The Rock's last proper wrestling match happened at WrestleMania 29, where The Great One lost to John Cena. The Brahma Bull had beaten the Cenation Leader in the WrestleMania 28 main event. It's a known fact that there was legitimate heat between the two megastars during their initial WWE feud.
During the latest Monday Mailbag on AdFreeShows, veteran referee Mile Chioda spoke at length about the backstage tension between John Cena and The Rock during their WrestleMania 28 storyline. Mike Chioda officiated the WrestleMania 28 match, and it was The Rock who got him the lucrative spot.
Chioda explained that John Cena had a problem with doing the job for The Rock as the 16-time WWE Champion had carried the company on his back for almost a decade. John Cena was working as hard as ever, and he wasn't too pleased with WWE's plan for him to lose to The Rock.
"I've always admired the Rock over the years in working with him, and then, Rock set me up to be the referee for that match when he came back with Cena."
"And I was like, awesome. Had this match, you know, Rock wanted me to do it and everything, and I think Cena had a little bit of a problem doing the job as here is Cena, carrying the torch for the last ten years I think at that time, and he was busting him a** day in, day out. And here comes The Rock back after so many years of being in Hollywood, and he's got to job out to The Rock? Well, of course, the show is in Miami. The Rock is a big Hollywood Superstar now, and I think there was a little heat there. I think there was a little dissension. But, you've got to go where the money goes. I mean, they put Rock over, and I was happy about that. I was like, yeah, you know."
Chioda explained that while he felt bad for John Cena, WWE gave the Cenation Leader his win at the next WrestleMania show. Chioda also had the following interaction with The Rock before the 'Mania 29 match.
"I felt bad for John in a way, but then, the second time when it came up, Rock goes, 'Hey, do you have my match this time or is it, Chad Patton? It is said, 'Are you going over again this time, or are you doing the job for him? He goes, 'Yeah, I'm jobbing out to him this time. I said, 'Great, I don't have to count three on you, Cap. I said, no problem, Rock, let Chad do the match.' And he goes, 'Oh, you (laughs) son, I see which way you're going.'"
It becomes an ego thing: Mike Chioda explains the past problems between Rock and John Cena
Chioda picked up on the vibes of discord and unrest in the build-up to The Rock and Cena's WrestleMania 28 match. John Cena was at the top of the company at that time; he sold the most merchandise and showed up to work every single day.
The thought of taking the three-count from The Rock didn't go down well with John Cena.
"They were really shooting. And umm, I definitely felt, because when we were going over in the practice ring with certain things, before that match, I felt there was definitely some tension, and of course, it was coming from John because he has been busting his a** for this company. Top guy. Top merch, selling all the merch and everything, and I've got to job out to Dewey? to Dwayne?' (laughs)."
"I felt the tension. I don't blame him because he was busting his a** for ten years, and Rock comes back, and you know, and this is how we're going to do it, kid."
Chioda would add that sometimes ego and pride mean more than making a lot of money in a losing effort. Chioda concluded by stating that John Cena would not have been happy with Vince McMahon's booking for the match.
"Here are two guys that were making big money. And that's why, it's not even like, 'Okay, I'm getting big money for this match. I'll do the job.' It becomes about ego and pride. It really does. When it comes down to it, money is not even the issue. It's like, it becomes an ego thing and a pride thing. Like, 'I've been carrying this business for the last ten years, I should go around him first, then he'll go around me. No, no, Rock's going to go around you first. You know, like, believe me. (laughs)
I'm sure John was pissed at Vince."
John Cena and The Rock have spoken about their 'real-life heat' in the past, and they eventually ironed out their differences as time passed. It's, however, ironic to note that John Cena has followed in The Rock's footsteps by becoming a mainstream attraction in Hollywood.
If any quotes are used from this article, please credit AdFreeShows' 'Monday Mailbag w/ Mike Chioda' and give a H/T to SK Wrestling, and link it back to this article.