Despite months of speculation, the Royal Rumble is now in the books with no appearance from ‘The Rock’, Dwayne Johnson.
With WrestleMania 39 taking place in Hollywood, fans had hoped to see The Great One punch his ticket to the Grandest Stage Of Them All in the Alamadome in San Antonio. In the end, though, it was the returning Cody Rhodes who stood tall, pointing at the WrestleMania sign after last eliminating Gunther, who himself set a new record for the 30-man bout.
As things stand, Rhodes will now go on to WrestleMania to face off with Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship after the Tribal Chief retained the titles in the main event against challenger Kevin Owens – although Reigns’ finished the night in a far from celebratory mood.
“It isn’t in the cards” – Triple H on Dwayne Johnson WrestleMania 39 match
During the post-Royal Rumble press conference, Triple H addressed the possibility of The Rock still making a return for WrestleMania 39, joking about the Wrestling Observer report that Johnson couldn’t get in shape in time.
“Apparently he can’t get in shape in time. That’s what all you tell me.”
WWE’s Chief Content Officer went on to explain that The Great One is “incredibly busy” but he believes he would be at the Showcase Of The Immortals if he could.
“He looked pretty jacked, I thought. I saw Black Adam the other day and I didn’t think it was the uniform. He’s incredibly busy. I can say this, as a guy that, we grew up as two young kids fighting each other for the spot and having battles over it and, in the best way, pushing each other. We all were in that time.
“I know, for him….I was at a large Emmy event a few years ago and there was a poster of him. I think he was about to drop the People’s Elbow on me. He was standing over me in this photo and it’s a hyper-focused incredibly detailed picture. As I’m looking at the picture, I realized he had goosebumps all over him, standing over me. I took a picture of it and sent it to him. I said, ‘You don’t get this in Hollywood, do you?’
“It’s a rush, but after the 12th time you’ve done that take, probably not as exciting as the first couple. There is nothing like this, nothing. I know for him, and I know his family and background, there is a part of him that, if he could be here for this and for this WrestleMania in Hollywood, he would turn over every stone and walk through fire to be able to do it, if he could.”
However, The Game doesn’t think it’s in the cards for WrestleMania 39, but The Rock has an open invitation to appear in WWE any time.
“I just don’t think it’s in the cards. Then again, I don’t know. We always have conversations with him because he loves it so much and we’d love for him to be a part of it. He’s the biggest star in Hollywood and maybe the most recognizable person on the planet. Why wouldn’t we want him to be part of it?
“This is his home. It’s an open invitation. We don’t lock the door. He has an open invitation to walk through it anytime he wants, but he’s incredibly busy. I think that respect factors both ways.
“He wouldn’t want to do it unless he could absolutely do it. There is no way he would show up here and half-ass it. There is no way he would show up here and not come in and want to put every single thing he had into it to make it the best it could possibly be.
“Unless he could do that, it won’t happen. He knows the door is open and when he has the time and availability to do it, he can come in and electrify everybody.”
H/T to Fightful for the above transcription.