Dwayne Johnson held out longer than John Cena, but not by much, as the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA writer's strikes brought The Brahma Bull back to the WWE. After the wrestling world went nuts following his surprise SmackDown appearance, people may wonder if he will compete at WrestleMania 40. It's a great question considering he's one of the few major legendary stars who hasn't competed in some time, but will it actually happen?
As is often the case in the company, the organization is notoriously cagey when confirming the details of upcoming WWE events. With that said, we already know some information about past discussions to bring The Rock back, and the rumor mill is always churning out rumors regarding his potential return. Here's what we've learned so far, which might lean more toward a definitive answer in the future.
The Rock Was Originally Supposed To Compete At WrestleMania 39
Rumors circulated for over a year ahead of WrestleMania 39 that Dwayne Johnson would take on his "cousin" Roman Reigns in Hollywood. Johnson recently confirmed in an interview he'd expressed interest in making it happen, but ultimately bowed out because he felt he couldn't get in proper shape for the match. Reigns ultimately went on to defend his Universal and WWE titles against 2023 Royal Rumble winner Cody Rhodes and successfully retained them.
Dwayne Johnson Says He's Open To Performing At WrestleMania 40
While WrestleMania 39 was a bust for Dwayne Johnson, The Rock said in September 2023 that he's open to performing at WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia. At the moment, it appears he's set on the idea of squaring off against Roman Reigns, but the fact that Cody Rhodes is also on that trajectory could complicate the situation. Both are big-ticket events in the eyes of wrestling fans, but will the WWE push aside its storyline with Rhodes to welcome The Rock back into the main event scene?
What's The Latest On Dwayne Johnson Competing At WrestleMania 40?
Not long after Dwayne Johnson's SmackDown return, Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer gave his thoughts on the odds of Johnson actually returning at WrestleMania 40. From his viewpoint, he explained that the WWE is on board with putting Dwayne Johnson in whatever he wants to do at WrestleMania. Regarding whether or not Johnson returns for the event, the ball is completely in his court.
There are still many unknowns about Johnson's availability come next April. The Rock was able to appear on SmackDown due to the ongoing strikes, which means actors like him and Cena have more availability in their schedules. It's possible the strikes will end before April 2024, in which case Johnson may be pushed toward any upcoming movies and projects he has on the horizon.
As co-owner of the XFL, Dwayne Johnson also has an obligation to help aid in its return, which partly factored into him missing out on WrestleMania 2023 season. If the actor can find more time this year to actually prepare and have a solid main event match, it would significantly increase the odds of it happening. However, if we start to see actors go back to work the closer we get to WrestleMania, it seems as though that will make the situation harder. Ultimately, we're still at a "wait and see" period, but future updates may provide more insight on whether his WrestleMania return is happening or being put off again.
While we wait for more information, be sure to check out some of Dwayne Johnson's best WrestleMania moments with a Peacock Premium subscription. Let's hope that at least a couple more will be added down the line and that we'll finally see "The Great One" back on wrestling's biggest stage soon.