The Rock wasn't telling porkies about the hamstring tear he suffered in his match with John Cena at WrestleMania 28. (Photo by Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images)
As we reported here a few days ago, The Rock while watching the WrestleMania 28 highlight special on NBC last Saturday tweeted that he tore his right hamstring in the middle of his match with John Cena when the Cenation leader botched his top rope leg slice move and crashed down on the back of his leg.
Given that this was the first anyone had heard about this, there was initial scepticism about the veracity of his story. Was The Rock taking a page out of Hulk Hogan's book, who has often claimed that he tore his latissimus dorsi muscle slamming a 700 pound Andre The Giant at WrestleMania III, to put himself over as a tough guy and try to add some mythology to make the WrestleMania 28 main event more legendary?
Such a whopper though would be at odds with Dwayne Johnson's character, who is unusual for being a relatively humble and straight shooting public speaker for such a major pro wrestling star. So it should come as no surprise that we now have confirmation that The Rock was telling the truth about his injury and finishing the match in intense pain from Dave Meltzer in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:
The actual injury was a Grade level 2 tear, which is painful, especially when you have to stretch or contract the muscle, but is a partial tear and doesn't require surgery. The injury nagged for a while and the rehab went slower than expected, but he's fine now and said training right now is phenomenal.
Thus, it sounds like he'll be good to go for the Royal Rumble, but that may partly explain why he didn't wrestle at SummerSlam, which there was some vague talk of at one point.
Why this news didn't come out until now was because The Rock kept it quiet from everyone in the wrestling business, shocking as that may sound:
Johnson never told anyone in wrestling about it, including Vince, nor told Cena. "I just wanted to finish the match, leave it at that and enjoy the success of Mania." The only people who knew were family members because he was having trouble walking (although he did appear the next night on Raw).
However, I'm not quite sure I buy that explanation. He may have wanted to ensure that news of the injury didn't get out publicly for fear it may be bad for his acting career. A lot of his advisors in the past wanted Johnson to steer clear of pro wrestling completely and film makers might have begun to see his in ring return as a liability if they thought that a potential injury could delay their shoots. Indeed, Rock was lucky he only suffered a partial tear, as a full tear would have required surgery (or leave a hole in the muscle in the back of his leg) and meant a postponement in filming his bodybuilder role in "Pain and Gain", which was shot immediately after WrestleMania 28.