The Moment The Rock Knew He Was Returning To WWE

The Rock on WWE SmackDown

The Rock has pinpointed the exact moment he knew he had to return to WWE.

In the years after his last proper match against John Cena at WrestleMania 29, The Rock was regularly linked with a comeback. A match with Brock Lesnar was rumoured, while a clash against Roman Reigns came close more than once. However, aside from a six-second “match” against Erick Rowan at WrestleMania 32, no matches came together and Rock only occasionally dropped in for one-off appearances.

But in early 2024, that all changed. After appearing on January 1st, Rock became a regular on television by February as he turned heel to join forces with Reigns.

Speaking at the post-WrestleMania XL Saturday press conference, Rock was asked whether there was a moment he knew he had to come back.

“Yes, there was. When Ari Emanuel called and said, ‘I’m going to buy the company.’ ‘Okay, what does that strategy look like.’ We discussed that. There was talks almost two years ago about me returning to WrestleMania 39 in Los Angeles. We thought everything was going to dovetail nicely into that, great story. That didn’t shake out in the way we had anticipated, and that’s okay. I had said back then to the people we were negotiating with, ‘Maybe it’s time to put the pencils down and we’ll revisit when it feels right.’

Between putting the pencils down a year and a half, two years ago, regarding WrestleMania 39, the actuality of the selling of the company, that became impetus to look holistically at doing WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia. A lot of things had to come together. The agreement, the deal, I’m not worried about that, especially when the negotiations are between myself, Ari Emanuel, and Nick Khan. I wasn’t concerned about the agreement.

My number one priority was, can I comeback and have real value this time around and not coming back for hot shots or one night. It’s fun, it’s fun for the fans, but I wanted something a lot more substantial, but something we could really build upon. These past two or three months, we’ve been laying ground work nicely and not only building for WrestleMania this weekend, but I think beyond that and the future,

The Rock Stands Tall At WrestleMania 40

At night one, The Rock ended the show celebrating with Roman Reigns after beating Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes. The win means that the match between Reigns and Rhodes on night two will be contested under Bloodline Rules.

During the mammoth clash, the quartet brawled up the ramp and into the crowd before things eventually kicked into gear in the ring. The Rock threatened to fire the referee if he counted him out, and ended up taking a Rock Bottom through the announce table from Rhodes.

The end of the match finally came with Rock delivering a Rock Bottom and People’s Elbow on Rhodes to grab the win.

H/t to Fightful