The Rock Returns to WWE Programming at Raw, Attacks New Day

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2016

Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock is seen during Wrestlemania XXX at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome in New Orleans on Sunday, April 6, 2014. (Jonathan Bachman/AP Images for WWE)
Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

The Rock may be a massive star in Hollywood, but he always manages to make time for WWE, as his return to Raw on Monday night showed.

WWE Universe provided a GIF of The Rock standing on the ropes in the ring:

The Rock returned to his hometown Miami to get the crowd ready for WrestleMania. While he was cutting the entertaining promo, The New Day interrupted him. WWE Universe posted a GIF of the tag team champions coming to the ring:

After the former WWE champion dared The New Day to get into the ring, the champs declined and proceeded to the ramp. The Usos came out and threw them into the ring, and The Rock took care of the rest, courtesy of WWE:

Fans last saw The Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment at the 2015 Royal Rumble in Philadelphia, where he saved his cousin, Roman Reigns, from an attack at the hands of The Authority members Kane and Big Show.

While the crowd was happy to see The People's Champion, as always, he didn't get the type of reaction he has become accustomed to. When The Rock raised his cousin's hand in victory, WWE Universe booed because it wanted to see Daniel Bryan win the Rumble.

Despite that, The Rock did everything he could to sell Reigns as the next big thing in WWE during a backstage interview following the event:

While it didn't work at the time, Reigns has since become one of WWE's top stars, and fans have started to accept him thanks to an improvement in terms of his booking.

The Great One is undoubtedly one of WWE's biggest draws, which is likely why there has been speculation regarding a potential return to in-ring action at WrestleMania 32 in Arlington, Texas.

That chatter heated up when The Rock revealed on Instagram at the end of December that he will appear at the show in some capacity:

With WWE looking to sell out the massive AT&T Stadium, it needs as many attractions as it can get. The Rock helped WrestleMania draw big numbers as the host of WrestleMania 27 and in matches against John Cena at both WrestleMania 28 and 29.

Fans have thrown around a couple of ideas for potential opponents over the past year, and The Rock acknowledged that a match against Brock Lesnar is something he might be interested in during an interview with Chris Van Vliet of WSVN in Miami (via Nick Schwartz of USA Today):

In Dallas? Possibly. There's a lot of things that are up in the air. Lot of things are up in the air. We'll see. I would love that rematch, I would love ... whatever it is, you want to create something that's going to be special, memorable, especially in Dallas at that stadium you have a shot at breaking the attendance record. It's got to be special.

The Beast Incarnate isn't the only name on the table, though, as a potential family feud could garner some interest as well.

It would be easy to build something between The Rock and Reigns, although Reigns said prior to WrestleMania 31 that he doesn't anticipate mixing it up with his cousin, per Rob Leigh of the Sun (h/t Marc Middleton of

"Where I'm at right now, with our family ties, I don't really see that happening, but if it did happen it would be in WWE," he said. "Going out on a limb right now, I'd say most likely not—but this is WWE, everything can change."

In addition, The Rock and UFC megastar Ronda Rousey had a confrontation with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania 31, making some type of encounter involving them a possibility, too.

Ultimately, no matter who The Rock faces, it would unquestionably be a huge deal for WWE and its fans.

There are no guarantees that The Rock will return to the squared circle, but he is in elite shape at 43 years of age. And WWE won't hesitate to utilize him.

The Rock is one of the few figures who transcend the world of wrestling and appeal to potential viewers across multiple platforms.

If his return is the first step toward a potential match at WrestleMania 32, then there is no doubt that WWE Universe has plenty to be excited about moving forward.


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