The Rock is set to return to WWE on Monday Night Raw this coming week on Jan. 7, 2013, in Tampa, Florida, to officially kick off the "Road to WrestleMania" and to promote his WWE championship match at Royal Rumble later this month.
The big surprise that we've been harping on for days now is just how active "The Great One" will be in the months leading up to Mania, working both pay-per-view (PPV) shows and nearly every episode of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown leading to WrestleMania 29 on April 7 in New Jersey. In a recent appearance on a press tour to promote his upcoming reality series on TNT, he spoke of his pending return and hinted that all future plans are already in place (via Showrenity.com):
"The storyline will be that starting this coming Monday [for Raw], I'm gonna go back, and it's going to be a big return. That will lead to, hopefully, what will be the biggest WrestleMania of all time at Giants Stadium. I will headline that show, with someone who I can't say right now. We've got an amazing four months lined up and planned out that will culminate in the biggest WrestleMania of all time. It's going to be a hell of a thing."
The expectation as of right now is that Rock will meet John Cena in a rematch from WrestleMania 28 last year with the WWE championship on the line, which he'll win from CM Punk at the Royal Rumble. That may not be the case and plans can always change, of course, but from the sounds of it, WWE knows what it wants to do here.
Generally, you should never put too much stock in these things but when plans are made for WrestleMania, they tend to be far more iron clad than an episode of Raw or SmackDown or a B-show PPV.
The only sure thing, however, is that it will be fascinating to see the direction the promotion ultimately decides to go.