April 7th, 2013 – Wrestlemania 29 was the last time fans were able to see The Rock compete inside the squared circle. As the years go by, it seems like that event will go down as the last time the “great one” laced up his boots.
The Rock has made on and off appearances in the years post-Wrestlemania 29, with some appearances leading fans to speculate on potential matches featuring The Rock. While The Rock has not wrestled since 2013, he has also not ruled out a return to the ring.
WWE always looks to put on the biggest matches at Wrestlemania, and in this article, I will discuss four potential opponents for The Rock, if he were to return to the ring at the grandest stage of them all.
4) Triple H:
The Rock v Triple H is perhaps the easiest match to make for the WWE. They have a storied history, and also a proven track record of great matches and feuds. Rock and Triple H will also be an easy sell, as both men are huge stars and it will not take a lot for audiences to tune in to see this match once again.
The Rock and Triple H also had a memorable segment at Wrestlemania 31, which included UFC megastar, Ronda Rousey. If the WWE wanted to freshen up this matchup, they could insert Ronda Rousey into the match somehow, and attract an even larger audience in the process.
While the match is an easy sell for the WWE, it does little in terms of building towards the future. No matter who wins the match, the landscape of WWE will not change and no younger stars will benefit. So if the WWE are looking towards the future, there may be better roads to take than this one.
3) Samoa Joe:
Of all the potential opponents on this list, no one sticks out like Samoa Joe. Joe is incredibly unique, his physique is the complete opposite to that of a Brock Lesnar, yet he has the believability of being a legit “badass” just like Brock Lesnar.
Joe makes fans believe he can beat the hell out of his opponents, and he does it with intensity and an icy cold stare. Samoa Joe is definitely the type of opponent that will bring out an intense side of The Rock, which would make for incredibly entertaining face-offs and verbal duals. Not to mention the energy of the fans would be at an all time high when they watch The Rock make his fiery comeback against Joe.
Samoa Joe is currently in a programme with Brock Lesnar, and this will no doubt enhance Joe’s star power and main event status. So if a Rock/Joe match becomes a reality, Joe’s growing star power will make a match with The Rock far easier to sell to a large Wrestlemania audience.
2) Brock Lesnar:
From a financial standpoint, there is no bigger and more logical match for WWE than The Rock versus Brock. Brock Lesnar is without question the biggest superstar in the WWE, and The Rock is arguably the biggest superstar in the world. This combination will draw fans from all over the world and make Wrestlemania 34 a hugely profitable one for the WWE.
The two also have a history they can play off of – at Summerslam 2002; Brock defeated The Rock to become the youngest WWE champion. Not only will a Wrestlemania 34 match be a collision between the two biggest stars, it will be a rematch 16 years in the making.
One can argue this match may also have very little long term benefits for the WWE, but if the WWE continue to raise Brock Lesnar’s stock, it will only make a win over Brock that much more special for one of the younger WWE superstars.
1) Roman Reigns:
There is arguably no better match for The Rock than against Roman Reigns. Whether anyone likes to believe it or not, Roman is indeed the future of the WWE. In the past year, Roman has grown as a performer, and his recent main event bouts against Braun Strowman were ones fitting of a top main event performer.
There will certainly be a strong emotional reaction from the fans if this match were to take place. The elder adult males will make sure their voices are heard by making sure they boo Roman as loud as humanly possible. While the younger fans and perhaps some of the ladies will cheer for Roman. The energy of the fans alone would make this an incredibly fun match, and build up to Wrestlemania.
Roman’s style is also perfect for The Rock. Roman is very smooth in his execution of moves, and just like his cousin The Rock, he is brilliant at getting the fans emotionally invested. Both men are very different, but they share similarities that would help make a truly special Wrestlemania match.
As far as long term benefits go, Roman, facing and beating The Rock will take him to a whole another level of superstardom. Roman will reach out to a whole new fan base, and perhaps become a more popular superstar in the process. The Rock would also be giving back to the WWE, by helping cement Roman Reigns as their number one star for years and years to come.