When The Rock emerged from his Hollywood burrow like a Pennsylvania woodchuck and rejoined the ranks of WWE, the last thing I expected was a remake of the 1993 film Groundhog Day via a wrestling storyline. But after the WrestleMania Kickoff press conference concluded with Rocky leaving side by side with the Tribal Chief, it dawned on me that we could be in for several more weeks, months, or even years of Roman Reigns as the Undisputed Universal Champion.
And like Bill Murray’s character in the comedy classic, wrestling fans might wind up feeling like they’re reliving the same day over.
After WWE’s media event that officially put us on the road to WrestleMania, we went from Roman Reigns potentially facing The Rock in a battle of (and possibly for) the Bloodline to Cody Rhodes reneging on his word and opting to redeem his Royal Rumble win for a championship rematch against Reigns at WWE’s gala event.
Well, Rock wasn’t happy about that, and after Rhodes cracked wise about the Samoan dynasty, Agent Hobbs responded with a fast and furious slap to the face of The American Nightmare. That led to a show of unity by Rock and Reigns, who will appear this Friday on SmackDown to see that WWE, specifically Chief Content Officer Paul “Triple H” Levesque, fixes it.
Previously, I speculated that The Rock’s next role could be as WWE’s newest evil boss. It’s also possible that (in storyline) Rock could lean into his longtime friendship with Levesque’s boss, WWE President Nick Khan. Either scenario would place more power in the hands of the Bloodline, most notably Reigns.
Despite consistently high ratings whenever he appears on television, some wrestling fans are eager to dismiss Reigns and his Bloodline storyline as stale and worn out. Additionally, there’s a perception among some fans that Judgment Day has now taken precedence over Reigns and his family as the company’s primary heel stable.
But such cooling-off periods are known in a story arc as falling action. These slower moments serve various purposes, such as building tension, developing characters, or setting the stage for upcoming events.
In the case of The Rock, WWE might be positioning him as Reigns’ corporate muscle. If fans were displeased with Solo Sikoa and Jimmy Uso aiding Reigns, their anger could peak as The Rock leverages his influence to support the Tribal Chief and keep the Undisputed Universal Championship within the Bloodline.
Such chicanery could result in some Dusty Finishes akin to Starrcade ‘85, where Cody’s father seemingly won the World title from Ric Flair, only to see the decision overturned. And it wouldn’t be a first in WWE history, as Triple H once used his stroke in the company to have a Chris Jericho title win against him overturned. With that in mind, history might repeat itself at WrestleMania with Cody Rhodes.
That type of nefarious corporate maneuvering could result in Reigns surpassing Hulk Hogan for the third-longest title run in company history. More importantly, it could push Reigns past Bruno Sammartino as the longest-reigning world champion in WWE history.
According to legend, when the groundhog sees his shadow on Feb. 2, it suggests that there will be six more weeks of winter. As The Rock’s gargantuan shadow becomes visible to all, the wrestling community would be wise to bundle up as Roman Reigns could be on his way to maintaining his icy grip on WWE’s most coveted prize.