Booking a Roman Reigns vs. The Rock Feud Leading Up to WWE WrestleMania 39

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured Columnist IIIOctober 2, 2022

Booking a Roman Reigns vs. The Rock Feud Leading Up to WWE WrestleMania 39

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    Roman Reigns vs. The Rock has been a dream match for years. The pressure is on to make this the best storyline possible. (Credit: WWE)

    It is no secret WWE plans to have The Rock fight Roman Reigns in the main event of WrestleMania 39. At this point, anything else going down in Hollywood next April would be met with serious disappointment.

    How should WWE Creative get to that match, though?

    A marquee contest like this deserves planning well in advance. Luckily, we have more than a few ideas of how to plot this out.

    Let's fantasy book the feud that will settle who is truly The Head of the Table in the Anoa'i family.

Phase 1: Leading into the Royal Rumble

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    Credit: WWE

    Every great story is allowed to stew before everything kicks into action.

    Thankfully, there have been years worth of buzz for The Rock vs. Roman Reigns. Even when The Big Dog won the 2015 Royal Rumble and his cousin was there to raise his hand, it did the initial job of building interest.

    However, there needs to be a more focused, shorter version of that to get the ball rolling beyond just speculation.

    None of this should start until the new year. Reigns should be focused on defending his title at Crown Jewel against Logan Paul on October 8 and then fighting alongside The Bloodline in their WarGames match at Survivor Series in late November.

    The Tribal Chief should then defend his titles at the Day 1 PPV on New Year's Day.

    Ideally, this should be in a ladder match against someone like Seth Rollins, wherein both can take down a title, leading to the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship being split. The Visionary can take the WWE belt and his former Shield teammate can keep the Universal Championship to continue his lengthy run.

    Losing in a ladder match will prevent Reigns from taking a pin or submitting, but being forced to split his titles should send him into a temper tantrum.

    That allows the men's Royal Rumble winner to be able to challenge for either title and create some doubt The Rock will even be at The Show of Shows.

    Hopefully, Cody Rhodes can return, win the men's Rumble and challenge Rollins, which will set off Reigns even more that he wasn't the preferred option.

    The Tribal Chief needs a challenger for WrestleMania to justify his position as the main attraction, but the Royal Rumble winner just opted for someone else. He will be fuming.

Phase 2: The Rock Becomes No. 1 Contender

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    Credit: WWE

    Most likely, Royal Rumble will be followed by Elimination Chamber in February, probably in Saudi Arabia once more.

    Since the events in the Gulf state are always focused around a gimmick like Greatest Royal Rumble and some big names appearing, having The Rock participate in an Elimination Chamber match checks off both boxes.

    It also justifies why he could get such a prominent title match and bypass others on the roster.

    The best-case scenario would be six big-name Superstars vying for the title shot, but one gets injured and taken out of the match, only for The Rock to be the surprise final entrant. The crowd would erupt the moment his music hit.

    The five others can do the bulk of the work. The Great One can come in at the end, beat whoever is left and stand tall as the true No. 1 contender.

Phase 3: Establishing the Feud's Baseline

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    Why have they gone from this to feuding? It's time to explain their new dynamic. (Credit: WWE)

    Since The Rock will have come to Elimination Chamber as a surprise, fans won't have heard from him about what is going on. It will be a major hook to tune into Raw just for one of his trademark promos.

    Finally, The Great One has come home to WWE as he couldn't just sit by any longer and listen to Reigns run his mouth about being the greatest of all time. Heck, he isn't even the greatest in this family, and it's about time someone taught him a lesson he needs to learn.

    Who better than The Rock to head for SmackDown—named after his catchphrase—to set things straight?

    You've got viewers now putting on Fox on Friday night to hear how Reigns will respond to this, which will be bewilderment for the most part.

    How could his cousin do this? Is he delusional? He's been away making movies while Reigns has been running WWE longer and more successfully (in his mind) than The Rock ever did. For him to go to Elimination Chamber and do that was foolish on many levels.

    Even if it causes a rift in the family, it's time they settled this debate once and for all. Reigns is going to prove he is the true Head of the Table.

Phase 4: Family Dynamics Break Down

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    Of course, the family is about to have a civil war as cracks in The Bloodline form and the words of Reigns start to get questioned.

    Sami Zayn's status as Honorary Uce is relinquished after he calls into question that this is The Rock we're talking about and not even The Tribal Chief has what it takes to beat him.

    And since Zayn is not a true member of the family, he's booted out into the welcoming arms of Kevin Owens, setting them up against The Usos for the tag team titles at SoFi Stadium.

    Meanwhile, The Usos stand firmly in Reigns' corner, as does Paul Heyman. But Jimmy and Jey have a talk with their father, Rikishi, who tries to reason with them that the tension in the family is tearing everyone apart. It is their responsibility to smooth things over.

    When push comes to shove, Rikishi decides to stand in opposition of his own sons. This hearkens back to his famous "I did it for The Rock" storyline, which creates a well-rounded angle that has been years in the making.

    Owens and Zayn are just the guys who could have fun with Rikishi in a Too Cool segment, providing some fun in March leading to WrestleMania and to inject some humor into an otherwise more serious feud.

    If The Rock is willing and able to wrestle on Raw and SmackDown to bump the ratings and work off some ring rust, he has The Usos and Solo Sikoa to work with.

    For the most part, Rocky and Reigns will be kept away from each other until the final stretch.

Phase 5: The Go-Home Stretch

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    Credit: WWE

    When everything has reached a fever pitch, The Tribal Chief should strike first.

    With help from The Usos and Sikoa, he should take out The Rock and make the title match even more personal. Now, instead of just fighting for the belt and family honor, The Great One is out for personal vengeance.

    In the final week or two before WrestleMania, WWE could choose whether to set up a twist to make this a No Disqualification match or keep it as a standard singles contest. That depends on multiple factors like The Rock's contract, insurance coverage for future Hollywood projects if he were to get injured etc.

    Even if it stays a normal match, fans should be aware this is going to be an epic battle and not just your run-of-the-mill title contest.

Phase 6: WrestleMania 39 and Fallout

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    Credit: WWE

    Hopefully in a No Disqualification match, it shouldn't just be Reigns trying to bend the rules and win through nefarious means.

    The Rock has been around the block enough to know how to fight back. Once The Tribal Chief opens the Pandora's Box of cheating, his cousin will be justified in delivering his own low blows.

    This shouldn't be a four-move sprint just as Reigns and Brock Lesnar have done many times before. It should be more about ring psychology and pageantry.

    Ideally, other family members should be in attendance. We should see the biggest representation of the Anoa'i dynasty, as there is no grander match to showcase it than this.

    In the end, Reigns should come out the victor. He's the regular member of the roster and the one to build up even more for whoever beats him for the title, while The Rock is unlikely to be wrestling again, so there's no point giving him the title.

    Following WrestleMania and his victory, Reigns will hit an even greater magnitude of self-belief than ever before, but it will be always.

    If Reigns doesn't take off WrestleMania Backlash to heal, his next challenger should be the Superstar who was removed from the Elimination Chamber, circling back to round out that story and give The Head of the Table another wrestler to smash as his dominance continues until a worthwhile figure dethrones him later in 2023.

    Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, Spotify and everywhere you find podcasts. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.