Few could have anticipated that two of sports-entertainment’s most celebrated icons would ever meet in the squared circle, let alone on The Grandest Stage of Them All. Yet, the WWE Universe will bear witness to this blockbuster collision on Apr. 1, 2012 – one year after The Cenation Commander-in-Chief and “The Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment” agreed to battle in a dream match for the ages.
Following a seven-year absence, The Rock returned to WWE in characteristically grand fashion in early 2010 to host WrestleMania XXVII. Although The People’s Champion was overjoyed to be reunited with his millions – and millions – of fans at long last, he was quick to take aim at Cena, sparking a very public war of words with his fellow multi-time World Champion.
The verbal jousts escalated to physical confrontation in the weeks that followed, and it became abundantly clear that the pair would cross paths at The Showcase of the Immortals in one way or another. Ultimately, in front of a record-breaking crowd of more than 71,000 WWE Universe members in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, The Rock put an exclamation point on his rivalry with Cena by hitting him with a Rock Bottom, a maneuver that afforded The Miz the opportunity to retain his coveted WWE Championship.
The following night on Raw, these two icons faced off once again, but this time the physicality was limited to a handshake. For the first time in history, a WrestleMania main event was made one year prior to the event itself.
Cena and The Rock forged an unstable alliance to combat The Awesome Truth – an outspoken tandem consisting of The Miz & R-Truth – at the monumental 25th annual Survivor Series in Madison Square Garden. Although “The Most Charismatic Tag Team of All Time” kept their cool for the most part as they battled common enemies, The People’s Champ issued a forceful WrestleMania reminder to his temporary tag team partner after their victory when he nailed Cena with yet another Rock Bottom. The battle lines were drawn once again.