WWE was originally under the impression The Rock would be wrestling at Extreme Rules next month. However, we’re told the relationship between the two parties began souring just days before WrestleMania 29.
According to a source that spoke with me under the condition of anonymity, things began to break down on Friday, April 5, 2013. The Rock reportedly told WWE in no uncertain terms that he would not be wrestling at the pay-per-view next month. The company had been leaning towards a triple threat match for the WWE title at Extreme Rules involving The Rock, John Cena and CM Punk. The finish would be Rock getting pinned by Cena as the company didn’t want a situation that saw Punk going under on pay-per-view four months in a row.
Apparently The Rock objected to going under two months in a row (as he’d already signed off on going under to John Cena at WrestleMania) and asked for things to be wrapped up in the WrestleMania main event. In a retraction and correction from our earlier report, the original plan always called from John Cena to win at WrestleMania 29. The idea was for each guy to have one win a piece at WrestleMania.
We’re told WWE began scrambling and not having The Rock for Extreme Rules had a domino effect. At the time, Ryback was scheduled to go over Mark Henry at WrestleMania but it was decided that Henry would be challenging Cena for the title at Extreme Rules. This scheduled Ryback for the job at Wrestlemania.
Ryback was reportedly “very upset” about the new finish, especially when initial WrestleMania plans had him winning the World Heavyweight Championship. Henry was another interesting case as he was refusing to return at all until he was assured prominent booking of his character.
Between last Friday and Monday, it was decided that Cena vs. Henry might not be strong enough to headline Extreme Rules and plans changed to do a triple threat match like originally scheduled. Except now, the match would be Cena vs. Henry vs. Ryback for the WWE title instead of Cena vs. Rock vs. Punk.
With The Rock out of the pay-per-view plans, WWE was urging him to shoot an angle on RAW the night after WrestleMania to explain his absence. One idea pitched was for Brock Lesnar to lay him out and plant the seed for a future match between the two, possibly at Wrestlemania XXX next year. Sources close to Rock feel he isn’t completely sold on working Lesnar, feeling that match lost some of its luster when both were booked under this year. Instead, The Rock wants to face Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXX and feels it’s the biggest match that can be done.
This is where the accusations begin. There are some in the company that have questioned Rock’s injury, saying he skipped out on RAW because he didn’t want to get locked into a program with Lesnar. There is no way of knowing for sure and we are operating under the assumption The Rock was injured at Wrestlemania 29, but the fact the two sides were at odds just days before WrestleMania 29 got people talking.
From what we’ve heard, part of the issue is that when The Rock originally came back [to WWE], he dealt exclusively with Vince McMahon to work out his deal and Vince basically gave him everything he wanted. Recently, Triple H has started to get involved and Rock doesn’t trust Hunter like he trusts Vince. The Rock and Triple H have had an “uneasy relationship” going all the way back to the 90s and The Rock is well aware Triple H has buried him behind-the-scenes whenever possible over the years.
There are now concerns The Rock may not come back to WWE at all, although most feel cooler heads will prevail in plenty of time to spare before the build to WrestleMania XXX begins. However, The Rock has an easy out, as film studios get very nervous whenever Rock wrestles as shooting schedules are seriously jeopardized by injury.