Dwayne Johnson was appointed to the TKO Board of Directors last month, in a deal that included full ownership of the trademark for “The Rock” and $30 million in company stock.
On the most recent edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that a match at WrestleMania 40 against Roman Reigns was also part of the agreement:
“When (Rock) made the deal on January 3 to come in (facing Roman at WrestleMania) was part of the deal. Why Cody Rhodes won the Royal Rumble is a question that I cannot answer because nobody will answer it for me.”
Few people outside of Nick Khan and Ari Emanuel were reportedly aware of the deal regarding the match, as the belief backstage at Royal Rumble was that Reigns would face Rhodes.
In regards to the negative reaction from fans following a segment on SmackDown featuring the confrontation between The Rock and Reigns, Meltzer said he was unsure if WWE expected the backlash they received, adding:
“I don’t know how much do they care because they’re going to be getting more eyeballs for this match than any match they’ve ever had, they’re going to have more sponsorship revenue based on the fact Dwayne’s wrestling than any match they’ve had so they may go in there and just go, ‘let ’em boo!’ It’s the biggest money match that we can ever make and that’s the match that we’re going to make.”