Most fans have come to the conclusion that The Rock’s professional wrestling career is over on a full-time basis. However, WWE still realizes how much star power he has, which is why he is has been featured on the WrestleMania events for the past few years. He made his return to hype WrestleMania XVII as the host, and ended up interfering in the match between The Miz and John Cena. This led to a match, coined “Once in a Lifetime,” against Cena the next year. The popularity of the match was so big, WWE decided to book it one more time the next year, for the WWE Championship.
Interestingly, The Rock was actually the one defending the championship against Cena, as he won the title from CM Punk at the Royal Rumble and committed to a WWE schedule during this time. Unfortunately, Rock was injured during the match with Cena, which was a wake-up call for him that he should stick with movies.
While The Rock did compete at WrestleMania 32 against Erick Rowan, the match was only a few seconds, and fans got to enjoy him at the event once again. There are reports that The Rock will once again be at WrestleMania, and Vince McMahon even wants him to wrestle, but the days of him competing in a full match are over.
Recently, The Rock appeared at Raw in Los Angeles to shoot film for his movie documenting former WWE Diva’s Champion Paige. Although he did not appear on camera, he did come to the ring to speak to the crowd. He made recent headlines by actually calling CM Punk as a result of the crowd chanting for him after Rock revealed that they were shooting film related to AJ Lee.
During his visit, Rock was able to chat with current WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens. Both were sure to laud each other on social media, with the Rock sharing a story of his comeback in 2012 and how it relates to Owens.
— Riz (@johncenaAm) December 11, 2015
“Appreciate The Champ himself, Kevin Owens stopping by ‘The People’s Hood’ to say hello. People’s Hood is the nickname for my dressing rooms. We had a good laugh about the story of when I was training for my WWE comeback and title run (2012) I was training with Curt Hawkins and Joe Hennig. After our workout, me and Kurt were chopping it up about great independent wrestlers. I said ‘Dude I just saw this guy last night on YouTube named Kill Steen or something like that. He’s amazing.’ Kurt said, ‘That’s my good friend Kevin Owens’. I said ‘We’ll tell your friend he’s bad a** and I hope WWE signs him.'”
Kevin Owens told The Rock in response that it was great seeing him.
There are many critics who say that Kevin Owens has not experienced his stride as a reputable heel, especially with the success of Chris Jericho as his “best friend” in 2016. On Raw, during the Festival of Friendship, Owens attacked Jericho, ending their friendship. This allowed Owens to receive more heat as a genuine heel than he ever has while on the main roster.
Feuding with Goldberg is also a big step for the career of Owens. While WWE has not built him to be a big-enough star for WrestleMania yet, his WWE Universal Championship match with Goldberg does draw a significant level of interest for the upcoming event, Fastlane.
Hopefully, with both the match with Goldberg and The Rock’s endorsement, Owens will be able to grow in his character as a heel, and show the critics why he was such a big name in both Ring of Honor and NXT. Right now, his character has a lot of work to do, but it appears to be heading in the right direction.
[Featured Image By WWE]