The Reason The Rock Didn’t Return At WrestleMania 39 Revealed

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Nick Khan has shed some light on why The Rock decided against a WrestleMania 39 appearance.

Back in 2023, rumours were flying that The Rock would return to WWE to face Roman Reigns in SoFi Stadium as WrestleMania went Hollywood. However, it wasn’t to be, and Reigns instead clashed with that year’s Royal Rumble winner Cody Rhodes, ultimately denying The American Nightmare’s dreams of finishing his story.

The Rock has confirmed that he was “locked in” for WrestleMania 39, and now Nick Khan has detailed why the bout never came to pass. Speaking to ESPN, the WWE President explained that The People’s Champion couldn’t figure out the “why” of his return to action.

“Ultimately, Dwayne would say one of his greatest loves was WWE, but Dwayne needed to figure out the ‘Why?’ Beyond his love of wrestling or to try to prove that he was the real Head of the Table. So, it didn’t happen…Dwayne went about with his empire-building career, and then we re-engaged in late 2022.”

“Dwayne did the on-camera intro before the Super Bowl [at SoFi]. When he was leaving the stadium, Dwayne said on camera to his videographers, ‘I’ll see you again at SoFi this April’. Ultimately, Dwayne and I met again, and again, the ‘Why’ wasn’t there.”

The day after WrestleMania 39, it was announced that WWE had been sold to Endeavor and would merge with UFC to form the TKO Group. Then, in January 2024, TKO announced that The Rock had joined its Board of Directors. According to Khan, it was during the discussions leading up to that move that the “why” began to materialize for The Rock.

While the plan was for The Great One to finally go one-on-one with Reigns to determine the real Head of the Table at WrestleMania 40, things took a huge detour with Rock instead joining The Bloodline in their feud against Cody Rhodes.

The Rock Understood Why Plans For WrestleMania 40 Had To Change

In the same ESPN article, former WWE writer Brian Gewirtz revealed that The Rock had no issues with changing plans and becoming a heel heading into WrestleMania.

With the fans being overwhelmingly on the side of Cody finishing his story and beating Reigns, Gewirtz says The Final Boss saw that things had to play out as they would in real life.