Predicting the Rock's Next WWE Appearance and Best Possible Feuds

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2016

The Rock at WrestleMania 32
The Rock at WrestleMania 32Credit: WWE.com

The Rock captivated the WrestleMania 32 audience on April 3 as everyone knew he would. All Rocky had to do was announce the record-breaking crowd that WWE drew that night, and the spot ended up with him and John Cena clearing the ring of The Wyatt Family.

It seems that trouble follows The Rock to the ring nearly every time he comes back.

But this is the price paid for being The People's Champ, and it's perfect for the company. Rocky gets some mic time, pops the fans, then gets in a mini-brawl. He takes care of business, asks if everyone knows what he's cooking, then rides off into the sunset once again.

It's become the best formula for him, and it works every time.

But eventually he will get the itch to work a match again. It's part of being a pro wrestler. Sooner or later, the call is too strong, and the boots must be laced up once again.

Of course, the timing must be rightespecially for a legendary Superstar like The Rock.

 

The When

The Rock celebrates WWE's record-breaking crowd.
The Rock celebrates WWE's record-breaking crowd.Credit: WWE.com

The best part about Rocky's next appearance is that it can happen at any time. This means that any Raw is an option, as is any pay-per-view event.

The shock factor could be there if WWE chooses to go that route, but the announcement could be made that he will be showing up on a certain date. At least this way, the company has the chance to build some anticipation for him and hopefully pop the ratings.

Payback is on May 1, while Extreme Rules is on May 22. This gives WWE plenty of time to get moving on a new rivalry for The Rock. Considering he was used at WrestleMania, and knowing his schedule is usually jammed, he could be saved for later in the year.

SummerSlam could perhaps be the next time he competes on a major stage.

With any luck, fans will see him before this. WWE continues to be in need of star power, and The Rock certainly provides it. Extreme Rules seems like a good time to get him back in the fold, especially considering the feud that could be brewing between him and a certain fanatical cult leader.

 

The Who

Bray Wyatt

Bray confronts The Rock at WrestleMania 32.
Bray confronts The Rock at WrestleMania 32.Credit: WWE.com

Bray Wyatt has come face-to-face with some of the greats in the game. John Cena, Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Hulk Hogan and even Triple H have all stared into The New Face of Fear. Wyatt was fearless in every instance, as he was at WrestleMania against The Rock.

That spot may not have led to an actual match between the two, but it did present an interesting possibility for the future. Could The Eater of Worlds actually face The People's Champ at some point?

It's an intriguing matchup, mostly because it would be so unique.

Rocky has really not faced anyone as sinister yet intelligent since Mankind.

Mick Foley took everyone's favorite trash-talking legend and exposed him for his weaknesses. Foley was not intimidated or worried about the outcome. Win or lose, he wanted to terrorize The Rock. He wanted to prove that they were on the same level.

This is precisely how Bray Wyatt would approach this rivalry.

It's not about wins or losses for Bray; it really never has been. It's about him applying his warped sense of logic to each Superstar he faces to see how far they will go to stop him. Wyatt is a great choice to face The Rock because the feud would be new, different and could become the most entertaining one in WWE.

But it would not be without its problems.

The primary issue here would be Wyatt's penchant for losing big matches. It's happened so often now that many fans likely cannot take him seriously regardless of the feud. Bray's character may not be overly concerned with winning, but the audience is.

As long as he's on the losing end, he will never have the credibility he needs to truly make it on the main event stage. Facing The Rock would just mean yet another loss for him.

Then there's the fact that Rocky would likely spend every promo poking fun at Bray.

This is how The Rock does business of course, and he's done it to everyone he's ever faced. This was not really a problem when Rocky faced Cena, as Cena's gimmick is lighthearted and comical to begin with.

But Wyatt is not Cena, and a feud with The Rock would require The Eater of Worlds to be portrayed in a serious fashion or else fail before the match itself even happens.

 

Roman Reigns

Roman Reigns and The Rock
Roman Reigns and The RockCredit: WWE.com

This one may seem like a long shot, but it's a match that definitely could happen.

When Reigns won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H at WrestleMania 32, speculation on a heel turn gained fire like never before. This is because Roman's biggest opposition had been beaten on The Grandest Stage of Them All, which left him at a crossroads.

It also exposed the massive amount of hate for him that has existed for well over a year now.

At some point, his character is bound to get fed up with the situation. He's worked hard to get where he is, done all the right things and wants to be the top guy. He has all the makings of a monster babyface, but no one wants anything to do with it.

Roman could face the villainous Mr. McMahon in his prime and still get booed out of the building. That's how bad it is.

If the day comes when Reigns finally snaps, it's going to be bad. Ringside destruction could happen, top babyfaces like Dean Ambrose could be laid out and it could all go to pieces with the whole world watching.

Reigns was heel with The Shield, but that antagonist would not be able to compare to this one. He could become the biggest heel WWE has seen in years.

If that happens, then The Rock would surely come calling.

Rocky would be the voice of reason for Reigns, the man trying to bring the champ back down to earth. But in true WWE fashion, this would ultimately backfire. Roman would feel as though he's backed into a corner and would probably come out swinging.

This could be a huge main event, with one wildly popular face taking on one red-hot heel. The family ties between the two could be used in the storyline, as well as each man's differing viewpoints. Reigns would want to prove he doesn't need family, and Rocky would want to prove he can't live without it.

Unlike Wyatt vs. Rock, fans wouldn't need to be concerned with how this one ends. The Rock should have no issue putting over his cousin, especially if it's for Roman's and WWE's greater good.

 

Brock Lesnar

The Rock vs. Brock, SummerSlam 2002
The Rock vs. Brock, SummerSlam 2002Credit: WWE.com

This match would be the easiest to construct and present.

Nothing special would need to happen. No character changes, title changes or story arcs would be necessary. Rocky wouldn't need a tremendous setup to introduce him, and WWE wouldn't need to plan months in advance for what would happen on TV.

This match would happen the moment Paul Heyman picks up the mic and declares that Brock Lesnar wants to destroy The Rock one more time in the middle of the ring.

That would be enough to start what could become one of the biggest storylines WWE has seen in quite some time. Both Lesnar and Rocky are such naturals in the ring that a match between them would undoubtedly be smooth and flawless.

Their desire to make it look good, combined with WWE's desire to build an amazing main event match, would work together perfectly.

Of all the talents in WWE that Lesnar has beaten, it's The Rock who deserves one more shot.

Their one and only match deserves a follow-up, as both men are much different Superstars today than they were then. If anyone in WWE today can beat Brock and humble him in the slightest, it's The Rock.

But a match of this magnitude probably wouldn't happen unless it's at WrestleMania.

It's just too big, too important for WWE to not make as much money as possible off it. The promotional machine would need to be in full force, and both sides would need to be in the best spots possible to capitalize on the worldwide interest in this match.

There'd be a ton of money to be made for everyone involved, and it would seem like a waste for the match to be held on any other stage.

Of course, SummerSlam may be a viable option, and the temptation to get this match rolling may be too great for WWE to pass up. After all, who can Lesnar move on to next? Who can The Rock move on to next? It may be the most logical match of any that exists right now.

 

Tom Clark can regularly be found on Bleacher Report. His podcast, Tom Clark's Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online here.