Have we seen the last of The Rock wrestling in the WWE? That is the question everyone is asking after he suffered a terrible injury in his match with John Cena at WrestleMania 29? Unfortunately there is a very real possibility that we have seen him don the tights a final time.
The Rock’s injury set off a firestorm on Monday night, beginning with an early report that indicated that The Rock had walked out, never mentioning an injury. As the day progressed, reports started to filer out about The Rock being injured, finally confirmed by Dwayne Johnson via tweet. The Rock was going to miss RAW, Extreme Rules, and the future is unknown.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]The injury came reportedly when The Rock took John Cena’s first Attitude Adjustment and just got worse as the match continued. The Rock suffered torn abdominal and abductor muscles and suffered a hernia during the bout. Dave Meltzer reports that the muscle was completely torn off the pelvis, and that it was a bad tear that may require surgery. According to Meltzer The Rock will opt for physical therapy and has declined surgery.
The bigger problem here is The Rock’s career in Hollywood. The Rock is set to start filming Hercules, which is expected to be a blockbuster film. Surgery would have delayed the project, costing the studio a lot of money. He also has promotional tours booked for two upcoming movies. This is where the roads cross between pro wrestling and making movies and the pressure will be heavy on Johnson to hang up the boots.
This isn’t Johnson’s first injury since returning to the ring. The Rock also claims he suffered a bad hamstring tear in last year’s WrestleMania 28 match with Cena. This is two major injuries suffered by a guy who has only wrestled five times since returning. In other words, he is more injury prone than ever and for a guy that has as much to lose as he does, it really isn’t worth it.
Why all of the sudden is a guy who was a road warrior back in his WWE prime so brittle? Is it the part-time work in the ring? Maybe it is but have you seen The Rock lately? The guy is absolutely huge! This may be a case of The Rock just being too big to wrestle and being more susceptible to tears and injuries than most wrestlers who condition their bodies differently.
Maybe it was the schedule? The Rock isn’t exactly choosing one or the other. He is flying all over the world every week juggling his movie and acting careers. This isn’t a case of a guy taking time off to do wrestling. I can’t imagine that kind of schedule is healthy for anyone.
I can’t imagine that there won’t be enormous pressure on Johnson to quit wrestling. This is an A-list movie star and studios are investing millions of dollars in him. I could envision a point where studios put it in their contracts that he can’t wrestle for so many days before a movie. In addition to studios, I have to imagine his team of advisors is telling him the same things. As much as I enjoyed seeing him back, I can understand that the risks aren’t worth the reward at this point.
He was penciled in to wrestle Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30. Has anyone seen Brock wrestle lately? Wrestling Brock demands a more physical match than he would have with anyone else on the roster. If he was injured two straight years against Cena, imagine the panic studios would have if their big investment was wrestling Brock Lesnar shortly before filming a movie?
[adinserter name=”366 right”]If it is the end of The Rock I don’t know if it is a bad thing. Fans were starting to get a little tired of the act and while he was still arguably the most popular guy on the roster, I could see it going the other way after a few more matches. In the ring he was good but he wasn’t what he was, nor did I expect him to be. More than anything the guy went headlining two WrestleMania events (as opposed to being in a tag team match on the middle of the card) and contributed more to the business since returning than most ever did in such a short time span.
I’d love to see him back but the realist in me says it’s over.