Dwayne Johnson is one of the busiest actors in Hollywood, so when he takes time off, it’s a point of intrigue for many. This time around, wrestling fans should be particularly interested in what might be going on. It's being reported that Johnson has essentially cleared his working schedule for early 2023, which could be huge for fans of The Rock, since there's a decent chance it means he's heading back to the WWE for for a quick stretch and likely a big match or two.
There’s certainly evidence to support that, as Bryan Alvarez of The Wrestling Observer (via Mandatory) reported that Dwayne Johnson is intentionally keeping his schedule clear when 2023 kicks off. Alvarez stated what this move if it is indeed happening, might mean for Johnson during that period:
Dwayne Johnson reportedly wants to help get the XFL jumpstarted anew as its latest owner, which is totally understandable and feasible. That said, wrestling fans are well aware that this time slot of 2023 also falls directly in line with WrestleMania season. Hypothetically speaking, if Johnson is indeed available from January to late March or early April, he could make a surprise return at the Royal Rumble and build a feud that sets up a match for him at WrestleMania 39.
Rumors sparked up well before the most recent WrestleMania PPV claiming the WWE wanted to lock down The Rock for a WrestleMania 39 main event against his cousin Roman Reigns. The main reason that rumor wasn't wholly believable ties to The Rock’s rampant acting roles and other commitments. Under his normal schedule, it always seemed the best that could happen was he’d make a small cameo or appearance at WrestleMania as he has in years past. (Fans with a Peacock premium subscription can check those out.)
WWE fans would like that, but everybody knows Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is not at his peak with just a mere cameo, even if it's during the biggest even of the year. Ideally, Rock being able to make appearances leading up to WrestleMania (like in his past feuds with John Cena) would presumably deliver the full experience, and serve as a send-off of sorts to the wrestling legend. After all, this could be The Rock’s farewell tour if he is indeed coming back to the WWE for a noteworthy stretch, so it would be best if a feud builds with as much time and as much care taken as possible.
Wrestling fans should feel comfortable getting fairly excited about the possibility of The Rock’s return, even with the understanding this is all still in rumor territory. We don't know for sure if Dwayne Johnson is actually taking any time off, nor what he'll be doing either way. All we can do is wait and see and hope that “the most electrifying man in sports entertainment” will be back in the ring early next year.
The Rock isn’t currently working with the WWE, but his most iconic matches have a home on streaming over at Peacock. Hopefully, fans will get to see one more match added to the list sometime in 2023, and maybe even a couple more if we’re lucky.
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Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.