The truth sounds stranger than fiction, but the true reason WWE released The Rock in 2004 is absolutely insane.
Whilst The Rock was just starting to make waves in Hollywood, he was still by far the biggest star the WWE had. Stone Cold Steve Austin had retired, and Hulk Hogan was not as in his peak, while the company also tried to build new stars.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is now the most popular and famous actor in the world, and could have done wonders for the WWE. However, their incompetence was what cost them The Great One.
Or was it?
Keep reading to find out the true reason why WWE released The Rock in 2004, ending his wrestling career at the tender age of 32.
Why Did WWE Release The Rock?
Believe it or not, WWE released The Rock in 2004 because they forgot to renew his contract.
Yes. Vince McMahon apparently simply forgot to get his top star and the most popular wrestler in the world to sign a new contract.
This was revealed by Bruce Pritchard, a backstage official at the WWE, on an episode of his podcast Something to Wrestle With.
I do know [Vince McMahon’s] intent was never to ever let a contract expire with Rock.
This seems utterly bizarre.
The Rock was the most popular man in wrestling. His t-shirts could be seen across the country, and his many, many (many) catchphrases could be heard in playgrounds all over the world.
The company named a TV show after one catchphrase (Smackdown) and he had main evented numerous WrestleMania events leading up to the release.
Yes, he was busy in Hollywood. The Rock was a busy man, and could not have committed to a full schedule. But it seems like he was committed to the WWE, and would have wrestled at least a part-time schedule.
He would exit the company for a number of years. It wasn’t until 2007 where he finally made another appearance, this time showing up at the RAW 15 anniversary episode. He also turned up at the next year’s Hall of Fame ceremony, inducting his father and uncle into the WWE Hall of Fame.
However, it would be 2011 when he finally stepped into the ring, booking a WrestleMania double header against John Cena, at both WrestleMania 28 and 29.
However, there is one rumour about the REAL reason The Rock was released by the WWE. The former WWE Champion was shockingly released in 2004 – but was it an accident?
One rumour suggests that it was in fact a calculated move by Vince McMahon. The Chairman of WWE is said to have let the deal expire on purpose, not wanting The Rock to know his worth to the company.
He thought that Dwayne Johnson would fail in Hollywood, like so many wrestlers before him. He would then come crawling back to the WWE, on a contract much better suited to the WWE side of negotiations.
Given the allegations Vince has been accused of, this is not something you could rule out. However, Bruce Prichard reiterated that the real answer is that The Rock’s contract with the WWE simply “slipped through the cracks”.
I wasn’t involved in it, but I guess that somehow it slipped through the cracks. And somehow there was that black hole that somehow it got missed.
What do you think is the real reason The Rock was released by the WWE in 2004? Tell us down in the comments section below.