Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s return to the WWE is on after The Rock came face-to-face with Roman Reigns, setting up a potential face-off at WrestleMania.
The 51-year-old hasn’t been seen in a WWE clash since 2013 when he fought John Cena as he focused on being one of the world’s most bankable movie stars.
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But the 10-time world champion is set to come out of retirement to take on cousin Roman Reigns, who has been champion for more than 1200-days, in what appears to be a WrestleMania 40 collision course.
While the pair didn’t share a word, The Rock, wearing a singlet reading “The People’s Champion”, stared down the reigning champion as the crowd went berserk.
The WWE social media accounts posted “speechless”, “goosebumps” and “This. Is. Surreal” as they hyped up the drama.
The face-off teased a WrestleMania 40 press conference on Thursday in Las Vegas, where there’s bound to be more said.
The pair have never fought before but will now likely come to blows on the second night of the two-night WrestleMania extravaganza at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field on April 6th and 7th.
The episode of SmackDown was meant to advertise the popular Cody Rhodes’ decision about who he would fight at WrestleMania — either a rematch of last year’s clash with Reigns, or world heavyweight champ Seth Rollins.
Rhodes said that he was “coming for you Roman Reigns — but not at WrestleMania”.
That’s when The Rock’s music rings out.
It’s unknown whether the clash would be for Reign’s Universal Championship belt, although questions are likely to be answered at the press conference.
Questions arose that after CM Punk, who was meant to fight Rollins at WrestleMania and headline Perth’s Elimination Chamber event, tore his triceps, the WWE had to make a change.
Earlier in January, The Rock had been back on WWE’s Monday Night Raw earlier in January to hype a feud with Reigns.
The reaction was swift from fans, with it clearly popular with the fans at the event, but plenty more were against the decision.
“Triple H is really throwing away years of beautiful storytelling for a few extra PPV buys with The Rock bro I’m f**kin sick,” one fan wrote.
Another posted: “When you have the biggest possible match you can make right now on the biggest stage in all of pro wrestling, you have to do The Rock vs Roman Reigns at WrestleMania.
“Idgaf about Cody Rhodes’ story.
“He can complete it another year.”
Another added: “If Roman vs Rock is a 1 star match I’ll giveaway my house.
“It’s not good on Cody so I get why people are upset but pretending you don’t wanna see Rock vs Roman is crazy kings and queens.”
Others believed that Johnson was “taking advantage of his new power in WWE”.
The comeback comes after Johnson was appointed to the board of directors for TKO, which is the company formed after UFC and WWE merged in a $13.7b deal last year.
The company also granted Johnson the full trademark of his ring name “The Rock” after he signed a services and merchandising agreement with the business.
The Rock has his plate absolutely overflowing with his movie career, his United Football League ownership and now his TKO board membership to name a few.
But he even revealed he had been tapped by both political parties to run for president.
“At the end of the year in 2022, I got a visit from the parties asking me if I was going to run and if I could run,” Johnson said on Trevor Noah’s What Now? podcast.
“It came out of the blue and it was one after the other.
“And they brought up that poll (from 2021), they also brought up their own deep-dive research that would prove that should I decide ever go down that road (he could potentially win).
“It was all very surreal because that’s never been my goal. My goal has never been to be in politics.
“As a matter of fact, there’s a lot about politics that I hate.”
The 2021 poll referred to above was a Newsweek poll that said 46 per cent of Americans would support a presidential run from Johnson.
— With New York Post