“I’m Slapping Them off Your Face”: The Rock Once Called Out 7’1 NBA Giant Shaquille O’Neal After John Cena Comment Rubbed Him the Wrong Way
Arguably one of the biggest stars in the world of entertainment, Dwayne Johnson has cemented his name in both WWE and Hollywood. After beginning his career in WWE, Johnson entered Hollywood to become an actor, and the rest is history.
However, after years outside the WWE, Johnson would return in 2011 to host WrestleMania 27. His arrival in 2011 caused a rift between him and John Cena leading to a WrestleMania 28 match between the two.
The match was termed, ‘Once in a lifetime’, although it ended up happening twice. The buildup to their initial match at ‘Mania 28 was ruthless and brutal. With the two of them constantly take shots at each other, often blurring the lines between kayfabe and reality.
Similarly, the buildup also witnessed, Johnson taking a shot and calling out the 7’1 NBA giant, Shaquille O’Neal prior to the ‘Mania match. After Shaq took the side of John Cena and spoke in his favor, Johnson would lose his cool.
O’Neal’s comments rubbed The Brahma Bull in the wrong way. And he proceeded to take a shot at O’Neal by calling him out. While many believe this to be a work, the execution was next to perfect, and back then everyone took the Twitter spat to be real.
After O’Neal tweeted that Cena would smash The Rock during their ‘Mania match, Johnson wrote back, “Hows your lips Shaq? Cause next time I see you, I’m slapping them off your face.”. However, the NBA star’s prediction failed, as The Rock would come out victorious of the event by pinning Cena.
Why did John Cena and The Rock have a rematch to their ‘Once in a lifetime’ match at WrestleMania 29?
At WrestleMania 28, the two biggest stars of their generation, John Cena and Dwayne Johnson faced off with The Brahma Bull coming out victorious. However, this match was termed a ‘Once in a lifetime’. For good or for worse, WWE broke their promise, and again presented the fans with the same main event at WrestleMania 29, with John Cena again facing Dwayne Johnson, with a prize on the line this time.
After Johnson won the title from Cm Punk at Royal Rumble 2013, and Cena won the 30 men battle royal, he would challenge The Rock for his title at WrestleMania 29. This was well-planned and served as long-term storytelling.