It seems like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena, who were formerly rivals in the WWE, are now close friends.
During WWE SmackDown! on Friday at Ball Arena in Denver, the two wrestling champions shocked the crowd by going head-to-head, as seen in a clip shared to the WWE’s official account on X (previously known as Twitter).
The beginning of the behind-the-scenes video shows Johnson, 51, and Pat McAfee, the sports analyst for ESPN.
In reference to the 46-year-old Cena’s well-known wrestling catchphrase, “You can’t see me,” McAfee tells Johnson after the two have shaken hands, “Look, there’s a man, he can’t see you.”
Then, as the camera pans around, Cena can be seen silently standing behind Johnson and gazing directly ahead while holding his hands behind his back. Johnson approaches his former adversary while the audience erupts.
The two men face each other with expressionless, straight faces, but they are unable to maintain their expressionless posture before grinning at each other.
I observe your attempts at a smile. Cena nodded in agreement as Johnson pointed at him and stated. The actor from Peacemaker then extended his hand to Johnson, saying, “Welcome home.” The audience wildly applauded as the two exchanged hugs.
The Rock returned to WWE Friday night on SmackDown for the first time since 2019, and boy was the crowd’s response overwhelming. But in addition to his unexpected comeback, he also engaged in some rough play in the ring!
Johnson Makes Surprise Return to WWE
When Pat McAfee, who was also making a surprise return to WWE programming, brought out The Most Electrifying Man In All Of Entertainment, the Denver, Colorado, crowd was taken aback. The Great One, actual name Dwayne Johnson, had already appeared on The Pat McAfee Show earlier in the day, which was broadcast from the campus of the University of Colorado.
The Rock had not competed in any manner since his last appearance in October 2019, which coincided with the announcement of his retirement from professional wrestling.
When The Rock returned to WWE SmackDown, what did he do?
During the opening SmackDown segment, McAfee made a welcome return after a break from hosting the ESPN College Game Day Football Show. He greeted viewers and said, “He was just up the road and there was no way he was going to miss this chance to appear on SmackDown,” as he welcomed them to the show.
The Rock is here, and it’s awesome!
Austin Theory, a former American champion, interrupted McAfee and said that he was going to “drop McAfee right here, right now” because they had unfinished business. In his response, McAfee stated that although Theory “was attempting to be like him,” he was also showing disrespect to the fans in addition to the wrestling industry.
This is the People’s show, McAfee continued, planting the seeds for what was to come. The crowd in Denver stood up as a group to applaud The Great One’s return as the well-known music from “If You Smell Fragrance” began to play over the PA system. Thunderous. In the video above, you can hear how tremendous it was.
The Rocky then abruptly ended Theory’s argument, prompting the crowd to boo Theory as an “a**hole,” which the WWE censors hastily attempted to black out. The Rock then used his famous Spinebuster and The People’s Elbow maneuvers to bodily defeat Theory. Also, he urged McAfee to perform his own variation of the elbow drop, which the loudmouth accomplished without being prompted.
Later in the SmackDown program, The Rock also made an appearance backstage, sharing the screen with none other than John Cena, who only said: “Welcome home!”
Johnson Makes Surprise Return to WWE
Is The Rock joining the WWE again?
For some time, there have been rumors about Rocky making a comeback to the ring to face off against Roman Reigns, a relative and the reigning WWE Universal Champion. This week, The Rock himself acknowledge that the major match had originally been schedule for WrestleMania 39 before things changed.
He stated: “WrestleMania takes place in Philadelphia, and I’m saying that’s a possibility, so I’m open to it. But in addition to that, I always want to provide something to the locker room and the lads and ladies who are working their tails off there because the fans deserve something absolutely fantastic and unheard of!”
The Rock said that in early 2022, he made a handshake contract and a verbal agreement with Vince McMahon and President Nick Khan for the match to take place in April 2023. Nevertheless, the parties involved were unable to agree on what the plot’s next development would be.
Cody Rhodes won the men’s Royal Rumble battle from the No. 30 position after recovering from an injured pectoral muscle, taking The Rock out of the picture for WrestleMania 39. He then challenged Reigns for the undisputed WWE Universal Title.
Given that it was close to The Rock’s chosen city of Hollywood, WrestleMania 39 would have seemed to be the ideal location for The Rock vs. Reigns, but WrestleMania 40 would also make sense for a variety of other reasons. In addition to being a historic WrestleMania, The Rock’s first WrestleMania main event, in which he competed against Stone Cold Steve Austin, took place in Philadelphia.