There is a plan in place for WWE if The Rock decides not to compete at WrestleMania 39 this coming April although the details of that plan are currently unknown.
During their WWE careers as wrestlers in the late 1990s into the early 2000s, Paul “Triple H” Levesque and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson were on-screen rivals. They feuded over the Intercontinental Title before they became main eventers that wrestled many times for the WWE Title as well.
Fast forward to today as we head into 2023 and both men are in their early 50s. Triple H is the Chief Content Officer of WWE meaning he gets to run the creative direction of the company, a job which he inherited five months ago when former WWE Chairman Vince McMahon retired from the job after 40 years.
As for The Rock, he’s arguably the biggest movie star in the world that has also had numerous successful TV shows including “Young Rock,” which chronicles his life, including his career as a pro wrestler. The Rock is also a Co-Owner of the XFL football league that will re-launch after the NFL season ends in February.
Ever since WWE announced WrestleMania 39 would take place in Los Angeles on April 1st and 2nd in 2023, The Rock has been linked to the event with numerous reports about Rock having a potential retirement match against his cousin Roman Reigns, the current Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. However, those reports from various sources have made it clear that Rock vs. Reigns is “not off the boards” for now, but ultimately it’s up to The Rock if he wants to do it and if he has the time to do it.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter (available via subscription) has provided several updates in recent weeks about a Rock-Reigns match. This week, Dave Meltzer wrote about how Triple H has a decision on what WWE will do at WrestleMania if The Rock isn’t able to wrestle.
“Regarding WrestleMania, Paul Levesque has made a decision on the Roman Reigns direction for WrestleMania in the event it is not Dwayne Johnson, which is a very real possibility. I don’t know that direction although Cody Rhodes would be the betting line favorite for those on the outside right now.”
“So it’s not like there are multiple ideas for that match, only maybe two, Johnson and whoever the other plan would be with. There remains a lot of talk of creating a second title for Raw (or Smackdown if they switch brands with Reigns or if someone beats Reigns) in 2023.”
Cody Rhodes is expected to return any week now and will likely be the biggest betting favorite for the 2023 Royal Rumble match.
From what Meltzer has heard, WWE is not planning to have Seth “Freakin'” Rollins go into WrestleMania as the WWE Champion, which was rumored earlier in the week.
“But I’ve been told the story going around of that title being created with Rhodes, Rollins or McIntyre on night one of Mania this year is not the plan as of this week.”
As is always the case during WrestleMania season, there are a lot of rumors and plans can always change. Until it’s announced by WWE, nothing is really official.
Heading into 2023, The Rock’s future in a WWE ring is very much an unknown at this time.