If this were 2008, I would've laughed off the possibility of the most electrifying man in sports entertainment ever stepping foot in a WWE ring again. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's wrestling resume makes him one of the best in history, and his box office success makes him one of the most bankable action stars in Hollywood.
Then, three years ago on a much-anticipated episode of Monday Night Raw, the unthinkable happened. All Attitude Era fans sat on the edge of their couches, giggling like school girls with dumb smiles on their faces, as The Rock walked out on stage, entered the ring and cut a 20-minute promo that smashed over-run rating averages from the past few years.
The Rock was back—sorta.
He hosted WrestleMania 27 and then competed in the main event against John Cena at WrestleManias 28 and 29. The three-year story arc that led to consecutive conflicts with WWE's top star culminated in a Cena victory and a supposed "passing of the torch" moment.
The Rock required surgery for a torn muscle suffered during the WrestleMania match this year. It could have possibly affected the filming schedule of one of his next starring roles as Hercules. We can assume power players in Tinseltown weren't too thrilled with The Rock's decision to wrestle and put his body on the line.
I know that at least I was wondering whether or not it would give The Rock pause were he to be offered another match by Vince McMahon.
In an interview with The Washington Post, The Rock left that door open:
I'd like to leave it open. But if I'd never wrestle again, I'd be very content with that. Winning or losing never really mattered to me. The whole idea was to put on a great match. Got injured in that match. Still was able to walk out on my own, which I was more happy about. I don't know. We'll see.
Along with being electrifying, The Rock is smart. He's one of the smartest men in the business, both wrestling and Hollywood. He knows his value and will never unnecessarily close a door to a big paycheck.
The Rock is also loyal. He knows that these big-screen roles would never have been possible were it not for Vince McMahon and WWE. Dwayne Johnson was a decent college football player who wasn't good enough to make it in the pros. Having grown up around the industry between his dad, Rocky Johnson, and his connection to the Anoa'i family, it was a logical move.
The Rock didn't need to come back for the past three WrestleManias. He probably could have used the first three months of each calendar year filming movies that could have made him significantly more money.
At heart, he's a wrestling fan and truly loves the interaction with the live crowd. He's an entertainer.
I don't think we've seen the last of The Rock. The question is, who would he want to wrestle? The possibility for a Brock Lesnar match has huge dollar signs blinking, but The Beast's stiff, and sometimes reckless, style should have The Rock worried.
He's already faced CM Punk twice, so the bloom is off that rose. Daniel Bryan would be the safest worker to face, but is he a big enough star for Vince to consider the match?
Then there is the possibility of an Undertaker bout. The two icons have never clashed at WrestleMania, and it would certainly be a major draw. Both men would be conscious of each other's health concerns and would work a safe match. But would it live up to Taker's high standard for in-ring performance on the grandest stage?
Do you want to see The Rock back for one more match? Who should he face?