10 moments you never expected to see in WWE

#9 The Rock returns to face John Cena

On June 27, 2002, John Cena made his explosive WWE debut on SmackDown, answering a challenge from Kurt Angle. As Cena’s WWE career began, The Rock was making a transition to Hollywood and soon entered retirement following WrestleMania XX in 2004. As Cena established himself as the next great WWE Superstar, many of the competitors that defined The Attitude Era were gone. Of course, Cena battled Triple H and Shawn Michaels, but the prospect of witnessing the Cenation leader square off against The Rock or “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was reserved for discussion on Internet message boards.

After being named the host of WrestleMania XXVII, however, The Great One injected himself into Cena’s bout against The Miz and delivered a Rock Bottom to the Cenation leader, costing him the match. The next night, The People’s Champ challenged Cena to a match at WrestleMania XXVIII and a year of anticipation began. A record number of viewers tuned into The Show of Shows in Miami to see The Rock return to the ring against Cena in a truly epic showdown. The feelings felt at WrestleMania X-8 when The Great One faced Hulk Hogan were revisited as two eras of WWE again clashed.