For the longest time, we expected to see The Rock lace up his boots and get back in a WWE ring for a big match. Over the course of the last few years, he has appeared but has not performed. His last match was at WrestleMania 29 in a losing effort against John Cena. The match was good, but we all felt that Rock would get back in a WWE ring despite the injuries he sustained that night.
WWE wanted to set up a big match with The Rock and Brock Lesnar for WrestleMania 30, but due to Rock’s injury, his movie schedule got thrown off a bit, and he ended up having to pass on the match. Meanwhile, he did appear at WrestleMania 30 in the opening segment. This past year at WrestleMania 31, it felt like WWE was setting up a big match between him and Triple H for next year’s WrestleMania 32 event.
If those plans fell through, WWE was going to have The Rock face Brock Lesnar and Triple H face off with Seth Rollins. However, none of these matches will happen it seems.
According to The Wrestling Observer, the producers and the insurers of The Rock’s upcoming film felt the risk of injury was too great, and they objected to his participation in a wrestling match before or during the filming. That seems to leave Rock with the choice of not wrestling at WrestleMania 32 or quitting the film. Despite his love for WWE, pulling out of a Hollywood role would certainly not be a good idea, and it could cost him future film roles. While The Rock is the hottest name in Hollywood right now, that can change in an instant.
It is completely understandable that the movie producers do not want to see him risk his health. Rock was injured in both of his matches with John Cena at WrestleMania 28 and 29 respectively. After WM29, his film’s production had to be halted, and this was the first time people felt that The Rock’s value would go down if he continued to wrestle.
While Rock could always wrestle in between his movie projects, the producers and their insurance provider may not allow him to wrestle before a movie begins production. For example, if he is working on a movie in May, they may say no wrestling for three to six months before filming begins, which would ruin a WrestleMania match.
Many believe The Rock will find a way to wrestle in 2016, but he may have to wait until WWE SummerSlam. There is no doubt The Rock will be in Dallas for WrestleMania 32, but he may simply fill a non-wrestling role like he did last year. With months to go, Rock may be able to work something out with everyone that will allow him to wrestle. However, it is uncertain he can do so.
Meanwhile, Ronda Rousey is in a similar boat. WWE wants her to wrestle, but it was thought all along that UFC President Dana White would never allow it. The UFC has every right not to permit her to perform in a WWE ring. Ronda is the biggest star they have and losing her for an extended period of time would be terrible. There is also concern that allowing her to wrestle for the WWE while she is still competing for the UFC will cause people to question the legitimacy of MMA matches. Ronda has claimed that she wants to be with WWE one day, and that may happen after she retires from the UFC.
For now, she is with UFC, and she clearly has to abide by the rules they set down. When asked if she will appear at WrestleMania by reporters, she has repeatedly said that she won’t say yes or no. She said that for wrestling fans, it’s about the surprise. If she told you she would be there, it would ruin the surprise. Or she could show up at another time. Who knows? For now, The Rock and Ronda both look doubtful for any match. However, The Rock may be able to work something out. We will have to wait and see.
[Image via WWE]