Latest Reported Details On The Rock’s Return And Position For WWE WrestleMania 40

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More details have emerged regarding The Rock’s WWE return.

After Cody Rhodes’ Royal Rumble victory, it seemed set that he would oppose Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania. However, last night’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown saw The American Nightmare defer his challenge for Reigns’ title and instead introduce The Rock, who will seemingly be the one to stand face-to-face with The Tribal Chief in Philadelphia this April.

Now, PWInsider have released a report detailing how this came to be. To start, it was discussed how the decision to change course and have The Rock contend for Roman’s gold was supported by top TKO Group executives.

“Numerous WWE sources have concurred that the decision to go with The Rock vs. Roman Reigns Mania weekend, expected to be officially announced this Thursday in Las Vegas for the Philly event, was a push by The Rock to move into the Mania main event, backed by top TKO Group Holding execs.


On the reasons behind the change, it was said that the recent injury to CM Punk and controversy surrounding Brock Lesnar meant that WWE felt as if they needed a marquee match to ‘save WrestleMania’ after several setbacks.

“While WWE had been expertly building to a Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns rematch, some sources believe it was done by Johnson to, as one source stated, “save Wrestlemania” after CM Punk and Brock Lesnar, for very different reasons, were taken off the board from the biggest weekend of the year.”


Also, it’s worth pointing out that Dwayne Johnson officially joined the TKO Board of Directors on January 23. From this, the report reveals that Rock’s willingness to go the match is possibly down to how he may have to hit certain milestones (such as returning to the ring) in order to receive his role’s full compensation.

His new position on the board also may mean that Rock may have been looking at proceedings from a business point of view, as he, Ari Emanuel and Nick Khan may have looked at Rock vs Roman as a match that can steer the headlines away from the negative coverage WWE have received in response to the latest Vince McMahon allegations.

“With Johnson’s power as a member of the TKO Board of Directors, his Hollywood standing and the backing of Ari Emanuel, Nick Khan and others, the decision was made to go with Rock vs. Reigns as the headline bout, believing it would be a greater attraction for the mainstream and also help push some positive momentum for the company.


Coming out of last night’s SmackDown, many fans felt sympathetic towards Cody Rhodes, who has had his foreshadowed title match with Reigns set aside in favour of Rock. On this, PWInsider clarified that the change of direction was not done to spite Cody, with it rather being a move to cement Johnson’s new position in the company.

To touch more on the Rock’s influence in WWE, the report notes that Brian Gerwitz is set to be the voice of Johnson during creative meetings going forward.

“One source confirmed to that former Senior Vice President of Development at Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions, Brian Gewirtz will be in the mix as the voice representing Johnson in the WWE Creative process going forward. There are some who believe Gewirtz, who at one point was one of the longest tenured WWE Head Writers, will be around physically at least for major shows going forward, could even be there as a “Plan B” if Endeavor ever needs to pivot WWE’s direction and go with a Johnson-backed creative team down the line.


With Rock vs Reigns now happening in Philadelphia this April, the report closes by touching on the plan for Cody Rhodes going forward. As many would’ve thought following SmackDown, it’s said that The American Nightmare is currently set to turn his attention to Seth Rollins at WrestleMania.

Interestingly, it’s reported that some within WWE are discussing the idea of Cody Rhodes winning the World Heavyweight Championship and then challenging the winner of Rock vs Roman at SummerSlam in a match for both titles.

“The reality is this: while the story was primed to climax at Wrestlemania 40, there were already some in the company openly talking about the idea of Cody winning the World Heavyweight Championship and then challenging the winner of Roman vs. Rock for Summerslam in a title unification bout.”


It’s fair to say that the majority of WWE fans haven’t taken the change of direction of WrestleMania, with their being a lot of backlash from portions of the viewership on online platforms. It will be interesting to see how the situation develops as the company head towards a ‘Mania 40 main event between Roman Reigns and The Rock.

As always, we’ll aim to provide any further updates on the plans for WrestleMania 40 as soon as we hear more.

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