Jim Ross discussed The Rock leaving WWE for Hollywood in 2002 during a recent edition of Grilling JR.
“I think we always had the belief that we would never lose Rock forever. He would more often than not be available to us in the right circumstance and right situation. So, that was kind of the general thought. He’ll be available to do some things, but we may just have to pick our spots and do better planning. That’s kind of what we did.”
Ross then discussed Rock potentially wrestling another match as it’s been reported that WWE wants Rock vs. Roman Reigns at WrestleMania next year. Ross thinks Rock may come back to team with his daughter, who is currently in NXT:
“He’s the last guy in the world that needs to be wrestling. Let’s be honest about it. How much more money can you make? And the other aspect of that is, what’s he got to lose? A lot. What if he tears a pec or blows out a quad or gets a concussion or things like that? They can happen and are likely to happen at some point in time. I love the guy. I signed him and think the world of him. But if he asked, ‘Do you think I should be wrestling?’ I would probably say no. I know that doesn’t sound great to the fans, ‘We want Rock one more time.’ I do too, but I don’t want him to risk his day job over a wrestling payday.
“The other deal is, the wrestling aspect of this deal, he has so much to lose if things went wrong. The last thing I wanted to do was get involved in a situation where we got Rock hurt or he got hurt. I never believed he was gonna be gone forever, and quite frankly, after [he left in 2002] he had some nice returns that all drew. But I never thought we were gonna lose him forever. His love for the product and love for the brand is insurmountable. He’ll always be a part of it, and he’s a part of it now since his daughter is down in NXT…..I could see Rock having a mixed tag with his daughter at WrestleMania. Now, there will be naysayers that’ll knock that idea, but it’s a way to get him on TV and get her name and image in the promotion.”
Quotes via 411 Mania