Johnson made a surprise appearance on WWE's "SmackDown" last Friday and teased a full-fledged return
It’s been nearly a decade since Dwayne Johnson routinely wrestled for WWE, but the Fast & Furious actor says he’s interested in throwing his hat back into the ring.
In a recent interview on The Pat McAfee Show last Friday, Johnson, 51, revealed that he was in talks with longtime WWE Chairman Vince McMahon about returning for a match against his real-life cousin Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39 this past April.
However, Johnson said their plans never came to fruition and the dream matchup was postponed.
It’s possible the match could happen at WrestleMania 40 next April, Johnson teased.
“There’s WrestleMania in Philadelphia, I’m saying that that’s a potential too, so I’m open,” Johnson told McAfee. “But again, let’s figure out what that is because the fans deserve something just incredible and unprecedented. And not only that, I always want to deliver to the locker room, and the boys and the girls back there that are working their asses off. What can we do that can put them in position to be a part of something that is a new change and era in this world of pro wrestling?”
The 51-year-old wrestler-turned-actor said he’s less worried about potentially getting injured than he is about delivering a memorable match for fans.
“Honestly brother, it’s not the injury that I’m concerned about because that’s just part of it,” he told McAfee. “It’s just part of the game you sign up for. You get hurt, we all get hurt. That’s just the way it is. It’s not even the schedule, because I can control the schedule to a large degree. Me going back to WWE and wrestling a match, it always comes down to the reason why and what can we create that’s never been done before for the fans.”
Later that night, Johnson and McAfee – a former WWE broadcaster – appeared on WWE SmackDown in Denver. Johnson surprised fans by coming out to the ring and trash talking WWE star Austin Theory, before he later came face-to-face with John Cena.
Johnson last wrestled an impromptu, six-second match at WWE’s WrestleMania 32 event in 2016. Prior to that, his last WWE run lasted about three months in the leadup to WrestleMania 29 in 2013 when he lost the WWE Heavyweight Championship to Cena.
A former college and professional football player, Johnson’s career in pro wrestling began in 1996, following in the footsteps of his dad Rocky Johnson and his grandfather Peter Maivia. Johnson took on “The Rock” persona in WWE in the late 1990s and became one of WWE’s most successful stars, winning 10 world championships throughout his career.
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Johnson has been open about how pro wrestling has impacted his and his family’s lives. Earlier this year, the actor told the Pivot Podcast that he had “seven bucks” to his name when he decided to try wrestling after getting cut from the Canadian Football League.
"The very first day of training…I was in love,” he said earlier this year on the Pivot Podcast. “In a way, wrestling did save my life.”
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