In an interview with Michelle Beadle on SportsNation last week, The Rock, aka Dwayne Johnson, appeared to be very open to the idea of wrestling again, mentioning he'd spoken with Vince McMahon about the prospect.
While many fans may be highly anticipating the moment the star gets back into a WWE ring to wrestle, it's difficult to see this actually happening.
Why? Well, there are a multitude of reasons. And despite what Rock says, sooner or later he is going to have to pay attention to them.
There's his age to consider. He's 42. At this point, wrestling again just isn't terribly smart.
Of course, people would argue that many wrestlers continue working well into middle age. Look at Sting. Or Kane. Or Fit Finlay.
However, here's the crucial difference: Unlike those guys, Rock is not aging well. He can't take bumps or move around nearly as well as he used to.
For proof, look no further than his injuries following his match with John Cena at last year's WrestleMania 29. Rock has detailed his various ailments and problems from the bout on his official Twitter account—it does not make for pretty reading.
And the scary thing? His match with Cena didn't even feature anything particularly risky or dangerous.
It was a fine, if somewhat dull, by-the-numbers main event. It seemed like WWE had booked the match to be as safe as possible. But Rock's injuries would have made you think they were jumping off giant ladders or bumping like Seth Rollins in there.
So physically, he's just not cut out for it anymore. And considering how many action movies he stars in these days—he's become a cornerstone of the massively successful Fast & Furious franchise and is starring in the upcoming blockbuster Hercules—you have to think his wrestling side job is making his management team at least a little nervous.
Interestingly, Pain & Gain director Michael Bay spoke rather critically of his lead actor's wrestling hobby at that film's premiere last year (Rock's litany of injuries from WrestleMania 29 had left him unable to attend).
Was this the first sign from the movie industry that it wanted Rock to end his in-ring career and focus on acting? I would say so.
Hollywood executives may love his charisma and box-office appeal, but how much longer are they going to be willing to put up with an actor who could end up on the bench due to wrestling injuries at any moment, thus holding up some big-budget project for many months?
Honestly, they'd just be likely to get in someone like Jason Statham or Chris Evans instead. It's simply not smart for Rock to continue wrestling—something his advisers have probably already made clear to him.
Even taking out the physical injuries, there simply aren't any real big-money programs for “The Great One” left after battling Cena for two years.
Brock Lesnar vs. Rock probably sounds better in theory than in practice. Would they gel well in promos? I just can't see it. Rock, for all his talent, has a cartoonish talking style and relies on jokes too much; Lesnar's verbal skills are more based in reality.
They had a good match at SummerSlam 2002, but that was nearly 12 years ago. Rock simply can’t keep up with Lesnar anymore.
The actor did talk glowingly to Beadle about his cousin Roman Reigns in the SportsNation interview, and he could work with him in the future, but does anyone really want to see it? The jury is still out on Reigns as a main event babyface right now.
What's the point in risking his physical well-being and coming back to wrestle if there's not even a big-money program waiting for him?
Personally, I find Rock's enthusiasm for the wrestling business heartening. And everyone should.
As noted, the man is a highly paid and hugely successful A-list star; he wouldn't have gotten into the ring with guys like Cena, The Miz and CM Punk if he didn't truly love and respect wrestling. It's great that he still wants to help out the company that made him a star.
But, really, it's time for him to face reality. He just shouldn't be wrestling ever again. It's too much of a risk for his health and his acting career.