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Now we all know that the Rock's supposed to be on SmackDown!, we all know that the Rock wasn't supposed to return until next month - but considering what happened last week, The Rock'll be damned if he didn't come here at the very first opportunity he had and speak to each and every single one of you, LIVE. Okay, five years ago when The Rock first walked into this company, he had one idea - ONE idea and that idea was really simple, and that was just to become the absolute BEST this industry had ever seen. And I will continue to work my ass off to make sure that happens.

- the Rock, cribbed from CRZ's recap of RAW, 6/17/02

So, Rock returned, what's the big deal?

What struck me was the way he did it. It was different. Unlike Austin, the ultimate anti-hero who'd walked out and perhaps lived out the logical end of his selfish, brutish persona, Rocky told us that he cared.

Translation of his RAW speech - I am here for you. So are the rest of these guys.

Was it genuine? I hope it was. But this is a guy who's been gone for months and will be gone for many month-long spans in the future. He's got bigger fish to fry, he's on the verge of becoming huuuuge. Will he stay true to his roots? Does he even want to?

Whatever happens, the message was this - what's old is new again. The faces are now willing to wear the mantle of being a hero again. Times are shitty right now, both in the WWE and the rest of the world. People want to look up to strength and courage. People want someone worthy of rallying around.

Said Rock, That's me, I'm the guy.

It's a throwback, but it's a good one. Should Rock stay with it, he'll go down as the greatest. He's got the opportunity to prosper in a time where selfish heroes and violence for the sake of violence is becoming passe. I thought the hero for Gen-Y marks would be more of a talented, laid-back slacker, a guy who wasn't afraid of anyone, but didn't get bent out of shape about his problems, either. A cross between Peter Gibbons on "Office Space" and Jackie Chan, with a little THC stirred in. But RVD ain't no Rocky. No one is.

Can they invest too much in him? Will he be around? It's worth a shot.

The main event for SummerSlam? Call it a retread - WrestleMania 3 with tatoos.

Rock vs. Brock for all the marbles. Everyone in the back will have their fingers crossed.

from Wienerville

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