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So I was play listing the John Cena Us open challenge matches on Raw from 2015 and it led to a chat I had with someone , where the topic of The Rock came up and his WCW title run in 2001 during the invasion storyline.

We looked back and compared it to the John Cena US title run of 2015. Where each week on Raw or smackdown you would get these matches with the champion facing a lower tier talent, but giving them a back and forth highly competitive match up where they come out for the better instead of the worse.


So during that time period ....He wrestled Lance Storm and gave him a lot for the short time they had in their match up. He had one with Rhyno where he famously sold that gore for him in the opening angle to set up their match. He gave Rhyno a lot in that match to.

He had some matches with Test on Raw again in the same vein where he gave test a lot and did the same with Rob van Dam for that matter to, where he could of just of easily done the reverse.

Then finally there was match on raw with Christian in Toronto where he gave christian a lot of offence to the point where one could of believed that he could of won the title that night.

The recurring theme for me is that you see a man at the peak of his powers in wrestling and embarking on a big Hollywood acting career , go in there and do enough to help elevate and showcase lower tier talent.....to add to that we also know how many of the other wwf veterans did the complete opposite of this during that time......so much like I did on my own channel with the Cena us title reign I am giving credit where credit is due.
 

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I'm going to be honest I didn't really remember what OP was speaking of either. I DO remember his feud with Jericho being the best of Jericho up until that point. Maybe that is why Vince wanted the unified title on him, but we won't get into that disaster lol.
I always kind of thought that was a right place right time kind of thing. Rock and Austin was too obvious and Vince probably didn't want to be in a position to choose between them at that time, Angle was just coming off a title win, Triple H was injured. Jericho was the best bet of the remaining top guys and he also had yet to win the WWF Championship.

His hot streak may have also been a determining factor but if you read Jericho's autobiography, available in hardcover and paperback :)jericho2) the story he tells about winning it paints a very unflattering picture about the events leading up to his win.
 

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I remember that. Actually, it was around that time I started to watch WWF weekly, while before that I only saw bits and pieces of different segments. The Rock being champion and owning on the mic was the only single reason I started watching on a weekly basis.

As far as his run with the belt, yes, he gave those guys a lot. And it helped to build heat, I remember being really pissed off when Rock was being beat up by Dudleyz, Shane and Booker T :lol
 

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They would've been better served doubling down on Kurt Angle's transition from a goofy heel to the kind of character he ended up portraying in 2005/2006. His character had grown in the feud with Austin a couple months prior. It was the perfect time to cement him as a heel on the level of Austin/Rock/HHH.

Instead they put the belt on Jericho who still possessed the goofy aspects Kurt Angle had back in 2000 without any of the character progression or shades of grey needed to step up to the next level; he was still, essentially, the same character he portrayed coming into the company.

Jericho was plainly not ready to hold the main title and couldn't step up his promo game or in ring game unless he had The Rock carrying him.

Meanwhile, Kurt Angle got saddled with Kane in a pointless program while Jericho floundered with HHH building up to WrestleMania.
 
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