After The Rock Said No To The Royal Rumble, He Took To Instagram To Explain Exactly What He Was Up To

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was a busy man on Saturday night, but it wasn't because he made fans' wishes come true by appearing at the WWE's Royal Rumble pay-per-view event. While those streaming via a Peacock Premium subscription were treated to a dominant win by Rhea Ripley and an alleged win by Cody Rhodes, the aforementioned WWE legend was nowhere to be found. Rumors previously indicated that he wouldn't be attending, but now we know exactly what he was up to, thanks to the man himself. 

It turns out that The Rock was in Texas, just not at the same time or in the exact same area as the WWE's 2023 Royal Rumble. Dwayne Johnson took to Instagram the day after to explain he was hard at work that night, and apparently will be for the foreseeable future thanks to his newest sporting venture. He posted:

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Dwayne Johnson also shared in previous updates that he spent his Saturday shooting footage for his upcoming Christmas movie, Red One. As such, he was unavailable for a surprise appearance at the Royal Rumble, which happened the same night. 

After filming, he's now in Texas and apparently aiding with the relaunch of the XFL. Months ago, it was alleged that Johnson cleared his film schedule for the first part of the year and that he planned to help out with the upcoming relaunch of the XFL as one of its co-owners. It seems like he can't escape film work but is still committed to the XFL. 

The other part of that rumor was that the availability opened up Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to compete at WrestleMania 39. Thus far, the odds of that happening haven't been promising. Rumors surfaced ahead of the Royal Rumble that The Rock told the WWE he wouldn't be in shape in time to do a main event match, and that was later confirmed by Triple H during the Royal Rumble post-show press conference

The WWE creative head added that the door is open for The Rock to compete in their organization in the future. One has to imagine that even if he does return at WrestleMania 39, it won't be anything quite as grand as a major match. There's also a chance that he doesn't show up at all. 

If Dwayne Johnson doesn't return to the WWE at WrestleMania 39, a big question is when his next match may be. The Rock last appeared in-person in the WWE during the 20th anniversary of SmackDown in 2019 and delivered a "Rock Bottom" and "People's Elbow" to Baron Corbin. His last official match came before that when he took on Erick Rowan at WrestleMania 32, so it's been a while since he has wrestled. 

The door is still open for WrestleMania 39, though it's understandable if some wrestling fans are beginning to wonder if Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will ever have another major match in the WWE. At least the door is still open for a time when the superstar might be less busy; given his duties in the XFL on top of his film schedule, that door might be open for a long time. 

The XFL season is set to relaunch on Saturday, February 18. Dwayne Johnson mentioned at one point he may "suit up" and participate in a game, though considering his reasoning for being out of the Royal Rumble and potentially other upcoming WWE events, I wouldn't bank on that happening. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.