REVEALED: Why The Rock Decided To Turn Heel Ahead Of WWE WrestleMania 40

Why The Rock has turned heel in WWE ahead of WrestleMania 40

After a WrestleMania press conference that was promised to be ‘historic’ by The Rock, the wrestling world is once again salivating at the prospect of the heel ‘Corporate Champion’ aiding his cousin Roman Reigns against Cody Rhodes at WWE WrestleMania 40.

Rock’s heel turn has been received positively by fans after the negative reaction to his insertion into Mania’s main event, and Dave Meltzer has reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that several factors influenced Rock’s character change.

Outside of WWE, Rock’s golden touch in Hollywood has dimmed a little, with a wave of bad publicity aimed at the former WWE Champion after the failure of DC vehicle Black Adam, whilst the Young Rock television series was also recently cancelled. WWE decided that these factors - coupled with the negative reaction to the original WrestleMania course change - made a heel turn necessary, as they didn’t want Rock booed as a babyface.

For his part, The Rock has said he is ‘very happy’ to lean into the boos and portray a heel for the first time in decades, with both sides making the best of an undesired situation.

The initial angle where Rhodes walked away from facing Reigns at Mania and instead handed the match to Rock was believed to have been cooked up by Rock, Bryan Gewirtz, and Triple H, and although some in WWE felt the scenario would weaken Cody Rhodes’ standing in the eyes of fans, it instead did the opposite. Plans were said to have been constantly changing with regards to what Rock was pitching.

Despite WWE initially being overjoyed with the initial Rock vs. Reigns segment due to the reaction of the live crowd, it is reported that they quickly realised that the angle was attracting more bad publicity to The Rock - something they actively wanted to avoid, considering Rock had just signed on to join the TKO board of directors. It’s believed it was The Rock himself who pitched changing direction and undergoing a full blown heel turn, with WWE leaning into this instantly by having the announce team focus on Rhodes finishing the story on the next edition of WWE Raw rather than hyping up Rock vs. Roman, and having WWE cameras trained on pro-Rhodes crowd signs.

Meltzer’s report further states that ‘there is said to be far more behind the scenes that hasn’t come out but given the timing can’t be talked about now’, and that Rock not only pitched his heel turn but allegedly pitched Rock & Reigns vs. Rhodes and Seth Rollins for WrestleMania XL night one.

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Written by Jack Atkins

Scripts, news, and features writer. Anything with words, basically.