Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Returns to WWE Smackdown

Amidst the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strike, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson took time out of his busy schedule to make an appearance on WWE Smackdown Friday night on FOX. He appeared alongside Pat McAfee, as the pair were in Colorado earlier today to do a live version of McAfee’s podcast, an hour away from where Smackdown emanated live from the Ball Arena in Denver.

McAfee made his way to the ring first to welcome the crowd to Smackdown, and was quickly interrupted by WWE superstar, Austin Theory. After the two traded barbs, Johnson was introduced by McAfee, much to the surprise of the Denver crowd who lost their collective minds. Johnson and Theory went back and forth, with Johnson controlling the crowd as only he can do. After a ‘People’s Elbow’ by both The Rock, and McAfee, it was over.

Related: Dwayne Johnson Thinks Black Adam Was a Victim of Changes in DCU’s Leadership

The Rock and McAfee on WWE

Universal Pictures

The Rock hasn’t been seen on WWE TV since October 4, 2019, when he made an appearance on Smackdown’s 20th anniversary special. On McAfee’s podcast today, he did mention that there were plans in place for him to face his cousin, Roman Reigns, at Wrestlemania 2023, but plans could never be nailed down to make that happen. With the recent merger between WWE and the UFC to form TKO Group Holdings, there is a chance we could see that match take place in Philadelphia at Wrestlemania 40.

I’m saying that that’s a potential too. I’m open. I’m open. But again, let’s figure out what that is. The fans deserve something just incredible and unprecedented.

With no end in sight to the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strike, stars like Dwayne Johnson have been filling their calendars with other promotional appearances. He’s not the only WWE superstar to transition to Hollywood that’s back in a wrestling ring, as John Cena returned to the company on September 1, 2023, with a number of dates booked over the coming months.

After his cameo in Fast X, Dwayne Johnson is set to appear next in Red One, a Christmas action film directed by Jake Kasdan. The ensemble cast includes Chris Evans, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Liu, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, J. K. Simmons, Nick Kroll and Kristofer Hivju. He’ll return to the Fast and Furious franchise in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Reyes, a spin-off that will focus on Johnson’s character of Luke Hobbs, and his rivalry with Jason Momoa’s character of Dante Reyes.

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