With all the reports and rumors that WWE already has plans in place for the main event of WrestleMania XXX, which doesn't take place until April 6, 2014, in New Orleans, and other rumors suggesting that main event could involve Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin, one wonders where The Rock fits in.
"The Great One" was last seen doing the job for John Cena as the headlining attraction at WrestleMania 29 earlier this year in New Jersey. The loss served as the culmination of a three year feud that ended with one of the greatest of all time giving his blessing to the biggest active star in the business today.
In that match, "The Brahma Bull" suffered multiple injuries that would ultimately require surgery and affected his shooting schedule for his still booming film career. Because of that, he was unable to work a planned angle with Brock Lesnar to lead to a match between the two, which either would have taken place at SummerSlam -- obviously no longer the case, as Brock is working with CM Punk -- or WrestleMania next year -- still possible, although it looks unlikely.
It also raised the obvious question of whether or not pro wrestling was worth doing if it would risk potential acting gigs, like his role in the upcoming Hercules movie. To that end, retirement -- one that would actually stick -- for the 41-year-old seemed like a distinct possibility.
As it turns out, that's still the case. In a recent interview with the Associated Press (via Washington Post), The Rock leaves the door open to make a return but also says he's fine with walking away now if that's how things shake out:
"I'd like to leave it open. But if I'd never wrestle again, I'd be very content with that. Winning or losing never really mattered to me. The whole idea was to put on a great match. Got injured in that match. Still was able to walk out on my own, which I was more happy about. I don't know. We'll see."
In most cases, you would naturally assume a lie and count on Rock simply moving the pieces of the puzzle around to make the fit so much cleaner, and far more satisfying, when he does ultimately return.
But there are very real questions as to whether or not that's the smart play for his career. If he wasn't so successful in film, maybe we could write this off as a form of hype for his next surprise appearance, but there are too many variables at play to get a firm grasp on his thought process.
So, in this instance, we must take him at his word.
Still, he's the cover boy for WWE 2K14 and the company still has plenty invested in him. He could feasibly return in a role that doesn't involve an actual wrestling match where he would risk another injury.