Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was long rumored to battle Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39 in Los Angeles, CA. However, in the last couple of months, it was reported that The Rock won’t be wrestling at The Showcase Of Immortals this year. The news upset fans and critics alike as many had already begun betting on the dream match.
On the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Paul Heyman shared his thoughts on Johnson not working WrestleMania 39. He said,
“I never spoke to Dwayne about this year’s WrestleMania, I’ve always heard his name being thrown around. I couldn’t imagine, with his promotional schedule, with the launch of the XFL, with all the projects that he has on his plate, that he would be able to take the time to get back into ring shape. Aesthetically, does anybody in Hollywood compare to him? No. Could he run a marathon? I don’t know, maybe, I’m sure he has great cardio, but cardio itself and cardio in the ring and being in ring shape are completely different things. I’ve seen great MMA fighters who would have no problem doing 15 rounds of sparring or five rounds in a MMA cage get into a wrestling ring and within two minutes of hitting the ropes, they can’t catch their breath. It’s a different rhythm, a completely different physical toll that it takes. It’s not like riding a bicycle it’s not something you just get back into. It requires you to get back into a specific level of conditioning that is exclusive to the sports entertainment world. I don’t see how he would have had the time, with these projects at this particular moment on his plate.
“Six to ten weeks. Just like a boxing match. Then, once he’s in that shape, he’s good for the rest of the summer. Boxing and MMA, you train for one day, you peak on that one day, hopefully, then you go into another fight ten months later, you start a whole new training camp. Once you get back into ring shape, the muscle memory kicks in, your lungs know how to breathe, your brain knows how to send out signals and you’re there. Your body knows how to absorb the punishment you take. Could Dwayne Johnson have comeback and put together a classic 15-minute memorable match with Roman Reigns without going through that training? I bet he could. I bet, based on his knowledge in the ring, his supreme psychology that made him such a huge star, the people we have around us to diagram such a confrontation, and just that he’ll push himself beyond his own limit, we could have had a great 15-minute match. I don’t think anybody would have paid to see the main event of WrestleMania of a dream match between the Tribial Chief Roman Reigns and The Rock himself, I don’t think anybody would have wanted to pay for a 15 minute match. People would pay and rightfully expect to see a far longer story be told in a most exciting and A++++ level fashion. With that, there was no way he would be able to deliver and I don’t think he would ever want to disappoint the WWE Universe.”
Reigns will defend the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against Cody Rhodes in the main event of WrestleMania 39.
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