Last Friday on SmackDown, The Rock made his first appearance on WWE TV in four years as he greeted his adoring fans in Denver, Colorado.
While no confirmation has been made on whether Dwayne is now back for a match, many are hoping this return will lead to him finally facing off against his family member, The Tribal Chief, and Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, at WrestleMania 40 next year.
If he does indeed face Reigns, we are going to take a look at four potential opponents that he can face in preparation for his match with The Head of The Table.
#4. The Rock faces an awesome foe
One top name that was a thorn in The Rock’s side when he last worked a part-time schedule in WWE was The Miz.
In 2011, The Awesome One looked to get one over on the then-host of WrestleMania, with him impersonating The Great One on an episode of RAW.
Speaking on the Out of Character with Ryan Satin, The Miz looked back on his tag team match against Johnson at Survivor Series 2011.
“Taking The Rock’s People’s Elbow at Survivor Series when he hasn’t come back to wrestle in like eight years. I mean, being able to be in that first match, to be able to go up against [John] Cena and Rock in Rock’s first ever match back to be able to take the People’s Elbow was incredible. Because, I mean, I remember being on the real world going home and being like, ‘What do I want to do with the rest of my life,’ looking on the shelf and there’s a Rock action figure, and saying, I want to be a WWE Superstar, and there I am, like 15 years later in the middle of the ring in Rock’s first match back in eight years,” said Miz. [From 38:55 to 39:43]
#3. The Rock takes on his family
If the former WWE Champion does indeed take on Roman Reigns at WrestleMania, then he undoubtedly would have to face off against another member of his bloodline before the big match.
One young star who has impressed many both in and out of the industry this past year is Solo Sikoa. The younger brother of The Usos has proven he can hang with the best that WWE has to offer.
Like many before him, in order to get to Roman Reigns, you must first get through Solo. This may indeed be the test for The Rock ahead of his huge WrestleMania 40 contest.
#2. The People’s Champ heads to A-Town
During his return on SmackDown last Friday, The Rock confronted the former United States Champion, Austin Theory, with the young star in need of a verbal putdown or two.
In his working with The Rock, Theory has now been put in the ring with John Cena, and Stone Cole Steve Austin over the past year or so, truly showcasing the company’s huge faith in him
Following their interaction on SmackDown, Theory responded to The Rock on social media, with him continuing to be the arrogant star that he is.
“I’m so grateful and humble that I could give you the loudest crowd reaction of all time. Also I don’t need you to tell me how talented I am I already know that,” tweeted Theory.
As Austin Theory has yet to learn his lesson, it may be necessary for The People’s Champion to return to the ring and teach the young star another lesson in respect.
#1. Another young WWE star faces The Great One
Like Austin Theory, another young performer that the company is very high on is the brash Australian Grayson Waller. In recent months, the 33-year-old has held his own in the ring with big names like John Cena and Edge.
A few months ago, on an episode of SmackDown, Grayson Waller looked to get under the skin of The Rock by taking a shot at The Great One for not involving himself in the ongoing family drama between Roman Reigns and The Usos.
“Every single week, his family is imploding right in front of him every week on SmackDown, but he’s worried about me, and I know he’s desperate for the Grayson Waller rub,’ the rising star teased. If he wants more of my clout, he knows where to find me,” said Waller. [H/T: Metro]
Much like he could do with Austin Theory, The Rock may be tempted to lace up his boots again to beat some respect into a young performer who doesn’t know when to keep his mouth closed.