WWE superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made his long-awaited return to the ring on Friday night’s broadcast of SmackDown in Denver, Colorado.
Just hours after appearing on the Pat McAfee Show live from the University of Colorado campus, The Rock came backstage at the wrestling event where he initially garnered renown.
McAfee, a WWE announcer, was inside the ring with the US Champion for 2022, Austin Theory when The Rock entered.
Fans at Ball Arena greeted The Rock with tremendous ovation after he returned to the ring for the first time since October 2019, when he participated on the SmackDown 20th anniversary special.
He later amused the audience with a brief show of his wrestling prowess.
According to the Daily Mail, Johnson used two of his most well-known finishers, the famed “People’s Elbow” and the spine-buster, during a brief bout between The Rock and Theory.
Later, Johnson directed McAfee to do his version of the “elbow,” dubbed “the most electrifying move in all of sports entertainment.”
Following his confrontation with Theory, The Rock appeared on the show alongside former WWE opponent John Cena, who was scheduled to come later. They exchanged smiles, with Cena greeting him by saying, “Welcome home.”
Johnson had not wrestled since declaring his retirement from professional wrestling in 2019, until Friday night.
It’s the first time Johnson has wrestled in any manner since that October 2019 visit, which coincided with his announcement of retirement from pro wrestling.
The Rock, who was already in Colorado to participate in College GameDay live from the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, has not stated whether he is returning to WWE permanently or whether this was a one-time visit.
The Rock will appear as a “guest picker” on the show, attempting to predict the outcome of Saturday’s American college football schedule.