The main goal of pro wrestling (or sports entertainment, as World Wrestling Entertainment brands itself) has always been so simple – to put two characters together that fans want to see settle their differences in the squared circle. The more fans want to see a given match, the more money the company will make. The truth is, if you’ve watched wrestling the last few years, the desire of fans to see the current crop of “superstars” go at it has diminished from WWE’s Attitude Era heyday, from 1997-2001. Finding those big money matched that capture the imaginations of not just the diehards, but the lapsed fans who haven’t bought a pay-per-view or watched Monday Night Raw in years, have been few and far between.
And then The Rock came back. Dwayne Johnson’s winter 2011 return to WWE on a very part time basis managed to capture some of those missing fans, who paid money to watch The Rock host Wrestlemania 27, and who then would eagerly anticipate his return to the squared circle one year later, as WWE announced The Rock vs franchise player John Cena as the main event for Wrestlemania 28. The journey, one year in the making, is the focus of the new Blu-Ray Rock vs Cena: Once In A Lifetime, available today.
Is it worth your time and money? Find out after the jump!
WWE has a knack for putting together stellar DVD/Blu-Ray documentaries, and while Rock vs Cena: Once In A Lifetime carries on that tradition in many ways, I would have to say that the documentary portion of this two disc set is one of the company’s lesser offerings. Though it does cover all the basis of Rock and Cena’s decision to meet up and the year long anticipation and build, the film is only 45 minutes long, a far cry from the usual two hour to two-plus hour films the company has put together for many of their other collections. However, I suppose you can only do so much with a one match/one feud film. There are lots of comments from Rock and Cena, along with appearances by articulate observers like Triple H, Chris Jericho, CM Punk, Jerry Lawler and others. The film gives an insight into the genuine belief the participants have that their meeting is a once in a lifetime battle between two anthletes at their peak.
Where the Rock vs Cena: Once In A Lifetime collection does shine is in the copious amounts of bonus footage included, from promos to confrontations to matches (Cena vs The Miz at Wrestlemania 27, the Rock/Cena tag match from Survivor Series and the duos ultimate confrontation at Wrestlemania 28). For fans of either superstar, the discs are a treasure trove of how WWE managed to keep the angle and their issues alive over the course of a year, often without The Rock there in person to help move things along.
For fans of either performer, consider this an essential addition to your collection. If you’re on the fence about Rock or Cena, you may as well just wait for the CM Punk Blu-Ray due this fall.