Roman Reigns vs. The Rock: Dissecting the Teases and Rumors About WrestleMania Match

Erik BeastonJanuary 6, 2023

Roman Reigns vs. The Rock has been THE dream match in WWE for years.
Roman Reigns vs. The Rock has been THE dream match in WWE for years.Credit: WWE.com

It feels like the prospects of a match between Roman Reigns and The Rock have been discussed for an eternity, dating back to The Tribal Chief's run as the top babyface in pro wrestling.

Filming schedules, Reigns' leukemia diagnosis and a worldwide pandemic caused the dream match between generational stars to be delayed multiple times over the last four years.

As WWE prepares to take over Hollywood for WrestleMania 39, the rumor mill has been as hot as it ever was, suggesting the showdown between The Great One and The Head of the Table may be closer to happening than ever.

An Electrifying Return

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported in early December that WWE officials had a plan for The Rock to return at No. 30 in the men's Royal Rumble match, win and set up the bout with Reigns for The Show of Shows in April.

That scenario would leave fans riding a wave of excitement following one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year. It is a booking dream to have the pieces fall into place seamlessly and would give fans such a huge moment ahead of the marquee event.

That The Rock has not shot down any involvement in 'Mania and a match with Reigns is another reason to be excited about the possibilities of the contest.

Speaking to Erin Lim of E's The Rundown, The Great One referred to himself as The Head of the Table and said he loved the idea of promoting a WrestleMania main event between him and Reigns (h/t Public Enemies Podcast):

Public Enemies Podcast @TheEnemiesPE3

The Rock is saying he's The Head of The Table now šŸ˜­ We Are so close <a href="https://t.co/EWQ4UGZj5R">pic.twitter.com/EWQ4UGZj5R</a>

Fans of NBC's Young Rock even caught a few teases for the showdown, beginning with the actor playing a very young Reigns wanting to wrestle his older cousin, only to be told that a match of that magnitude can only happen in one place: WrestleMania.

prank sinatra @KyloCool630

they teasing a WrestleMania match between The Rock and Roman Reigns on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YoungRock?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#YoungRock</a> you absolutely love to see it <a href="https://t.co/rsqh95NRA1">pic.twitter.com/rsqh95NRA1</a>

It is not the only tease to occur on Young Rock. A clip from the show reveals a familiar belt sitting atop his trophy case. That title? The Universal Championship that has been held by Reigns since 2020.

Josh Shernoff @SoSaysShernoff

Hey, anyone else notice in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/youngrock?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#youngrock</a> the championships on display? This takes place about a decade in the future. Notice future <a href="https://twitter.com/TheRock?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheRock</a> has apparently held the current Universal Championship. šŸ¤” <a href="https://twitter.com/bfg728?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@bfg728</a> <a href="https://t.co/mNilPkJT5x">pic.twitter.com/mNilPkJT5x</a>

'A Possible'

Despite all of the teases and the initial report that WWE officials had a "pie-in-the-sky" plan in place for The Rock to appear at the Royal Rumble on January 28, the man who issued the report remained noncommital to the Hollywood star's involvement in WrestleMania 39.

Meltzer said The Rock remains "a possible" for the show, depending on his commitments to the XFL, any potential films that may arise and his admirable desire not to do anything half-assed.

Wrestling Observer @WONF4W

WOR: Dave Meltzer and Jim Valley discuss the possibilities of having John Cena, Steve Austin, and The Rock appearing at WrestleMania.<a href="https://t.co/mYdKSjV7fm">https://t.co/mYdKSjV7fm</a> <a href="https://t.co/QBNWQT2IJC">pic.twitter.com/QBNWQT2IJC</a>

That is hardly the concrete answer fans would want considering how significant a match between Rock and Reigns would be. One has to wonder, then, if it does not happen this year in Los Angeles, will it ever take place?

Rock is as big a star as there is in Hollywood, while Reigns has acting aspirations of his own. But this is a dream scenario for WWE given the massive crowd likely to be in attendance at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on April 1-2.

If the company misses the opportunity to have this match in front of that audience and in that television market, will it even think to revisit it later?

Maybe in Philadelphia next year, when WWE could tell the story of Rock coming to Reigns' aid after the people in that city rejected him at the 2015 Royal Rumble, but that won't carry the same prestige of a Hollywood encounter.

One would have to assume The Rock has the intent to come back to WWE and have the match, though. The Easter Eggs in his Young Rock show, coupled with some savvy answers in interviews, are too obvious not to be hinting at a clash fans have waited years to see.

If he doesn't return, though, the battle between The Great One and The Tribal Chief may well go down in pro wrestling history as the greatest "what if" of all time.