If you had told me The Rock would be making at least an appearance at three consecutive WrestleMania shows, starting at 27 and ending at 29 with two actual wrestling matches in there, I would have called you a liar. Or crazy. Or a crazy liar.
What I wouldn't have done is believed you but we now know it to be true. Rock made his return to WWE (or made another one) last year for WrestleMania 27 to set up a match at this year's WrestleMania 28 against John Cena, which airs this Sun., April 1, 2012, from Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida, on pay-per-view.
Not only that, but he's committed to wrestling at next year's WrestleMania 29, as well. Or at least making another appearance.
It's interesting to note that it wasn't that long ago that Rock would do interviews on talk shows as simply Dwayne Johnson, his given name, and shun his former WWE moniker in an attempt to move forward with a new career with as much distance as possible from his former life as a professional wrestler.
So why the sudden change and renewed commitment, enough to have him doing matches at Survivor Series and multiple WrestleManias? In his latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Metlzer dishes the dirt:
One of the reasons Rock is doing more pro wrestling is that he's changed his management team. His old team looked at him as Dwayne Johnson and wanted to get him away from thought of as The Rock. His new team is headed by ex-wife Dany Garcia, as well as business manager Howard Altman of the William Morris Agency and the PR firm Rogers & Cowan. Garcia gave up her former Wealth Management Business in Miami to become the full-time manager and CEO of Team Rock, with Johnson listed as the CEO, with the goal of instead embracing The Rock name, which means using it in the movies and keeping it alive with pro wrestling. After WrestleMania, Johnson will be doing "Hercules: The Thracian Wars," "Pain and Gain," "Empire State" and "Fast Six," which isn't going to leave much down time for pro wrestling. He would likely only do SummerSlam if he does anything else this year, before next year's Mania, which is he committed to. Johnson and Garcia are also going to develop their own movies and TV projects in a new company called 7 Bucks Entertainment. That 7 Bucks Entertainment name is based on the fact that when Johnson signed his first WWF contract in 1996 after his career as a football player ended, he had $7 to his name. Johnson said he's been wanting to produce shows for a long time.
Now that's just downright logical. And the timing is good, too, considering he took enough time away from the business to truly make a name for himself in Hollywood before returning to interweave the two to create one big crossover megastar.
And we can all thanks his ex-wife for it.
Their strategy is a good one insomuch as using Rock's star power to bolster WrestleMania shows without having to expose him to too much time on the road doing Raw and running the house show circuit. Sure, it may cause some resentment with "the boys" in the locker room but this is one of the biggest stars in the history of the business. There isn't much any of them can say or do about it.
Other than take his spot themselves, which doesn't appear to be happening.
The other reason this is a good thing is because Rock isn't selfish. I'm not suggesting he doesn't have an ego, not by any stretch of the imagination, but simply saying he was one of the few major champions to put guys over when he was in a position to. And it's likely what he's going to do again this Sunday against Cena and probably next year, too, if he actually wrestles.
There's no denying "The Great One" has done a damn good job of playing his role, which has been to make Cena look better. Whether or not that's how it's been received is a different story but Rock has been doing the right thing here, jealous backstage politicians be damned.
And by the sounds of it, we can expect more of the same in the future. Good or bad thing? You decide, Cagesiders.