The Rock Caused Major Discomfort in WWE Following His Return for WrestleMania 40

At WrestleMania 40, Cody Rhodes defeated Roman Reigns to win the Undisputed WWE Championship on April 7, 2024.

There were reports as WrestleMania 40 approached that The Rock vs. Roman Reigns was being considered as “a bigger draw for the general public”.

However, with the WrestleMania 40 Kick-Off Show on February 8, 2024, Rock allied himself with Reigns, starting the path to the match we would eventually see.

Additional details on the behind-the-scenes situation involving Rock vs. Reigns emerged with Dave Meltzer stating on Wrestling Observer Radio that:

“There were definitely people who didn’t want the match between Roman Reigns and The Rock. There was a lot of manipulation going on that a lot of people aren’t aware of.

I wouldn’t even call it power plays, but a lot of interesting games were being played on both sides. There were a lot of people who wanted Cody Rhodes to get that spot before the fan thing and didn’t want Rock to get that spot, but Rock would get that spot unless he volunteered not to have it because, you know, he’s going to get it. What you want.

No one can say anything bad about him publicly, but there are people who are very resentful of him for saying ‘I’m back and wrestling is cool again’ after WWE had a tremendous year, and the idea that he’s kind of trying take credit for this resurgence that happened the year before he returned.

Even people who were very negative towards him readily admit that when he came in it made the brand more popular, he boosted the TV ratings in a big way, he helped make this WrestleMania the biggest two-day WrestleMania that has ever happened.

There were definitely people who were happy that Sunday surpassed Saturday when it came to viewers.”

Following the champion change at WrestleMania, The Rock would confront Cody Rhodes on the April 8 episode of RAW. Revealing that he needed to “step away for a while,” Rock also warned Rhodes that he would be back to face him.