him with a knee to the gut and a belly to belly suplex that’s good for a two count. Cena goes back to the well with another rear chin lock. Rock fights back up to his feet and hits Cena with a couple of big right hands, then locks in a sleeper hold out of nowhere.
Rock brings Cena down to a seated position, but Cena fights up pretty quickly, breaking the hold with a big belly to back suplex. Cena gets another near fall off the suplex before standing up and stomping away at Rock. Cena kicks Rock square in the back before continuing to stomp at the champ. Cena misses an elbow drop and Rock responds with a Samoan drop.
Rock and Cena both get to their feet, trading right hands. Cena gets the upper hand with a suplex for another two count. Rock pulls himself up in the corner and hits Cena with a back elbow. Cena hits a shoulder block, but misses a second. Cena tries for the STF and Rock tries for the spinebuster. Cena hits a couple of shoulderblocks and tries for the belly to back suplex, but Rock avoids it and locks in his sloppy sharpshooter. Cena fights out of it and hits the belly to back suplex. Cena gets a ton of heat from the crowd, but smiles anyway as he calls for the five knuckle shuffle. Cena misses the fist drop and Rock hits a quick DDT.
Rock tries for the Rock bottom, but Cena turns it around into a crossface. Rock rolls Cena over into a pin for two to break the hold. Cena picks up Rock by the legs and slingshots him into the corner before hitting another belly to back suplex. Cena goes for another five knuckle shuffle and he hits it this time. Cena waits for the Rock to stand and he shoulders Rocky. Rock fights out and plants Cena with a spinebuster. Rock teases the People’s elbow, but Cena counters it into the STF.
Rock powers out of the STF, breaking Cena’s grip and pulling his hands apart. Rock hits Cena with the Rock bottom, but Cena kicks out of a pin attempt. Cena pops up and shoulders Rock for the AA, but Rock kicks out of a Cena pin attempt. Cena heads out to the apron and up to the top rope. He leaps off the top, but Rock moves and Cena crashes to the mat on his knees. Rock hits a spinebuster and is able to follow it up with the People’s elbow, but Cena kicks out at two and rolls out to the floor.
Rock follows Cena to the outside, standing over top of him and bringing him back into the ring. He follows Cena and peppers him with a big right hand. Cena fights back with rights of his own. Rock goes for a cross body, but Cena catches him and shoulders the champ. Rock drops to the mat and hits Cena with another Rock bottom, but he still can’t keep Cena down for three. Rock gets to his feet and looks out to the fans. He stands over Cena and looks down, kicking his arm. Rock goes for the five knuckle shuffle, but Cena pops up and hits the AA, going for the pin and getting two.
Both men are slow to get back to their feet after all the bombs they’ve dropped on each other. Cena makes it up first, standing up and hitting Rock with rights and lefts. Rock rights back with strikes of his own. Cena almost goes down, but he’s able to roll up Rock for two. Rock tries for another Rock bottom, but Cena turns it around and hits a Rock bottom of his own for two. Cena calls for the five knuckle shuffle, but stops midway through and starts grinning. Cena kicks Rock’s arm and tosses one of his arm bands out to the crowd. Cena hits the ropes, but Rock pops up. Cena shoulders Rock, but Rock makes it down to the mat and hits another Rock bottom. Rock goes for the pin, but Cena kicks out at two.
Cena and Rock both stand and Cena tries for the AA. Rock counters and tries for the Rock bottom, but Cena counters. Cena tries for the AA, but Rock grabs the ropes. Rock tries for the Rock bottom, and Cena tries for the AA once more, but this time Rock counters into a DDT. He stands tall and waits for Cena to get to his feet. Cena struggles, but eventually makes it. Rock tries for another Rock bottom, but Cena counters it into the AA, and finally comes away with the three count.
Winner and NEW WWE Champion: John Cena
Cena sits in the middle of the ring and looks exhausted before he stands up and smiles. It’s worth noting that Cena’s getting a decent amount of love from the crowd now that the match is over, and he got a pretty good pop out of the crowd when the ref’s hand came down for three.
Cena holds the title in his hands before talking to the Rock. He says something to him, but you can’t quite hear it. Rock says something back, then the two shake hands and hug. Cena points to the Rock, showing his opponent respect before heading to the back. Rock’s music plays, and the Great One stands in the ring while Cena makes his way to the back with the championship in hand.
Rock stands in the middle of the ring thanking the fans. The fans go as Rock salutes them before heading off to the back. Rock kisses members of his family and family friends in attendance in the front row. The PPV ends with Rock heading up the entrance ramp. He smiles as Cena comes out and salutes him. Cena holds Rock’s hand high, and Rock points at Cena. Fireworks go off over the stadium as Cena’s music hits again, and he holds his title high while the Rock walks to the back.
Richard Reacts: This match started slow. I mean really slllloooooooow. They started slow last year but given the problems with the crowd not going across well, it took a long time to get into this one. Once they got going the crowd was behind the spots and the match was good. John Cena avenged his loss from last year and walked away WWE Champion. This outcome had to happen unless they planned on turning Cena and we all knew that wasn’t going to happen. There were a lot of false finishes, kicking out of one another’s finishers. The work was excellent but basic. There weren’t any spots that were going to blow you away but there wasn’t anything wrong with them either. They had a nice exchange after the match that I took as a “passing of the torch.” My fear is such a large portion of the audience has checked out on Cena, how much longer can they keep this up without touching the character? Do you they just ride him until they can’t ride him anymore? He needs some character progression if WWE is ever going to try and reconnect him with their older fan base.