The Rock vs. John Cena

The Rock and John Cena are two of WWE’s most famous wrestlers.  In their wrestling careers and beyond, they have both achieved incredible success and fame. For many years, they have been rivals, exchanging insults and challenges. Their feud, however, reached a climax at WrestleMania 28, when they faced off in a match billed as “Once in a Lifetime.” This article will tell you everything you need to know about the Rock vs. John Cena epic clash, from its build-up to its aftermath.

The Build-Up

The rivalry between The Rock and John Cena began at WrestleMania 27, where The Rock served as the guest host. He interfered in Cena’s main event against The Miz, costing Cena the WWE Championship.  The Rock and Cena agreed to face each other at WrestleMania 28 the following night on Raw. This was the first time that the main event of WrestleMania was announced a year in advance.  

The Rock and Cena continued to taunt and attack each other on multiple occasions over the next year.  They also worked with different partners in tag team matches against The Miz and R-Truth at Survivor Series 2011 and Kane and Eve Torres on February 27, 2012. Both matches were won by The Rock and Cena, but there was tension and mistrust between them.

The buildup to their match peaked in the weeks leading up to WrestleMania 28. The Rock and Cena had several confrontations and promos in which they expressed their admiration and contempt for one another.  They also had differing perspectives on their devotion to WWE and their fans. The Rock called Cena a phony and a sellout, while Cena called The Rock a part-timer and a hypocrite.

The Match

The Rock vs. John Cena match took place on April 1, 2012, at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. It was the main event of WrestleMania 28, which drew a record 78,363 fans. It was also the highest-grossing pay-per-view event in professional wrestling history.

The match was a back-and-forth between two WWE legends.  Both men displayed strength, skill, and charisma. They also used signature moves from each other, including The Rock’s Rock Bottom, People’s Elbow, Cena’s Attitude Adjustment, and the Five Knuckle Shuffle. The match lasted more than 30 minutes and featured several near-falls and reversals.

Cena mocked The Rock by attempting his own People’s Elbow. The Rock got up and hit Cena with a Rock Bottom for the pinfall victory. He celebrated his victory in his hometown as the crowd cheered for him. Cena left the ring, looking shocked and disappointed.

The Aftermath

The Rock thanked the fans for their support and praised John Cena’s performance the following night on Raw. He also stated that he aspired to be the WWE Champion once more. Cena appeared and congratulated The Rock on his victory. He also stated that he admired The Rock and had learned from his error. They shook hands and hugged as a sign of respect.

Their rivalry, however, was far from over. John Cena won the 2013 Royal Rumble match, earning himself a world title match at WrestleMania 29. The Rock defeated CM Punk later that night, ending Punk’s 434-day reign as champion. Cena chose to face The Rock for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 29 the following night on Raw.

This set up a “Twice in a Lifetime” rematch between The Rock and John Cena at WrestleMania 29. Cena defeated The Rock this time to win the WWE Championship for the eleventh time. They once again showed respect to each other after the match.

The feud between The Rock and John Cena is regarded as one of the greatest in WWE history. It lasted two years and two WrestleMania. It featured two of the most well-known and successful wrestlers in history.  It also generated a lot of interest and money for WWE.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime clash that will be remembered forever.


WrestleMania 28’s match between The Rock and John Cena was more than just a wrestling match. It was the culmination of a two-year-long and intense rivalry that spanned two WrestleManias.  It was a showdown between two of WWE’s biggest and most successful stars. It was a spectacle that showcased both competitors’ skills, charisma, and passion. Millions of fans who watched it live or on pay-per-view around the world were entertained and amazed by the match. They will remember and revere it as one of the all-time greats.

By Ruben D

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