By show of hands, who believes The Rock will be a buyrate boost for Wrestlemania? I had a feeling. Quite a few. Well, far be it from me to serve as the voice of reason, but I have my doubts on this. Why? I'm glad you asked.
My problem with the Great One isn't even him personally, it's how long he'll be around. Shawn Michaels gave us a second run in WWE for a solid 9 years after a 4 year hiatus. In a word, that's amazing. Granted, he's not shooting movies and promoting and all of that drab, but even if he were, my gut tells me he'd stick around more of the time than 'ol Rocky has. Here's the long and short of it for me. The Rock hosted the blasted event last year and they still did comparatively speaking lesser numbers than the year before and the year before that. The children fans don't know him, how could they? He's only been on television maybe twice since his stint at Wrestlemania 20.
The facts are in the numbers, folks and Rocky, simply put, doesn't work all that well in a PG environment and, particularly not against the new leading draw for WWE, John Cena. Sure, his promos have worked for me and my crew, but for those 8 and 10 year old boys who want to emulate his thugness, not so much. Rock merchandise isn't flying off the shelf as fast as it used to and it's all because he stayed away too long....at least in my humble opinion.
Had Mr. Johnson made a pact like Taker, we may have been blessed with his shenanigans with some of the young guys and built them into the new breed of high power players, but without the presence of some of those high tier veterans, we've been given a rather bland, bodiless product with no one but upper card talents who have a personality. My analysis of the entire situation is that The Rock is a band-aid on a bullet wound. Nothing more. I'll put my money on saying once his ride is over, the status quo will return to its newfound low.
Lest I forget to mention....TNA upper brass has added a stipulation to the Sting vs. Hogan match up where the winner gains control of TNA. As previously mentioned, the match had been called off with plans of a possible tag or third man added into the mix, but as of now, nothing is completely certain.