The series WWE Rivals delves into the infamous feud between two wrestling legends: The Rock and John Cena.
PEOPLE has gotten an exclusive first peek at the second season of the A&E miniseries, which will give viewers a look back at the infamous rivalry between the two Hollywood heavyweights and sports legends.
Two representatives of their generation! Two legends at the height of their powers!” A voiceover announcer speaks over old WWE footage to start the clip. As one commentator put it, “Two of the greatest wrestling superstars EVER, fighting head to head.”
When Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s movie career took off, he was the face of WWE in the ’90s, but John Cena was on the cusp of his own takeover of the company.
After Cena publicly insulted his predecessor on and off screen, the two met in a dream match in 2012 (and again the following year). In 2011, Cena started telling fans that The Rock hadn’t wrestled in 8 years and “questioning whether or not The Rock even cared about the profession,” as one of the experts states in the tape.
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After an old clip of Cena “blowing off at the mouth,” The Rock adds, “This is what happens when fools have confidence,” setting the stage for their highly anticipated Wrestlemania showdown.
“My size 15 boot straight up John Cena’s sugar ass, I mean it’s truly going to be a beautiful thing,” The Rock says in a second BTS tape, seemingly mid-interview.
“He came out swinging, I came out swinging,” Cena, clad in a suit, remembers in a confessional-style interview after the legendary event had a place. Saying, “It was as real as it gets”
Throughout the hour-long episode, actor and former WWE writer Freddie Prinze Jr. discuss the history of the rivalry between the two legends with former pro wrestler Kevin Nash, two-time female wrestling champion “Natalya,” female pro wrestler “Bayley,” and retired wrestler John “Bradshaw” Layfield.
Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant opened the season, followed by Cena and Johnson, and then other rivalries such as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Bret Hart, the Undertaker and Mankind, Triple H and Batista, Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels.
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Cena has had nothing but kind words for the Black Adam star in recent years, despite their long-running verbal feud and famous face-to-face fights.
Cena, who had returned to the ring in 2021 after a hiatus, had expressed the hope that The Rock would do the same, and The Rock did return to the sport in January, at least to host Wrestlemania 27.
In his own words, “He needs to come to that conclusion by himself because then, his performance will be ‘The Rock.'” To the best of his ability, that is. So, as a fan, I hope he returns and that it’s fantastic, but if he doesn’t, he has every right to his own opinion.
As WWE fans see WWE Rivals and are reminded of the drama that has been going on for decades, the pressure is sure to be on, especially in light of Johnson’s recycled fighting words:
You’re a small kid who will be remembered as “The Rock’s b—-h” forever.
The second season of WWE Rivals will premiere on A&E every Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.