Details Behind Dwayne Johnson's WWE SmackDown Appearance, Possible WrestleMania Plans

Last Friday night on "WWE SmackDown" at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson made his first televised WWE appearance since October 2019. On the latest episode of the "Wrestling Observer Radio" show, veteran wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer provided further details about Johnson's return.

"Well, he was there for the football game," Meltzer said. "[The] Colorado State game, he was there on the sidelines the next day, so he was there for the football game in Boulder, Colorado, and Denver's right there. So it all made sense."

Before his surprise "SmackDown" appearance, Johnson was interviewed on "The Pat McAfee Show," where he claimed that a clash with Roman Reigns had been "locked" for WrestleMania 39; Reigns defended the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against 2023 men's Royal Rumble winner Cody Rhodes at that two-night event. The former WWE Champion went on to say that he and the Stamford, Connecticut-based promotion couldn't "nail [down] what that thing was" when it came to the storyline involved. Moments later, Johnson said that he was open to the idea of performing at WrestleMania 40 next year.

"Him wrestling Roman Reigns has been talked about for years," Meltzer explained. "He wasn't going to do it during the pandemic, so 2020 and 2021 were out. Dallas was a possibility, but they had LA scheduled, and he decided that LA was going to be the one he would do it in because SoFi Stadium, 100,000 people, and all that ... But he basically felt that he didn't have time to get into ring shape; he had his other projects ... [He] talked about, 'Maybe this year?' And this year there's a [Hollywood] strike; there's not a lot of work for him. There's still the XFL, and if the strike ends, things can change, but it's his for the taking."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Wrestling Observer Radio" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.