I recently wrote an article for this site entitled: “Top 10 Reasons Why The Rock Should Retire from In-Ring Action,” which I firmly stand behind and still believe that “The People’s Champ” should call it a day already. However, I also mentioned how he should have one more match – which would obviously take place at WrestleMania before riding off into the sunset. The Rock is one of the greatest WWE superstars of all time and does deserve a proper sendoff.
This article will be geared towards finding that superstar who could go one-on-one with “The Great One” in his final match. The right guy for the job needs to be a superstar who can maintain a competitive edge with The Rock and deliver a high-profile match on the grand stage. The Rock’s final match should be magical and memorable. The match itself should also be a losing effort on the part of The Rock, as winning your final match really makes no sense and benefits no one else in the company.
This list will include a number of superstars who are still on the rise within WWE and could greatly advance themselves by defeating The Rock. Although I wanted to see The Undertaker’s WrestleMania winning streak come to an end for a number of years, I had hoped it would be at the hands of an up-and-coming superstar. At the same time, I get the idea that the person ending the streak needed to be an opponent who was believable in that role and who is more believable than Brock Lesnar? Which is why this list will also contain some more established WWE superstars.
The sentiment here is to appreciate The Rock and have him retired with pride. I do not dislike The Rock (he was a large part of my adolescence), I just feel that it is time for him to stop wrestling. When he first came back, it was great but ultimately; his time has past and its time to allow new superstars to shine.
These are the top 12 possible final opponents for The Rock:
12. John Cena
Let’s begin this list with the obligatory opponent: John Cena. The Rock and John Cena have already done battle twice at WrestleMania with each man picking up a victory. This leaves room for the rubber match. The final encounter to determine who is the better man.
While this may seem redundant, having The Rock and John Cena go at it one last time with Cena being the guy to retire Rock does make sense. After all, it was John Cena who lured The Rock back into action in the first place.
This match would still capture the attention of the fans, even though they have seen it twice before. The finality of Rock/Cena – no championship involved this time.
You can’t deny that Rusev and Lana may be the best heels in WWE right now – drawing immense heat from the crowd on a nightly basis. The Rock vs. Rusev could work on many levels.
There is obviously the whole standing up for American aspect which The Rock could do well and probably better than those who have already tried to be Captain America against Rusev. The Rock is champion of the people, so he would be standing up to Rusev on behalf of his American brethren.
Then there is the quintessential Rock trash-talk which would surely lead to a flurry of disparaging remarks regarding Lana. Thus, causing Rusev to stand up for her honor and silence The Rock by demonstrating that he will not allow Rock to look down upon his girl.
The seeds for this match have already been planted (though I expect nothing to come of it) when The Rock met Rusev and Lana back in Brooklyn on Monday Night Raw.
10. Triple H
The Rock and Triple H have had a long and storied history and have faced-off on numerous occasions over the years. However, they have never had a one-on-one match at WrestleMania. There was a fatal four-way elimination match at WrestleMania 2000 involving The Rock, Triple H, Mick Foley, and Big Show which came down to The Rock and Triple H for the final fall, but it’s not quite the same.
More recently rumors have circulated about an idea that would consist of The Rock taking on Triple H at WrestleMania and representing Vince McMahon for control of the WWE. With the full-blown Triple H power takeover eminent (at least on television), this kind of match could be a good way to bid farewell to The Rock as he can either “quit” completely or get “fired” by Triple H the following night on Raw.
9. The Miz
The Miz is now an A-list movie star, according to his own delusion. The Rock is a bonafide A-list movie star according to fact. The storyline here can write itself:
The Miz gets jealous of The Rock’s success in Hollywood. He challenges The People’s Champ to prove to the directors, producers, writers, and agents of Hollywood that he is the true A-list superstar in WWE.
The underlining factor of this feud is that at WrestleMania XXVII, The Miz retained the WWE Championship against John Cena because of The Rock.
8. Daniel Bryan
There is no bad blood in the following entry, as The Rock and Daniel Bryan have never crossed paths but a match between these two would go over big time with the fans.
