Wrestling world may have seen the last of the Rock
The pro wrestling future of Dwayne the Rock Johnson, a little post-WrestleMania lull and major changes to WWE developmental are among our headlines this week in the always fascinating world of pro wrestling.
The Rock decided to go with surgery this past week to take care of injuries he sustained in his loss to John Cena at WrestleMania 29, after initially hoping to be able to rehab without it and keep his incredibly tight movie schedule commitments. When he announced the day after Mania that he had torn his abdominal muscle from the bone, it was very surprising that he thought he could avoid the knife and tough it out while the injury "scarred over." Therefore, it wasn't surprising at all that after trying to commence training for his upcoming role as Hercules, he quickly opted to visit a surgeon for repair work.
The director of his recently released Pain and Gain film chided that Johnson needed to stop wrestling 300-pound men after Johnson missed a premiere for the movie on the eve of his operation. In a subsequent interview, the Rock publicly admitted that WM 29 could possibly have been his last wrestling match, but he also joked that he might have to start wrestling 300-pound women in an obvious comeback that would lead one to believe the banter back and forth was neither serious nor acrimonious.
There was supposed to be an angle on the Raw after WM to plant the seed for a WrestleMania 30 match between Rock and Brock Lesnar. Of course, due to Rock's injuries, that didn't happen. With the surgery, it would have to be put on hold for quite a while until Rock would be more than sufficiently recovered. It is also possible that the whole plan might be scrapped and that we have actually seen the last of the third generation wrestling star who is clearly one of Hollywood's busiest actors.
Without the anticipated angle between Brock and the Rock and the expected emotional drop-off after Mania, there is a discernable lull right now in WWE. C.M. Punk was scheduled to get some much needed time off after WM and really needs it due to his own injury issues, so he is not expected back on Raw for another month or so. WWE smartly scheduled a foreign tour that included Raw in London, as well as trips to Italy, Poland, Russia and Germany.
Meanwhile, with a lack of star power available, the Undertaker surprisingly stepped up to help by appearing on Raw and Smackdown to battle with the Shield. Triple H and Brock Lesnar are also a big part of the post-Mania focus as they are going with the rubber match of their best of three series at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view in an old school steel cage match.
Clearly, they are heading toward a John Cena title defense against Ryback, with those two being helped along on the microphone by the articulate skills of newly inducted Hall of Famer Mick Foley. If Mick returns to Knoebels this season, it will be with somewhat of a renewed fame given his HOF induction and the recent camera time on Raw and Saturday Morning Slam, where he serves as general manager.
There were several rematches, title changes and non-title losses by champions on the television shows during the few short weeks since Mania. Miz won the IC belt from Wade Barrett at Mania and lost it back the next night on Raw as Miz has his own movie commitment right now. Swagger got a rematch with Del Rio and Antonio Cesaro dropped the United States strap after a pretty lengthy reign.
Triple H announced at a press conference that WWE developmental would be moving its operations to a state-of-the-art training facility near Orlando in a couple of months. They will be partnering with Full Sail University and expect to create 100 new jobs for the economy in the area. It does mean relocation from Tampa for much of the staff and all of the logistical nightmares that go with such a move. Where the dust settles for those involved is still unknown. What is known is that the company is making a huge investment in its future with the move and this seems to be another major project of Hunter's that shows he is taking a greater and greater role in the operation of WWE.