13-time WWE world champion Randy Orton challenges Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to a dream match at WrestleMania in 2020, and The Rock responds. Every era of professional wrestling gives birth to its own legendary stars, and there's no doubt that The Rock was second only to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin when it comes to the stars of the Attitude Era. When it comes to the Ruthless Aggression era that followed, the two top players to emerge were no doubt John Cena and Randy Orton.
Orton was often the heel nemesis to Cena, and also sometimes served as WWE's #2 hero, similar to the Rock/Austin dynamic, and also the one between Hulk Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage in the 1980s Hulkamania era. That said, there's no shame in taking second place when one runs in a race to the top that thousands of wrestlers take part in each year, only for most to fall by the wayside. Of course, when it comes to Hollywood success, Rock certainly ended up outclassing Austin, although Cena is currently doing his best to make up big screen ground on his WrestleMania XXIX opponent.
The Rock ceased being a full-time WWE performer in 2004, fully transitioning over to acting. Meanwhile, that same year saw a young Orton win his first WWE world championship. Thus, an opportunity for the two third-generation wrestlers to go one-on-one has never really presented itself. It sure seems like Orton wants it to happen though, judging by a recent Tweet that not so subtly invited Rock to meet him in the ring at next year's WrestleMania XXXVI. Earlier today, "The Great One" finally saw fit to respond. Sadly, it doesn't look like the match will happen.
.@TheRock I see you will be at #SmackdownOnFox this Friday. How about you & I have a discussion about who’s the greatest 3rd generation of all time and we answer that question April 5th in Tampa At Wrestlemania 36. A vipers sense of smell is unmatched. I smell what you’re cooking— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) October 4, 2019
U think Bob O Sr & Chief Maivia along with our pops’ Bob Jr & the Soulman ran up and down those roads for decades taking bumps just so we can sell out WM36 so you can RKO my ass thru the earth. My body’s still recovering from that Evolution beatdown you gave me at WM20 😂— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) October 7, 2019
My man. So I guess that’s a ‘no’ 🥺 https://t.co/2qDiBcb5Yy— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) October 7, 2019
While Orton has a habit of indulging his silly and sarcastic sides on social media, it's hard to imagine at least part of him not sincerely meaning that challenge to The Rock for WrestleMania. Of course, considering Johnson said in August that he had quietly retired from in-ring action, Orton had to know the chances he'd get an affirmative response were slim. As referenced by Orton in his initial Tweet, The Rock is back on the minds of wrestling fans right now, thanks to his appearance last Friday on SmackDown's FOX premiere. The event saw Rock and Becky Lynch put a whooping on "King" Baron Corbin.
Twitter denial aside, there's no guarantee that the Rock/Orton match won't ever happen. Orton is still an active wrestler, and Rock is always in great physical shape. Based on statements Johnson's made in the past, his primary reason for not wanting to wrestle anymore seems to be the fact that he suffered a rather horrific abdominal injury during his last match against John Cena, one which caused problems for his acting schedule. Still, unlikely things happen in WWE all the time, so one should never say never to The Rock vs. The Viper.