There has been a major shift in possible plans for a WWE return by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson over the last two months according to a recent report.
According to WrestleVotes, WWE was originally working with the idea that The Rock would return to face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 35 in a WWE Universal Championship match. That idea has been well documented in the past and written about by nearly every major wrestling media outlet, however there is a caveat to the plan that is new.
The source reports that original plans were calling for The Rock to make his return to WWE at the Royal Rumble in January and win the battle royal, earning a WWE title shot. He would then use that to springboard himself into a bout with Reigns at the biggest show of the year. Rock previously won the 2000 WWE Royal Rumble.
However, these plans were scrapped when Reigns was forced to relinquish the WWE Universal Championship at the end of October due to a bout with cancer. WWE is expecting Reigns to miss upwards of one year of action, if not more, due to his medical situation.
At this point, plans for a return by The Rock appear in flux, though one idea being discussed is a match against Brock Lesnar. If they move forward with that plan, it's still possible that Rock could return and win the Royal Rumble to set up the match, though we haven't heard that is the plan. Vince McMahon has reportedly wanted to present another Rock vs. Brock match for several years now.
Rumble tidbit: Plan at one point was for The Rock to win the Royal Rumble & face Roman Reigns at Mania. That’s obviously not happening. Can Rock still win it & face Lesnar? I guess. Depends what kind of agreement Rock and WWE have. Once plans changed, Rock may have reconsidered.— WrestleVotes (@WrestleVotes) December 8, 2018
The Rock and Brock Lesnar have wrestled in the past, notably in the main event of SummerSlam 2002 where Rock lost the WWE Championship to Lesnar. That marked the first time Lesnar won the title and was an excellently promoted match on a show that was one of the best in SummerSlam history.
It's also possible that when the match with Reigns had to be scrapped, Johnson may have changed his mind about a WWE return. He will certainly need to be in the ring with someone that he trusts, as the last time he worked a full WWE match (with John Cena at WrestleMania 29), he suffered a serious injury that caused all kinds of scheduling and insurance problems with his Hollywood career.