The Rock made a surprise return to WWE in mid-September, generating a lot of buzz on social media and in SmackDown TV ratings. The Rock interrupted a Pat McAfee and Austin Theory segment to do a promo before laying out Theory with the People’s Elbow.
The Rock discussed how the appearance came to be on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
“It was incredible. Here’s the crazy thing about that. We were in Boulder. I was there for College Gameday, and I found out the night before that WWE was going to be in Denver, which is right up the road. I called my buddy at WWE, Nick Khan, and I said, ‘Hey man, I heard SmackDown is here. Can you confirm that?’ ‘It is.’ ‘Good, The Rock is coming to SmackDown.’ I went out there, and it was really an incredible thing. I’ve been lucky over the years to entertain in a lot of different ways, but that kind of connection with the WWE audience, like tonight, there’s nothing like it. My music, ‘If you smell.’ I went out there. They had no idea. You guys know how hard it is to keep a secret. It doesn’t exist. This was a full-on secret. The people went nuts. 13,000 people sounded like 130,000 people. It was incredible. The WWE audience is my family, and I love them, and it was incredible. And by the way, there’s nothing like laying the smackdown on their candy asses on SmackDown all night long. “