Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena unexpectedly crossed paths more than 10 years after their legendary set of WrestleMania matches. The face-to-face took place Friday night on WWE SmackDown following surprise appearances by The Rock and Pat McAfee in the show’s opening segment.
McAfee, who previously worked as a WWE commentator and part-time wrestler, opened the show without prior advertisement. McAfee was cut off by former United States champion Austin Theory, leading to a verbal back and forth. The brash, young Theory found himself at a disadvantage after McAfee introduced the evening’s second surprise, The Rock.
The Rock verbally tore into Theory, leading the crowd in a prolonged chant of “you’re an asshole” directed at Theory. The cocky superstar reached his boiling point and attacked. The Rock planted Theory with his signature spinebuster followed by a People’s Elbow. He then invited McAfee to put his own spin on the People’s Elbow.
Later backstage, The Rock embraced Cena, similarly a multi-time WWE champion turned actor. The former rivals headlined WrestleMania 28 and WrestleMania 29, going 1-1 in the two matches.
Earlier Friday, the “Black Adam” actor appeared on “The Pat McAfee Show.” Johnson confirmed there were plans for a match between The Rock and Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39 that fell through. He also suggested it was possible he would fight Reigns at WrestleMania 40 next April in Philadelphia.