WWE Wanted The Rock To Face Brock Lesnar At Wrestlemania 30

The Rock hitting a Rock Bottom on Brock Lesnar at WWE SummerSlam 2002

There is some insight into why The Rock didn’t wrestle at WrestleMania 30 as WWE originally wanted.

In the main event of WWE SummerSlam 2002, there was a passing of the torch moment when 25-year-old Brock Lesnar became WWE Champion for the first time by defeating The Rock. The match took place just five months after Lesnar made his main roster debut while the fans were supporting Lesnar throughout the match even though he was the heel.

While Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson did wrestle a few matches in 2003 and also 2004, his full-time schedule slowed down a lot after SummerSlam 2002 because it was WWE’s way of telling their audience that Lesnar was now “The Guy” while The Rock was off to conquer Hollywood.

Even though The Rock and Brock Lesnar went on to become two of the biggest stars ever, that SummerSlam 2002 match was their only high-profile singles match on television.

It is well known that in 2014, WWE wanted to have The Rock face Lesnar at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans. Instead, The Rock was part of a show opening promo with Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan while Lesnar beat The Undertaker to become the first man to beat The Undertaker at WrestleMania.

The Rock didn’t face Brock Lesnar due to injury concerns

Following a lot of chatter about The Rock possibly wrestling again, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter wrote about why the Lesnar-Rock match didn’t happen.

“One of the reasons The Rock hasn’t done a serious match since the second John Cena match in 2013 was because of the injuries he received in the match which led to the shooting of the moving ‘Hercules’ being moved back. The original plan was for him to continue wrestling at WrestleMania with a one-year build for a 2014 match with Brock Lesnar.”

“He made a few Mania appearances after that, including the angle that introduced Ronda Rousey (Kurt Angle took the spot he shot the angle in as Rousey’s partner in her debut) in Santa Clara, CA, in 2015 and a nine second impromptu match with Erick Rowan in 2016. He never did another match as the movie studios didn’t want him to risk injury. So doing WrestleMania would also depend on movie scheduling.”

As for next year’s WrestleMania 40 event in Philadelphia, The Rock has said he is “open” to taking part in that event, which could lead to a match with “cousin” Roman Reigns unless WWE has something else in mind.