Friday night’s WWE Friday Night Smackdown at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado, saw the return of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The audience went absolutely berserk, giving the actor a four-minute standing ovation.
The Rock faced off against the popular Austin Theory in this match.
Johnson has been so preoccupied with his movie career that he hasn’t made an appearance on Smackdown since 2019. However, he still remembers what to say on the wrestling mat.
Theory taunted The Rock by asking him if he knew whose ring he was in. Rock told him to shut up, calling him “a bitch.”
The People’s Elbow, The Rock’s signature move, was a match highlight.
In the past, John Cena, an opponent of The Rock, was also there and wrestled Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa. Before the match, the two superstar wrestler shared a moment, which Cena documented on X.
Cena said, “Welcome home, Rock!”
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson hasn’t regularly competed for WWE in nearly a decade, but the Fast & Furious actor has shown an interest in returning to the sport.
Last Friday, during an interview on The Pat McAfee Show, Johnson, 51, said that he had discussed returning to WWE for a match against his real-life cousin Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39 in April with longtime WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
According to Johnson, though, the ideal pairing was never realized.
Johnson hinted that the match could take place at WrestleMania 40 next April.
With the WWE veteran taking on Austin Theory, Fox saw an increase of 2.6 million views. That’s a 23% increase compared to the previous week’s viewers for Friday Night SmackDown. The attendance was up 16% from the prior year.
The Rock helped Friday Night SmackDown gain a 0.7 rating with adults 18-49, equivalent to around 918,000 viewers. That’s up 33% week-over-week and 40% year-over-year growth.
During Friday’s broadcast primetime, it also ranked first in the 18-49 and 18-34 demographics.