In a sensational turn of events, WWE SmackDown in Denver was electrified by the unexpected appearance of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson alongside Pat McAfee. The duo, fresh from their attendance at the Colorado Buffaloes football game in Boulder, decided to grace the WWE ring, much to the delight of fans.
The Denver crowd erupted in euphoria, giving The Rock one of the most deafening ovations of his illustrious career. This sentiment was echoed by The Rock himself on social media platforms. The evening took an exciting twist when Austin Theory, the former US Champion, tried to ambush McAfee.
However, The Rock was quick to intervene, delivering a series of punches and a spinebuster, culminating in the iconic People’s Elbow, with McAfee joining in the action. Earlier that day, during an appearance on Pat McAfee’s ESPN/YouTube show, The Rock hinted at the tantalizing possibility of stepping into the ring at WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia next April.
He reminisced about how a match with Roman Reigns for WrestleMania 39 was almost a certainty, but unforeseen circumstances led to a change in plans. Dave Meltzer, the esteemed journalist from Wrestling Observer, had previously reported The Rock's absence from WrestleMania 39.
Meltzer emphasized that the decision for The Rock to return to WWE action lies solely with him. The company, undoubtedly, would welcome him with open arms. Meltzer recalled, “The Rock had considered a face-off with Roman Reigns for years.
However, the pandemic ruled out 2020 and 2021. While WrestleMania 38 in Dallas was on the cards, The Rock had set his sights on LA's WrestleMania 39 at the SoFi Stadium, anticipating a crowd of 100,000. But plans changed”.
Rock's Schedule Uncertain
The Rock's multifaceted commitments, including his role as the face and co-owner of XFL, have often influenced his WWE appearances. However, the ongoing Hollywood strike, affecting writers, actors, and other professionals, might play a pivotal role in determining The Rock's availability for WWE.
Meltzer elaborated, “The Rock's schedule is relatively open now, probably the most since his WWE debut in 1996, primarily due to the strike. But it's all up in the air. The decision rests with him”. The Rock's recent SmackDown appearance was a ratings bonanza for WWE, drawing an impressive 2.445 million viewers, marking a 24% surge from the previous week. The anticipation is palpable: will The Rock make his grand return at WrestleMania 40? Only time will tell.