It’s pretty clear that “plans change” has been a real thing for WWE over the past few months. The sad news the man they planned to have in a main event role up to and probably beyond WrestleMania 35 was leaving to get treatment for leukemia will cause some plans to change.
This “tidbit” from* the usually reliable WrestleVotes Twitter account about one of those changed plans creates some interesting alternate timelines:
Rumble tidbit: Plan at one point was for The Rock to win the Royal Rumble & face Roman Reigns at Mania. That’s obviously not happening. Can Rock still win it & face Lesnar? I guess. Depends what kind of agreement Rock and WWE have. Once plans changed, Rock may have reconsidered.— WrestleVotes (@WrestleVotes) December 8, 2018
The idea of Dwayne Johnson returning for the proverbial “one last run” to put over his cousin as the top star of the current era has been floated around on social media and message boards for a long time. That we were close to actually having it happen is wild to think about.
Would it have actually been good for Reigns? It would have been big box office, so in that sense, yes. But putting him up against a beloved legend and huge crossover star like Rocky probably wouldn’t have helped his cheer/boo ratio. And having a big program with a part-timer wouldn’t have convinced any so-called smarks to look at Vince McMahon’s hand-picked star in a new light, either.
Not sure where I stand on WrestleVotes follow-up question about the possibility of Johnson returning anyway and working the program with current Universal champion Brock Lesnar.
On the one hand, that’s also a big marquee feud that’s been teased before. Promo segments with the Great One and Brock’s Advocate Paul Heyman could be electric, and at least Lesnar wouldn’t be tying up another full-time Superstar.
On the other hand, the Rumble being used as the set-up would mean more time with Raw’s top prize as a special attraction. And the last two years of Brock matches at Survivor Series have shown us that the Beast vs. a full-time pro wrestler doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Thinking about booking this program with Brock instead of Roman also opens up questions about Lesnar’s UFC plans. Is he sticking around for a ‘Mania match this year, or will he drop the belt at the Rumble and head to the Octagon? Is Johnson, or anyone, interested in Strowman vs. The Rock?
Lots of questions. Which is why it’s a “What If?” worthy of the late Stan Lee.
Give us your answers below, Cageside True Believers!