Of course, this would have to be a face vs. face match. The unwavering fan support for Daniel Bryan would not allow him to turn heel at this time and although The Rock plays a fantastic heel, I doubt WWE will want him working as a “bad guy,” but that’s fine. These guys can both work the match as a face.
What would the reasoning behind this match? Nothing too complex, just simple competition. Daniel Bryan challenging The Rock out of respect simply to find out if he has what it takes to hang with The Great One – much like the original Rock/Hogan match in 2002.
7. Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler is stuck on the front porch knocking on the door in WWE. There is no doubt about his popularity with the fans and his in-ring ability. He is an awesome talent that the machine will not get behind, which is why a match with The Rock would be exactly what Ziggler needs to finally break through that door. Ziggler could challenge Rock based on that principal.
Dolph Ziggler is a workhorse in the ring and all that hard work has never afforded him a high-profile match at WrestleMania. Meanwhile, The Rock can just mosey on in whenever he feels like it and headline the biggest event of the year. These factors can be used to help build the match, a match that could very well steal the show.
6. Randy Orton
The Rock and Randy Orton have encountered each other once before at WrestleMania XX, when The Rock ‘n Sock Connection (Rock and Foley) competed in a handicap match against Evolution (Orton, Batista, and Flair) but have never had a singles match.
This match could bring back the “Legend Killer” persona of Randy Orton, as he attempts to take out The Great One. The Rock and Randy Orton have a lot in common as it pertains to their WWE careers. Rock and Orton are both third-generation superstars who found success in the WWE at an early age.
5. Roman Reigns
Speaking of family; The Rock and his cousin Roman Reigns could have themselves an interesting match if the stars were all aligned.
Roman Reigns is in line to become the next top baby-face in WWE, so there is no way the company would turn him heel and as I alluded to earlier, The Rock is not going to turn either. In order for this match to happen, it would need to unfold organically. Perhaps with one man winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the other winning the Royal Rumble.
While plans for WrestleMania XXXI have Brock Lesnar slotted in the main event, this match (if it were to happen), would have to wait until the following year.
4. Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose is currently working as a face but could easily turn at any moment. Ambrose is versatile, talented, and can work either side of the coin. The “lunatic” side of Ambrose would have him aggressively perusing The Rock.
Dean Ambrose is a talent who is on the cusp of superstardom in WWE and a match with The Rock would certainly elevate him to that level. The Rock vs. Dean Ambrose would be an unpredictable match that would leave the fans guessing.
3. Seth Rollins
The current Money in the Bank briefcase holder, Seth Rollins has been deemed the “future of the WWE.” Well, sometimes the future comes face-to-face with the past. Which is exactly how a match between The Rock and Seth Rollins would work.
If anybody can electrify in the ring with The Rock, look no further than Seth Rollins. The excitement level is instantly turned up past ten when Rollins is involved in a match. In fact, Rollins may be a little too quick for The Rock and have to take it down a notch. Either way, this match would not disappoint.
2. Bray Wyatt
The ultimate counterpart to The Rock and his way of performing would be the mystic Bray Wyatt, who could hold his own with Rock both in the ring and on the microphone. The exchange of words between these two would be incendiary speech.
The look of this match would have a polar opposite effect, as the clean-cut and ripped Rock takes on the stocky and disheveled Wyatt. This match would be great for Bray Wyatt who would defeat one of the greatest WWE superstars of all time on the grandest stage of them all, cementing his callous legacy.
1. Brock Lesnar
SummerSlam 2002: The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. Brock Lesnar emerges as champion, the youngest in WWE history. There was never a rematch and The Rock and Brock Lesnar have not been in the ring together since.
Lesnar is already the “ one in twenty-one and one,” so why not have him also be the “one who ended The Great One?” This match has been years in the making as The Rock will finally have a chance to exact revenge on Brock Lesnar.
The verbal war that would ensue between The Rock and Paul Heyman in the build up to this match would make the bout more personal and entertaining.
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