While nothing has been set in stone, for lack of a better word, Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson looks to be back in the WWE for another run. Social media is buzzing with this development, wondering who the people most affected by The Rocks returning are. The move has been polarizing. On some corners of the internet, the Rock's return has been met with negativity. In contrast, others are trying to figure out where the A-list legend fits into WrestleMania season. The changes could be dramatic, or they could not happen at all. It truly depends on where The Rock will be come April. The truth, though, is that regardless of how Rocky is used, his return, or lack thereof, will significantly impact some of WWE's most influential people. Talented individuals could get lost in the shuffle.
Cody Rhodes- Will he finish the story?
It is almost a joke at this point, but Cody Rhodes is one of the people most affected by The Rock returning. To put it mildly, will Cody Rhodes finish the story? What the Cody story truly is can be debated to some extent. For a long time, though, it seemed like Cody would dethrone Roman Reigns to become the new WWE Champion, earning the title his father never could. It was how the promotion's initial decision to have Cody lose and go on a year full of sidequests on Raw was justified repeatedly online. Now that Rock and Roman Reigns may be on the horizon, Rhodes' future is less certain, as is the fan's reaction to that story.
Getting jumped in line and taking it without protest would make Cody look weak, but fighting The Rock will almost certainly turn him heel. Pushing the story off will make some fans lose interest and make his WrestleMania 40 plans unclear and underwhelming. Rushing the story to get an uninterrupted Rock vs. Roman feud could underwhelm a bit and weaken Roman Reigns heading into the biggest box office match the company has for the first time in years. Cody is poised to be the next face of WWE, a journey that started with a gamble in 2016 and has enthralled the wrestling industry ever since.
Jey Uso- The Bloodline comes calling
Jey Uso's planned feud for WrestleMania is probably with his brother Jimmy and maybe his brother Solo. How that match happens and how it ends will depend heavily on what is happening with The Rock and Roman Reigns. If the Rock is Roman's opponent for WrestleMania, Jey will be pulled back into Reign's orbit, leaving the brotherly drama behind for a great family feud. In this scenario, all three Uso's become supporting characters. The story's thrust will revolve around Rock trying to take the title and break Roman's control while Roman fights off the last great challenger in his family to bring them all back under his control. It could very well change Jey's future trajectory and bring him back into the Bloodline.
Jey Uso, one of the people most affected by The Rock returning, is truly an unfortunate case. His singles run on Raw has turned him into a certified star who could easily carry a marquee match against Jimmy or even a triple threat between Jimmy and Solo. He is one of Raw's biggest stars, and the central player in Bloodline drama has always surrounded him, not Roman Reigns. Triple H and the team would need to undo that work to make Rocky's return fit the narrative he and Roman have sold on social media. However, working an angle at WrestleMania 40 with the Rock is also a significant career moment, and they will only have this opportunity to come true. Going on ESPN or late-night shows with The Rock would be a huge exposure that is teaming with Cody and feuding with Solo, and Jimmy just can't.
Triple H- Booking in the balance
The Triple H era of WWE has gotten a lot of praise since it began. His commitment to long-term booking and building new stars has been commendable. Likewise, all of WWE's significant premium live events and international shows have felt like major affairs. That is why he is one of the people most affected by The Rock returning. Rock coming in is, in many ways, the antithesis of his body of work, far more like what Vince McMahon would have booked. It can be done, of course, in any number of ways. The balancing act he must achieve is the biggest test of his leadership yet.
Suppose The Rock steals the spotlight of newer stars for a quick payday. In that case, it will be a major mark against the Triple H regime with longtime fans and possibly even talent. The Bloodline story has been good, but it was great a year ago, and that cooldown is due to the last controversial booking decision. If The Rock goes on to face Roman at WrestleMania 40, it pushes that story even further past its peak for some. If the Rock doesn't main event night two in Philly, many will point out that WWE has let its biggest crossover star come back and leave before their biggest show of the year, angering others. How Triple H threads the needle of his booking ideals, various fans' needs, and business interests will be crucial to the trust these potentially disparate groups have for him.
More than three people most affected by The Rock returning now.
Cody, Jey, and Triple H are some of the most influential talents who have to contend with the seismic change brought on by The Rock. Everyone could see a change in WWE's bookings and business if the biggest star in the promotion's history is back for a match with Roman Reigns. Matches may need to be cut, and sales will go through the roof. Everyone from the front office to the seasoned veterans will feel the impact of the changes. What it means for the fans watching will vary from person to person. However, it will undoubtedly give the WWE Universe one of the last actual generational bouts. The once-in-a-lifetime tag is overstated, thanks to another controversial WWE booking decision. His return, though, could easily live up to it, and the prospect of that might be enough.