What if The Rock faces Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 35?
The rumor mill heated up this fall with word that The Rock was in talks to have another run with WWE, and that he had WrestleMania 35 in his sights. The general consensus was that WWE was eyeing Rock for a return at the Royal Rumble and that he would either win that PPV’s signature match, or otherwise use his appearance to set up a showdown for ‘Mania, most likely against Roman Reigns.
Simultaneously, rumors gathered steam regarding Shawn Michaels getting back into the ring. We’ve already seen those rumors come to fruition to an extent with HBK working the Crown Jewel event in a tag team with Triple H. Still, reports suggest that Michaels won’t stop at that, but rather will stick around to work a handful more matches, potentially wrapping up at his signature event—WrestleMania.
There isn’t a clear story charted for Michaels at ‘Mania now. Meanwhile, with Reigns out to battle leukemia, The Rock, too, is without a dance partner. His most likely alternative opponent, Triple H, is also injured and The Brahma Bull has purportedly rejected the idea of working a physically punishing bout with Brock Lesnar.
The Rock vs. Shawn Michaels is far from a foregone conclusion, or even a likely matchup for ‘Mania. However, given each man’s current status, and the status of the roster around them, they do pose one of the more intriguing possibilities for a first-time match with the respective star power—particularly in wrestling circles—to make sense as opponents for one another. This article speculates what would happen if WWE did book The Rock vs. Shawn Michaels for WrestleMania 35.
#5. The Rock wins
When it comes to stroke within WWE, The Rock arguably has more at his disposal than anyone not in the McMahon family. He’s the lone star to transition from top WWE star to an even bigger star outside of the wrestling business as a bona fide Hollywood A-lister.
To put it bluntly, The Rock doesn’t need WWE at this point. Though he may feel a loyalty to the company for launching his career and for all his family’s connections to it, he has the complete right to only come back if it suits his preferences.
The Rock would have quite reasonably put over his younger cousin Roman Reigns to further his career and credibility. But in a showdown between The Rock and Shawn Michaels, neither man has a wrestling future to build toward. Particularly given rumors of past heat between The Rock and Shawn Michaels, (founded in HBK’s rival Bret Hart backing The Great One backstage, while Michaels pushed for Triple H) there’s little reason to expect Rock to return just to do the honors for Mr. WrestleMania.