By Graham "GSM" Matthews
WWE confirmed earlier today that The Rock will be appearing at WrestleMania 32 on April 3 in Arlington, TX. With WWE wanting to make this the biggest (and potentially greatest) WrestleMania of all-time, it comes as no surprise they would call in The Great One to draw a few extra eyes to the company's grandest show of the year.
The announcement comes after it was heavily rumored he might not appear at the event at all due to having previous obligations to acting and his agents not wanting to take the risk of him getting hurt. And yes, this is a legitimate concern, especially considering his last two WrestleMania matches with John Cena in 2012 and 2013, respectively, ended with him suffering injuries. In fact, filming for Hercules was almost delayed in the spring of 2013 because he was still recovering from a torn abdominal muscle among other things from the 'Mania match. He hasn't competed since. So, his agents can be blamed for wanting to keep him out of the ring next April. But the door was still open for him to make a non-wrestling appearance, and that looks to be the case come the Show of Shows.
This will mark the sixth consecutive WrestleMania Rock will be a part of since returning to the company in 2011. He served as the special guest host at WrestleMania 27 (also interfering in the night's WWE Championship main event), had mixed results against Cena for the next two years, returned in a stellar segment with Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 30, and confronted The Authority alongside Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 31. He'll make his first on-air appearance since March 2015 at next year's WrestleMania, but what will his role be?
I suppose there's still a chance he could wrestle, but unless it's in a quick match versus Heath Slater or someone of that caliber, we should probably count on him taking part in some sort of segment instead. And that's completely fine. Rock appearing alone is enough to garner interest from fans. Besides, other than a possible match with Triple H which has been in the works for the past year, there isn't anyone else credible enough at the moment to face Rock. There has been talk of a Rock vs. Brock Lesnar rematch for years, but as of right now, WWE likely has other plans for The Beast Incarnate at the spring spectacle.
There have also been rumblings among fans that he'll help Roman Reigns in his war with Triple H, which would make sense from a storyline standpoint. It could even lead to that Rock vs. HHH match the following year. I wouldn't be opposed to that, but if the past few weeks have been any indication, Reigns should be fighting his own battles. Having Rock help him out in any way isn't going to get him more over with the audience.
All that being said, I'm stumped as to what WWE will have Rock do at WrestleMania 32. They might not even know yet, and that's the beauty of it. Not that they don't have anything set in stone, but that we have zero idea what to expect. It's not predictable in the least. Regardless, I'm extremely excited to see what The Brahma Bull has in store for the WWE Universe in Arlington. He always injects new life into the product whenever he's around and will surely be a major addition to the show, whether he's wrestling or not.