May 29, 2024

These PBA stars smell what The Rock is cookin' for WrestleMania 40

These PBA stars smell what The Rock is cookin
WrestleMania 40 is upon us, and the two-day event promises to be the biggest showcase in WWE’s storied history. Art by Mitzi Solano/One Sports
Can you smell what these PBA players are cooking?


WrestleMania 40 is upon us, and the two-day event promises to be the biggest showcase in WWE’s storied history.


In line with the Showcase of the Immortals, One Sports got a nice crossover between wrestling and basketball thanks to these PBA players who were game in sharing their allegiances for WrestleMania 40.


Spoiler alert: they all can smell what’s cookin’.

[Related: The Rock stars in all-important WrestleMania tag team match]



Chris Newsome (Meralco Bolts)


Meralco lifer Chris Newsome has been a long-time fan of The Rock, tracing it back all the way from when he was a kid.


“My favorite wrestler of all time has to be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson,” the Meralco guard proudly shared.


“When I was a kid, I remember doing Rock Bottom on the bed, pretending like I could be him,” Newsome added, recalling a core memory that many fans of The Rock undoubtedly share.


For Newsome, The Rock's journey from football to wrestling, and now his exploits as a Hollywood star, serve as a source of inspiration.


This resilient mindset mirrors his approach to basketball as he tries to seize every opportunity on the court, whether he’s playing for the Meralco Bolts or representing the country with Gilas Pilipinas.


“To see where he’s at now, you know it’s actually a true inspiration for what he can do with opportunities,” Newsome reflected.


For WrestleMania 40, where The Rock will figure in an important Night 1 main event, Newsome is all on the side of his GOAT then, now, and until he chooses to actually retire.


“He’s the best to ever do it,” Chris affirms.

Cliff Hodge (Meralco Bolts)


Despite not being the most up-to-date with the latest in WWE, Meralco’s Cliff Hodge knows who to put his support to.


Echoing the sentiments of his teammate Newsome, Hodge’s foundational memories of being The Rock’s fan makes it an easy choice.


“I did see that The Rock came back like a few days ago, something like that,” the Meralco veteran shared.


“Yeah, I would support The Rock; I used to like The Rock,” he added.


A true child of the Attitude Era, Cliff also counts “Stone Cold” Steve Austin as another one of his wrestling favorites.


And with speculations of Austin making an appearance for WrestleMania 40 to possibly confront his old rival in The Rock, Hodge will be among to eat that nostalgia up, for sure.


“That would be crazy, [and] be good for WWE. That would be cool,” Hodge said.

Matt Ganuelas-Rosser (TNT Tropang Giga)


PBA’s version of The Bloodline? 


TNT’s Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, who has his own Bloodline-like situation going on now that he’s teammates with his brother Brandon, is also throwing his full support for The Rock during the main event of WrestleMania 40.


“If he’s going to come back and compete, that means he’s trying to win, so I support it. I think he’s going to win it,” the Tropang Giga veteran shared with confidence.


When asked about his all-time favorite wrestler, Ganuelas-Rosser didn't hesitate.


“Definitely The Rock. I always liked The Rock, especially back in the day. Definitely The Rock ever since,” MGR revealed.


“He [The Rock] transformed his career, so I followed that as a kid. He’s the one I looked up to—the People’s Elbow, all that,” he added with admiration to the one and only WWE People’s Champ.


MGR's loyalty to The Rock mirrors his bond with his brother Brandon, as they play on the same side now with TNT for the first time in their PBA careers.


Much like The Rock and Roman Reigns teaming up for WrestleMania, MGR and BGR show teamwork and synergy on the hardcourt as Tropang Giga teammates.



Mo Tautuaa (San Miguel Beermen)


Who are we kidding? Of course, Mo Tautuaa is also a huge The Rock fan. Give us a penny for every time this San Miguel Beerman says “The Rock.”


When asked if he had plans on watching WrestleMania this year, the former no. 1 pick says that if he can carve out the time, he'll definitely tune in.


WrestleMania 40 has 7:00 a.m. start times for both days in the Philippines, so it takes some sort of commitment for fans, more so for an active PBA player.


But as a follower of WWE, Tautuaa is well aware of the big updates.


“The last update I heard was The Rock was back, and that’s my dawg, man,” he said with excitement.


With no hesitation, Tautuaa made his stance clear on who he's rooting for in the Rock-Reigns vs. Rhodes-Rollins Mania matchup.


“Of course it’s The Rock, man. I’m going with The Rock. Between Cody [Rhodes] and Seth [Rollins]? Yeah, it’s going to be The Rock, man. That’s what it's going to come down to. It’s The Rock, man,” Tautuaa said.


A member of The Bloodline is acknowledged by Mo Tautuaa, but it’s not the Tribal Chief, but the Final Boss.


[Related: Uncertainty clouds Cody Rhodes and his WrestleMania story in main event vs. Roman Reigns]


WrestleMania 40 will feature two massive main events, the first one being the The Rock and Roman Reigns taking on Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins.

If The Bloodline win, it will be “Bloodline Rules” for the Reigns-Rhodes showdown in Night 2 for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.

If Rhodes and Rollins pull out a win, Bloodline members will be barred from the match.