The Raw after WrestleMania is always a fitting encore for The Showcase of the Immortals. Here are 10 classic moments from the first Raw after WrestleMania.04/05/2018 - 11:00
Superstars offer "Once in a Lifetime" predictions
It’s easy to feel the excitement for the “Once in a Lifetime” encounter on The Grandest Stage of Them All between John Cena and The Rock. Comparing and contrasting the electrifying experience of The People’s Champion and the hustle and swagger of the Cenation leader creates an endless number of possibilities for the match’s outcome at Sun Life Stadium on April 1.
Even the Superstars who will share the locker room with the dueling icons next Sunday in Miami can’t escape the speculation on whose hand will be raised triumphantly by the referee. Despite being immersed in preparation for their own WrestleMania moments, those competitors will openly confess their intentions to watch every moment between Cena and The Rock. And they’ll eagerly offer their unique insights to try to predict a winner.
WWE.com recently took the temperature of the locker room to gauge where the support for Team Bring It and Cenation lies.
Zack Ryder finds favor in his longtime friend
The cocky but confident Zack Ryder let his personal experience be his guide in deciding between the effectiveness of The People’s Elbow versus The Five-Knuckle Shuffle.
“The People’s Elbow is more popular,” Ryder said, “But I’ve taken a Five-Knuckle Shuffle with Cena. So I have to go with that one. (I’m) a little biased.”
“I definitely have to be pulling for John Cena,” Ryder said. “Without Cena, I wouldn’t be here right now. He tried to get me on Raw last year. (He’s always) trying to get me backstage, pulling me on camera or telling everyone to follow me on Twitter. Cena’s a great guy. A great Broski. I can’t wait for him to give The Rock an Attitude Adjustment at WrestleMania.”
The Miz reveals his "Once in a Lifetime" grudge
If there’s one Superstar that knows what it’s like to stand in the spotlight on The Grandest Stage of Them All with The Rock and John Cena, it’s The Miz.
That’s not a point of pride for The Awesome One.
“Let’s face it – at WrestleMania XXVII, I main evented the event versus John Cena,” The Miz recalled. “I retained my WWE Championship twice and The Rock comes and basically ruins my entire celebration. That was supposed to be my moment, the moment where I stand on the second rope at WrestleMania XXVII as the WWE Champion. The confetti’s supposed to come down. The pyro’s supposed to go off. And the last thing you see is my face with the WWE Championship on the second rope, standing in all my glory. And who ruins it? The Rock.”
“I don’t think anyone really cares who wins; they just want to see what happens,” said The Miz. “I say, ‘Why don’t we just wait until WrestleMania XXVIII?’ Stop speculating and start talking about The Miz, because that’s what’s really at hand here. And the day after WrestleMania, on Raw, people won’t be talking about The Rock and Cena and who won. They’re going to be talking about The Miz.”
The Funkasaurus gives a groovy prediction
Between The Rock Concert and the return of Thuganomics on the March 12 edition of Raw SuperShow, the rivals showed their ability to bring the funk to the WWE Universe. However, only Cena’s lyrical prowess left the Funkasaurus riding the boogie in Cleveland.
“You saw a 16-bar freestyle, in-your-face mauling take place,” said Brodus Clay. “And then we saw karaoke on a Monday night. I thought Mick Foley was singing.”
“The man you can’t see – John Cena,” Clay said. “He’s our guy. Trained in this facility - Hard Knock South. He’s here every day. He hangs with us, shakes our hand when we see him. He’s one of us. For us, by us, with us.”
Kofi Kingston chooses to back his boy
No one expected anything less than a truly historic moment when John Cena and The Rock agreed to square off at The Showcase of the Immortals. Kofi Kingston, on the other hand, felt that The People’s Champion may already have experienced a WrestleMania moment that could compare to the atmosphere of the “Once in a Lifetime” clash.
“Just him and Hogan, alone,” said Kingston. “All you have to do is watch the crowd on that and the entire time – ‘Let’s go Rock!’ and ‘Let’s go Hogan!’ - back and forth. I’ve never seen a crowd just into a match in that capacity at WrestleMania. … It’s two icons. It was awesome, an incredible match and just an incredible feeling that the crowd had as you can see by the way they reacted.”
“If I have to pick someone, I have to pick Cena,” Kingston said. “You know, Cena is here pretty much 100% of the time. We do all the WWE Live Events and everything together and Cena is, right now, the backbone of the company.
“I wasn’t around when The Rock was around, when he was doing what Cena is doing now. I can only talk about what’s happening now and John Cena is definitely the team captain. So I have to back my boy.”
David Otunga goes on the record for Rock-Cena
His Harvard Law School education taught David Otunga to consider all of the evidence before drawing any conclusions. That Ivy League pedigree came in handy as the captain of Team Johnny found in favor of one of the “Once in a Lifetime” rival’s signature moves.
“I actually am more partial to The Rock Bottom,” Otunga said. “He just hits it out of nowhere and it’s an explosive move. (It) gets a great reaction every time.”
When pressed to elaborate further on the Superstars’ respective skill set, Otunga also acknowledged whether he preferred The Rock’s other most electrifying maneuver or the move that Cena’s opponents often struggle to see coming.
“The People’s Elbow,” he said. “In my opinion, the Five-Knuckle Shuffle is kind of just the modern-day People’s Elbow. So, I have to go with what came first.”
“Honestly, this is one I can’t call,” said Otunga. “It could go either way. I could see Cena. I could see The Rock. I don’t know. I can’t wait to watch it as a fan myself.”
Lillian Garcia announces her best guess
The WWE Universe may recognize Lilian Garcia as the ring announcer for SmackDown, but they sometimes forget that the important role has provided her with a ringside seat for some of the most memorable moments in WWE history – including some of the biggest milestones for The Rock and John Cena.
“The Rock’s my guy,” Garcia said. “I worked with Rock for many, many years and we did a lot of really cool, fun interviews backstage together, so I have to go with him.”