3 Reasons Why WrestleMania 40 Doesn’t Need Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

Published 10/09/2023, 11:45 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

The grandeur of Dwayne Johnson is surely not hidden from the fans. Stepping foot and excelling in different domains could be similar to finding a pearl in the oyster for many, but that was not the case for The Rock. Johnson, who gained fame through pro wrestling, is one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. He has also amassed considerable success as an entrepreneur. However, Johnson’s emphasis on breaking boundaries and achieving milestones comes as a hindrance to wrestling fans who want to see their beloved star devote time to the squared circle. Last year, rumors had emerged about the prospect of The Rock facing and beating Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. Yes! The grandest stage of them all.

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Having hosted so many historic clashes in the past, fans have been discussing a dream contest for WrestleMania, which has been a hot topic for a very long time. Many of you might have guessed it right. Yes! The clash of two Samoan bigwigs, The Rock and Roman Reigns Well, a match between them was in the making for the previous year’s event; however, it was Cody Rhodes who headlined the event with Roman Reigns. But this hindrance didn’t break the optimism within the fans, since they still hold a rosy outlook for this contest. Their reasoning gained significant legitimacy keeping in mind the center stage of the 40th edition of the event.

However, before dreaming of seeing them battle, it is to be noted that the chances of this dream contest might be thin. Why? Let’s find out.

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Cody Rhodes, not Dwayne Johnson, could face Roman Reigns again

While there can be a long list of names who could face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania, only the name Cody Rhodes might stand alone as a favorite on that list. Indeed, ever since the American Nightmare returned to the promotion, he was considered the favorite to fight The Trible Chief for the title. In fact, most of the fans even predicted that Rhodes could come out of the Sofi Stadium as the new undisputed champion, but fate had other plans. His loss against Reigns in Hollywood kept the story rolling, and it is possible that they will both meet at WrestleMania 40.

Being one of the top baby faces in the current landscape of pro wrestling, Rhodes’ presence at the grandest stage might make sense. He is one of the most dependable aspects of the company, and it could be appropriate for him to end the story at WrestleMania. As far as Dwayne Johnson is concerned, he could make himself available in a brawl against the 38-year-old, but only for a single fight. His commitments in the film industry might shatter the dream of a Samaon storyline. Also, it won’t be possible for him to carry the kayfabe further.

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Indeed, for many, The People’s Champ might be a hero to end the wicked deeds of Reigns at Mania, but the chances of this considering Rhodes’ involvement seem thin.

WWE can still set milestones even without The Rock

In 2012, Dwayne Johnson was a vital entity needed to fulfill the needs of WWE. Not having a huge face to battle John Cena in the main event in Miami’s SunLife Stadium, the problems were increasing for WWE to sell their biggest event. However, with the backing of The Rock vs. John Cena as a once-in-a-lifetime main event, WrestleMania 28 was able to gross $8.9 million, making it the highest-grossing live event in WWE history.

But this might not be the case in 2023, as WWE has various in-house bigwigs to rely on.  The likes of Seth Rollins, Gunther, Drew McIntyre, and the hottest face LA Knight, constitute a locker room filled with numerous entertainers. Other than that, in 2021, the company hit the jackpot due to the billion-dollar NBCUniversal deal. They were also able to bag a whopping $215 million in the previous edition of WrestleMania, having things sorted even if they conduct the main event without Johnson.

The TKO merger could open various avenues of opportunities

Marketing might not be an enormous concern for WWE these days. The company has indeed blown it out of the water, considering the pair of billion-dollar deals with FOX and NBCUniversal. Having two separate channels for their weekly shows (RAW and SmackDown), they could cater to a vast fanbase, eventually eliminating numerous hindrances to publicity.

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Adding cherry on top, the recent TKO merger could play an important role concerning the marketing aspects of the company. The 21 billion-dollar merger brings WWE under the ownership of Endeavor, which itself could be a promotional wizard for the company. Also, by collaborating with the UFC, events transpiring under the same umbrella and in the same location could solve logistical problems and give them more negotiating power.

In fact, the cross-promotional element could also include the presence of various bigwigs of the UFC, such as Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Alexander Volkonovski, and many more in the WWE, which could outclass the consequences associated with the absence of Johnson. Well, it can be possible that the promotion might book Dwayne Johnson for Mania, but it is also certain that it won’t be a major contributor to WWE’s publicity.

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The Rock, if booked, could indulge in a match against Austin Theory, which could be because of his recent segment with the former United States Champion. Since there could be a boatload of speculations, the kayfabe for the main event of WrestleMania would surely be a matter of anticipation. What do you think?

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Written by:

Akchhat Bachheti

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Akchhat is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports, showcasing his love for the game and unwavering commitment to it through his articles. His fascination with the sport began when CM Punk made his debut against Mickey Gall in 2016, sparking his enduring passion. Since then, Akchhat has aspired to provide a comprehensive understanding of the sport and its participants.
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Edited by:

Amal Joyce

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