The Rock Reveals He Was Disappointed At WWE Fans’ Backlash To His Original WrestleMania Plans, Comments On Heel Turn + More

image editor output image 1792282767 1712338212719

‘The Final Boss’ plans on becoming the greatest villain in WWE history.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is set to return to the squared circle this weekend at WrestleMania 40, and whilst his initial return plans were divisive amongst fans, it’s fair to say that his recent heel run has been amongst some of WWE’s most compelling television in recent memory.

Ahead of WrestleMania, The Rock appeared on The Will Cain Show, where whilst talking about having the opportunity to induct his grandmother Lia Maivia into the WWE Hall of Fame, he revealed that the reason he made his return to wrestling is simply because he loves the business.

“Now I have an honor to induct her into the Hall of Fame, and I can’t wait. And I have a daughter who’s 22. She is with WWE as well. She’s fourth generation, and there’s no business like professional wrestling, which, by the way. Well, it’s why I come back to it. Do I have to? I don’t have to. Certainly not for money. Luckily. Thank you. But it’s because I love it.”

-The Rock

Whilst The Rock now finds himself set to team with Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 40, the original plan was for the pair to face off for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, however following fan backlashlash over Cody Rhodes’ story being sidelined, plans changed.

Discussing those plans changing, The Rock revealed that the reaction to his initial plans for WrestleMania hurt his heart, although he was able to recognise that the best course of action would be to pivot back towards Cody Rhodes facing Roman Reigns, and credits Cody for the way he handled the situation.

“The original plan was for me to come back as the babyface, the big babyface, come back and face Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship and put on here in Philadelphia, the biggest main event of all time. I believe the qualities of a good leader, not to say that I’m a good leader, but I believe the qualities of a good leader is one who has the ability to pivot, but also make sure that you listen to the people. And as I came back, I started to realize that while fans love the idea of The Rock and Roman Reigns at WrestleMania, there was also this other storyline building that they had been invested in for a couple of years with a guy named Cody Rhodes, who, wrestling royalty, come, Dusty Rhodes is his dad, Dustin Rhodes is his brother, and we, one of two things could have happened in that moment, and this happened in January. We could have either kept trucking through. I’m a director of the board. I got a little bit of influence here in the WWE. We could have kept trucking through, or the thing that bugged me, I was in Hawaii and I realized, man, there’s a segment of fans here who are just disappointed and that, it hurt my heart to think that, well, I don’t wanna truck through and leave these fans disappointed. But not only that, we also got a guy in Cody Rhodes, who’s been working his ass off. And he’s been a part of my life for years now, and this is his story, and who, by the way, Cody, as we speak very openly here, could not be a better human being, amazing, understood, I get it, I understand the position we’re in, Rock, you and Roman, biggest ever, I’m here for it and I support you, and that’s a big deal for somebody to say, especially in our crazy world of egocentric professional wrestling, amazing.

-The Rock

Continuing, The Rock would go on to reveal that the plan to pivot back to Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes was his idea, noting that his pitch to Nick Khan at the time also included the plan for him to become ‘The Final Boss’.

“So I, back in January, I called Nick Khan, our friend. And I said, I have an idea. How about this? Why don’t we take care of the people, give them this story of Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns. And Nick said, great. And I said, however, it’s a little bit of a twist. He said, “What’s that?” I said, “What if I became the greatest bad guy of all time?””

-The Rock

That decision to shift towards becoming a villainous character came in Hawaii, according to the man himself. Johnson added that becoming a bad guy allows him to be more free and creative with his storytelling and also gives him licence to say whatever he feels like saying.

“It all happens in Hawaii, by the way. That’s where a lot of self reflection, a lot of self reflection happens in Hawaii, a lot of the mana. And I woke up and I went, God, what if I became a bad guy. And then I was able to not be pretzeled and be freer. Be visceral and be open and talk and excuse my language, but say I won’t even curse ’cause I’ve been getting in trouble a lot. I want to, yeah, I will. Say the shit that everyone wants to say, but they can’t say.”

-The Rock

Whilst discussing the topic of villains being more interesting than heroes, Cain mentioned Star Wars’ Darth Vader, prompting The Rock to reveal that the spirit of Darth Vader inspired the creation of ‘The Final Boss’.

“The Final Boss, the spirit of The Final Boss, it’s funny you bring that up, is Darth Vader. Yeah. That’s the spirit of The Final Boss.”

-The Rock

The Rock’s last full-length wrestling match came at WrestleMania 29 in 2013 against John Cena, and whilst physically he’s in great shape, that doesn’t always translate to being match-ready.

As a result, The Rock put himself through an intense training camp, noting that getting his cardio right is a major factor for his performance on the night.

“The training has kicked my ass for weeks now. I went into a full training camp for about six. This is my final week. Obviously, we have Wrestlemania in a day or two, and the training camp has been tough. There is nothing that you can do to prepare your body to be suplexed and slammed and thrown around in that ring. Nothing. And, you know, I’m no spring chicken. I’m a summer rooster. I’m no spring chicken. So I’ve had some great guys who have been helping me throughout my training camp. So it’s a combination of training camp, training hard, getting my cardio right, getting my oxygen right. I got them. I have to control my breathing in this match.”

-The Rock

The Rock would go on to reveal that he’s been training three times a day for his in-ring return, adding that his day often starts with cardio on an empty stomach, then eats before another round of cardio and weights, and finally ends his day with in-ring training.

Discussing the current crop of WWE talent, The Rock shared his thoughts on a number of stars he believes are great at cutting promos, highlighting the likes of CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, and Paul Heyman as just a few examples.

“There’s a few guys I think who are great on the mic. I feel like CM Punk is great on the mic. I feel like Cody Rhodes is great on the mic, too, as well. Seth Rollins, our guy’s great on the mic. Paul Heyman, another guy’s great on the mic.”

-The Rock

The Rock will team with Roman Reigns to take on the pair of Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins tomorrow night in the main event of Night 1 of WrestleMania 40, with the match having major implications for the main event of Night 2, as a win for The Rock & Reigns will mean that Roman Reigns’ Undisputed WWE Universal Championship defences against Cody Rhodes will be contested under Bloodline Rules.

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

Follow @Wrestlepurists on Twitter for more Pro Wrestling Updates

Have a news tip or correction? Leave us a DM on Twitter or email us at [email protected]

Follow us