Regardless if you like or agree with it, John Cena is today's face of WWE & with that came many perks with his various cross over appearances in media in regards to television & film amongst other things while main eventing PPV's such as WrestleMania & being a multi-time champion. As Cena was walking into WWE & being elevated into that spotlight, another superstar who had already achieved all that success was headed on his way out to begin the new chapter in Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. However one small comment after another & a return to the company by it's past superstar opened the door for this match to happen that was a year in the making that WWE chronicles in "Rock vs. Cena: Once In A Lifetime." Now a couple of notes here in that this isn't the same documentary that WWE aired on the two NBC television specials throughout the year (although some footage is repeated) and the various names we hear throughout the presentation include Jerry Lawler, Chris Jericho, Rock's family of Rocky & Ata Johnson, Sheamus, David Otunga, The Miz, Triple H, C.M. Punk, Cena's parents & brothers & friends, and of course Rock & Cena themselves.
The documentary beings with Rock talking about walking away from WWE & why he came back after all these years & his ability to entertain before they talk about how John Cena stepped into the spotlight after Rock left & all the criticisms Cena had towards Rock over the past few years. The trash talking between both men was heavily discussed next from impact social media keeping this feud alive during the time Rock wasn't on television to the comments both men made towards each other including the impact of the "Fruity Pebbles" line. One of the more interesting parts of the presentation comes up next as different superstars offer their opinions on Rock leaving & coming back right into a main event WrestleMania spot followed by talking about the respect for Cena & the different reactions the fans have for him including the one night he was booed in his own hometown. Thoughts on this being the "biggest match of all time" is discussed before closing the documentary on the importance of this match to both men & reflects on it afterwords.
The Rock & John Cena vs. R-Truth & The Miz - The Rock makes his in-ring return to WWE for the first time since 2004 at WrestleMania XX at the same event he debuted 15 years earlier...with both occasions happening in the same building of Madison Square Garden. John Cena was heavily booed from the moment you heard the first note in his song while you clearly saw the tension between him & Rock as The Rock completely ignored Cena from the time he made his way to the ring to the start of the match. Rock was in control early to the point where the crowd was chanting "You Still Got It!" but problems once again arouse between Cena & Rock with Cena accidentally distracting the referee from Rock's pin followed by the "tag" between both men. "You can't wrestle" was yelled to Cena who responded by out-wrestling the Miz only to get the reaction of "You Still Suck!" Cena turned his attention for a moment to Rock that allowed Miz & Truth to take advantage with Miz hitting an impactful DDT while both kept Cena away from being able to make a tag including Truth & Rock getting into it on the outside while causing Rock to get into the ring allowing double teaming behind the referee's back at various points. The hot tag was built to Rock who continued to dominate & "lay the smackdown" to victory but the bigger story was after the match when him & Cena had their face to face confrontation. This was a old school type of tag team match that featured the heels doing various double teams behind the referees back while Cena would be the one taking a majority of the offense & building up to the eventual hot tag allowing Rock to look strong here.
Survivor Series '11
[Blu-Ray version of The Rock: The Epic Journey Of Dwayne Johnson]
The Rock vs. John Cena - The Rock came into this match ready to go as he took Cena off guard with armdrags & even catching him in an inside cradle early on. Cena targeted Rock's midsection by grounding him on the mat with a bearhug & moves like a belly to belly suplex before taking the action on the outside where he kept dropping Rock on his ribs. The match continued to pick up from here with both men trading momentum by kicking out of each others signature moves while pulling out all the stops like Cena's legdrop from the top rope while Rock threw Cena into the steps at one point before one man made one mistake in letting the crowd get to him which cost him the match in the end.
DVD extras include most of the promos & confrontations between these two leading up to this match including The Rock's return, Cena's response the next week, The Rock's involvement at WrestleMania, Mick Foley's "This Is Your Life: John Cena", Rock's "Boston History Lessons", Thugamonics vs. The Rock Concert, and the WrestleMania press conference. Bonus stories & interview outtakes featuring The Rock include Big Show's story of sitting with him on a flight, returning to his high school, Triple H talking about his ability to talk, his memories of New York City, his comedy, why failure is so critical to him, the importance of singing to his grandparents, and his relationship with The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Other extras featuring John Cena include Big Show telling a story about a Christmas gift from Cena, his relationship with his dad, giving back to the business, his opinion on the dueling audience, his brother telling a story of how Rock helped him see Cena's first dark match for WWE, and answering questions from Make-A-Wish kids. Blu-Ray extras include bonus clips & additional stories, Rock & Cena commenting on their match the next night on RAW, and a a "Film Cut" version which shows the match as if you were watching a movie or documentary instead of the regular live action display you get when watching WWE.
In the end, this was a completely different presentation than we get from WWE which is why I enjoyed it very much as it came off as one of those specials that you get from other competitive sports like boxing or MMA where it hypes up an important fight while also lets you get to know the characters involve more personally with the bonus features being the icing on the cake. The match being announced a year in advance was a first for WWE & this DVD set definitely captured that hype & buildup so Rock & Cena fans are already going to get this but for those who aren't fans of either guy, I would still check it out as it's got the mixed bag of everything (entertaining to serious moments) to enjoy.