The last time Dwayne Johnson took part in a WrestleMania main event in Philadelphia, he ate multiple Stone Cold Stunners, and he lost his WWE Championship at the 15th annual “Showcase of the Immortals” back in 1999. But The Rock could return to the “City of Brotherly Love” soon if comments he made about a potential WrestleMania 40 match end up holding true.
During a September 15 appearance on ESPN’s The Pat McAfee Show, The Rock teased a potential in-ring return. This came after he opened up about how he once had "locked" plans to wrestle his cousin, Roman Reigns, for a WrestleMania 39 match after he met with WWE top brass Nick Khan and Vince McMahon back in early 2022: He elaborated on this point, saying:
We started to talk about the potential of what this match could be between myself and Roman Reigns headlining WrestleMania at SoFi. We shook hands and hugged right there, all three of us at the table and said, ‘Let’s do this.’
Johnson said the idea was to not do “something good” or “something great,” but instead they wanted a match that was “unprecedented” for the fans at SoFi stadium. However, that couldn’t really be worked out at the time, so the three decided to come back around at a later time and try to figure it out.
Reigns ended up successfully defending his Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against 2023 Royal Rumble winner Cody Rhodes in the main event, and The Rock wasn’t on the stacked two-day card. However, the long-rumored match between members of the Anoa'i family wrestling dynasty could very well be in the works for WrestleMania 40 next spring, as the wrestler and actor said:
There’s WrestleMania in Philadelphia [turns around and lifts trademark eyebrow for the crowd] I’m saying that that’s a potential too. So, I’m open.
But again, the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star was quick to point out that the fans deserve something “incredible and unprecedented.” Regardless of what anyone thinks about The Rock and Roman Reigns’ work, a showdown between the two would be the biggest WWE match since Johnson’s rematch with John Cena at WrestleMania 29.
Hearing The Rock tease a potential match at the “Granddaddy of Them All” is sure to make wrestling fans (both diehard and lapsed alike) excited for what the future holds. Although, it does bring up the question as to how we’ll get there, especially if Reigns is still the undisputed champion at the time of their encounter.
While it’s unlikely that The Rock would be the one to end Reigns’ years-long championship run, crazier things have happened in pro wrestling. My ideal scenario would be for the Tribal Chief to lose his belts at the 2024 Royal Rumble, and then kickstart a feud with his cousin heading into WrestleMania 40. This is a match that doesn’t really need a title on the line to put butts in seats, and it could very well be a passing of the torch moment like The Rock and Hollywood Hogan’s WrestleMania 18 showdown more than 20 years ago.
Regardless, fans are in for one hell of a ride if The Rock decides to lace up the proverbial boots again for a run on the road to WrestleMania. And if it does happen, you'll be able to watch the big bout, and all other upcoming WWE events, with a Peacock subscription.