The Rock and Roman Reigns should not main event WrestleMania 40. Even as The Rock’s return continues to wrack up social engagement and praise online, that match is well past its sell-by date. When the biggest crossover star in the industry books a one-night stay in the SmackDown Hotel, the WWE Universe will explode with excitement.
His presence also means fans are thinking once again about a matchup with the top of the mountain, the needle-mover Roman Reigns. While Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has finally come back to the millions and millions of wrestling fans who have patiently waited for their face-off, this should probably remain a one-off and definitely not lead to a main event match at WrestleMania.
A return to the main event scene for WrestleMania would take a massive commitment. The Rock has yet to demonstrate he has to WWE any longer. Likewise, it would be a shame if the top slot ends up going to effectively two part-time performers in a year where so many active roster talents have elevated their game.
Also, the reality of Roman taking on his cousin may not be the epic ending to The Bloodline it was once believed to be. No matter how you look at it, the generational clash of the Samoan superstars is just too late to work.
To Much Time Left: WrestleMania 40 isn’t Until April of 2024
WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia will emanate from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 6th and 7th of 2024. That is approximately 200 days away. While the writer and actors strike might be going longer than expected, it remains improbable it will keep up until then. The Rock is free now, and he has time because many other projects have halted.
What happens when WWE needs to compete financially with major blockbuster studios? After the strikes, Johnson would have to leave tens of millions on the table to wrestle for millions each month. The answer probably is nothing, and instead, The Rock will do the financially sensible things and go back to Hollywood once he’s allowed to do so.
Perhaps Rocky believes that an actual return is possible, even if his Hollywood career opens up again. His schedule will still be a factor. Adding in that Reigns doesn’t have stellar attendance at this point on live television means telling and selling this chapter of The Bloodline would fall entirely on Paul Heyman, Solo Sikoa, and potentially Jimmy Uso.
Writing a story that is half as good as what the WWE Universe and wrestling fans online are fantasy booking would be a tall task given how many of the pieces will be missing on the road to a WrestleMania 40 match. The Rock and Roman Reigns should not main event WrestleMania 4o because they aren’t around to sell the tale. Even more importantly, other performers are.
Part-time Problems: The Rock vs. Roman Reigns Should Not Main Event WrestleMania 40
Roman Reigns is essentially a part-timer, so they had to create a fake world title to cover for the fact that he is never around. The Rock quietly retired from wrestling in 2019 after getting incredibly busy on several successful projects. That makes him a part-timer, for sure. For better or worse,
WWE has always leaned on part-time and nostalgia acts to prop up significant shows like WrestleMania. However, in those cases, the returning superstars face off with more current and established acts to spread the excitement and make all matches mean something. Putting two part-timers together stops that from happening, which is unfortunate for the rest of the roster. Putting them in the main event together takes it from unfortunate to unfair.
Superstars like Seth Rollins, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn, Gunther, Chad Gable, and LA Knight have worked tirelessly this year to prop up the shows that Roman left.
Likewise, Cody Rhodes and the entire Judgment Day faction have been a consistently solid main event scene while Rock and Roman are away. With two nights of main events, these names, the workhorses carrying the promotion each week, deserve a slot in the marquee bouts. If Rock is going to be at WrestleMania, let him fight Solo or Jey Uso as a job well done for a solid year. When Roman returns to headline the show and leaves, let it be with Seth Rollins or Cody Rhodes, who could use the win to launch the show forward.
A King Eternal: Roman Reigns was Never Going to Lose to The Rock
When The Rock vs. Roman Reigns match hype was at its peak, almost everyone believed Rock would come in and lose to the new champion in Reigns, cementing his title run. Roman has since cemented his run over nearly three years, and facing his cousin at WrestleMania 4o would all but ensure a 4th. For all of the talk of Roman Reigns as a part-time guy, and his schedule warrants it, he is still an active member of WWE. The Rock isn’t, so the idea of him ending The Bloodline is not very likely to happen.
— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) September 23, 2020
The reaction was largely negative when Cody Rhodes lost to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39. Online sentiment about The Bloodline still hasn’t recovered, with the chief complaint about the “Tribal Chief” being his run has had insufficient action to warrant a years-long run at the top of WWE.
Facing The Rock at ‘Mania will all but guarantee another six months to a year of a story that still hasn’t recovered from its last extension. Roman needs to lose his title before he can beat his big cousin Rocky, and at this point, he can’t do that until the big show in April. If The Rock is serious about this match, it will still be on the table later after WWE moves things along for the Bloodline.
Finally, Finish the Story
If Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is really back for the long haul, then it is hard to imagine why. He may believe that Hollywood is going to remain shuttered for a while. Perhaps he wants to work with his family in the company that has made so many of them famous.
It could be because Philadelphia is a major city in a swing state and that the canceled Young Rock was a trial run, and the appearance is the beginning of his long-rumored political career. Regardless of why, Rocky returning for an extended period is undoubtedly a good thing for ratings, just not for the WrestleMania main event.
Rock working with a younger talent, which could still include his blood relative in Solo Sikoa, would give more fresh faces a spotlight in the city of brotherly love on the grandest stage of them all. Rock being anywhere but across the ring from Roman Reigns makes the entire event feel bigger. In fact, that match is the only place where he does more harm than good.
You can only fit so many people in the arena, after all, and Dwayne Johnson will do that regardless. WWE can’t trust that Johnson is back, so writing a story for him that isn’t rushed will be challenging. The Rock should take his flowers for a great night or get to work on elevating the next generation and let Roman and the men who helped bring him to the top finally finish their stories.
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