The Rock comes back to WWE and challenges Roman Reigns to a grudge match

The Rock WWE

The Rock is returning to his wrestling origins, and he wants to be the “head of the table.”

On January 1, the WWE legend-turned-movie actor, The Rock, made a surprise visit at WWE Raw at Pechanga Arena in San Diego. A surprise guest appearance by a past WWE champion had already been teased by WWE’s Paul “Triple H” Levesque, and after a fakeout featuring Raw combatant Jinder Mahal, Johnson strolled out to raucous acclaim in a scene that pundits characterized as “pure electricity.”

“The Rock is damn proud to be the People’s Champion,” he told reporters. “The Rock is incredibly proud to be an American.” And The Rock is extremely pleased to announce that The Rock has returned to San Diego!”

Johnson then mocked Mahal, calling him the “biggest asshole to walk God’s green earth,” and even made fun of his own film career, saying, “If you were one of The Rock’s movies, you’d probably be Baywatch,” before trading blows with the Canadian wrestler and eventually delivering two of his old staple moves: the spinebuster and the people’s elbow.

“I’m gonna go get something to eat,” he stated to the audience after the bout. “When The Rock goes out to eat tonight in San Diego, should The Rock sit in a booth or at the bar?” Should The Rock take the helm of the table?”

His “head of the table” statement prompted further applause from the fans and appeared to foreshadow another forthcoming bout against WWE champion—and his own cousin—Roman Reigns. Johnson previously indicated that he and Reigns are “locked in” to a match, but scheduling conflicts prevented it from happening in 2023. Fans are already predicting that the two titans will face off at WrestleMania 40 in April.

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