The Rock did not show at WrestleMania this year, and it's looking unlikely that he will be at next year's show when it rolls through New Orleans.
Even with his absence though, few would argue that WrestleMania 33 wasn't a pretty big hit. Brock Lesnar and Goldberg defied the odds and put on a pretty awesome match, Shane McMahon silenced those who doubted his placement on the card opposite AJ Styles, and we witnessed the possible retirement of perhaps the most iconic competitor in WWE history, The Undertaker. It was a great show from start to finish, more or less, and WWE managed to pull it off without a cameo appearance from world renowned movie star, The Rock.
It will be something that did not go unnoticed by Vince McMahon and WWE executives at Titan Towers. WrestleMania still relies on part time stars for the most part, but they now know having The Rock on the card is not a necessity. "The Great One's" filming schedule meant that he was unavailable for "The Showcase Of The Immortals" for the first time since WrestleMania XXVI, and it's looking like that will be the case for 2018's 'Mania also.
The Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer discussed the chances of The Rock returning to WrestleMania next April saying that it's not likely. Meltzer highlighted Rocky's second match against John Cena during which he sustained some injuries that held up filming of the movie Hercules. With a precedent like that, it means it's unlikely that The Rock would be able to get insured by a movie company for a project if he's planning on wrestling during their schedule.
The Rock made his very first WrestleMania appearance all the way back in 1997 when he defended his Intercontinental Championship on the thirteenth edition of the annual show. Two years later, he headlined the event for the first time when he did battle with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Lately, The Rock actually appeared on six consecutive WrestleManias, starting as the host of WrestleMania XXVII all the way up to his quick and impromptu match with Erick Rowan at WrestleMania 32.
Considering The Rock had brought eyes to the product for six consecutive years, it's understandable that WWE may have been worried that he wasn't available for the latest edition. Hopefully, the success of WrestleMania 33 will give them confidence that they don't necessarily need The Rock, and fans will love the show whether it's teeming with part-time talent or not.