Legendary wrestler and Hollywood actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson made his return to WWE after a gap of four years on the latest episode of SmackDown. Those present at the Ball Arena, got to witness The Rock electrify the ‘Millions’ of fans as he planted the Spin Buster on Austin Theory and followed with The People’s Elbow after a verbal confrontation between the two turned physical. The Rock landed his finisher, raised the ‘people’s eyebrows’ and went back through the curtains after a thrilling 15-minute-long segment.
The Rock’s return once again fuelled speculation surrounding his in-ring future. Rumours about his potential feud with real-life cousin Roman Reigns have been doing the rounds since last year, but when it failed to reach a fruition at this year’s WrestleMania, wrestling fans were left disappointed. However, in a new twist, Johnson has revealed that his match with Reigns was planned for WrestleMania but could not materialize given the bigger picture.
“The Rock headlining WrestleMania with Roman Reigns, SoFi Stadium, that was locked. We were doing it. But let me just tell you, so about the beginning of 2022, Nick Khan, very good friend; he’s the man, he was very instrumental in bringing Vince and I together. We all flew to LA, we met, we sat. This was the beginning of 2022. We broke out the Teremana, we toasted life, we toasted the business we love, and about an hour later, we started talking about the potential of what this match could be between myself and Roman Reigns headlining WrestleMania at SoFi,” The Rock said during an interaction on ‘The Pat McAfee Show’
The Rock vs Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 40
Due to the aforementioned reasons, The Rock’s in-ring return had to wait, and it was Cody Rhodes who eventually got a chance to face the Tribal Chief at WrestleMania 39. Winning the men’s Royal Rumble match from the number 30 spot, Rhodes earned a berth for the undisputed WWE Universal Championship title against Reigns at the WrestleMania. With Reigns’ near-three-year reign up for grabs, it was believed that The American Nightmare would go over, but due to outside interference from Solo Sikoa, Reigns retains his championship.
The outcome once again led to reports of the Rock making a WWE return in a bid to halt Reigns’ incredible run as the undisputed championship. And in a development that promises to come as music to the fans’ ears, The Rock has hinted at a potential battle between him and Reigns, saying that he is ‘open’ to face The Tribal Chief Reigns at next year’s WrestleMania.
“So we got really, really close, but we couldn’t actually nail what that thing was. So we decided to put our pencils down. We agreed, ‘Hey, listen, there’s a merger coming up, eventually that will happen. There’s WrestleMania in Philadelphia.’ (eyebrow raise) I’m saying that’s a potential too. I’m open (to it). I’m open,” he said.