WWE WrestleMania XXVII Press Conference March 30 in New York courtesy of WWEFanNation. Enjoy the video!!!
Tonight’s Monday Night RAW will surely be a memorable one as the WWE gears up for its biggest PPV of the year WrestleMania 27 on Sunday, April 3rd. The main attraction for tonight’s episode is a confrontation between The Rock and John Cena. On Monday morning, Cena made the following comments about tonight’s RAW and The Rock via his Twitter page:
“CeNation. D Day. No rhymes. No B.S. Dwayne would like me to address him like a man? Well sir. Today u remember the name John Cena.”
Cena and The Rock will have their long awaited and highly anticipated confrontation tonight after 6 weeks of exchanging insults and threats. When The Rock returned to the WWE on February 14th, he fired the first shot at Cena for comments John made during an interview about The Rock after Johnson left the WWE for Hollywood. The next week, Cena responded with a rap that blasted The Rock. Since then both men have insulted each other on TV and through Social Media outlets like Twitter and FaceBook.
Tonight’s RAW will be live from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to The Rock and Cena confronting each other, The Rock also said he will confront WWE champion The Miz. Over the last few weeks, The Miz has interjected himself into the Cena-Rock feud as he continously attacked Cena and insulted The Rock. 2 weeks ago Miz even came out dressed like the Rock. 3 weeks ago, The Miz insulted The Rock and his family. This “Brahma Triangle” will surely come to an entertaining head tonight as RAW will be one of the most anticipated episodes in a long time.
For years, The Rock badgered his opponents to “know your role!”
The most electrifying man in sports entertainment knows his as he settles into his first extended run with World Wrestling Entertainment in seven years.
“I’ve got to put on the most entertaining Wrestlemania the crowd has ever seen,” he said.
He shed his geological nickname for his real name, Dwayne Johnson, when he made the transition from the squared circle to the big screen. Now – finally! – The Rock has come back to the WWE.
As he would rhetorically ask, do you smell what The Rock is cooking? It has the scent of a comeback.
The Rock-and-wrestling connection was reborn when Johnson made his surprise return Feb. 14 to the WWE’s flagship program, “RAW,” to announce he was the guest host for Wrestlemania XXVII on April 3 in Atlanta. He won’t wrestle in the company’s signature event, but Johnson promised he’d be all over the Georgia Dome, interacting with wrestlers, fans and just maybe laying the smack down one more time if John Cena or The Miz step out of line.
Johnson was the biggest star in the company and already a mainstream success who published an autobiography and hosted “Saturday Night Live” when he quietly left to further his blossoming movie career at only 31.
“It was kind of like Jim Brown retiring or Barry Sanders retiring,” said Cena, who emerged as the face of Vince McMahon’s empire. “What are you doing, dude? You’ve got plenty more left in the tank. Why are you leaving?”
The answer was simple: He was a movie star. Hollywood beckoned and the chance to give up steel chairs to the head for tutus was too tempting to pass on. He was now judged on box office opening weekends, not Monday night cable ratings.
Johnson has mixed mostly action movies (“The Scorpion King”) and family comedies (“Tooth Fairy”) with rare dramatic leading roles (“Gridiron Gang”) to the tune of $1.12 billion in domestic box-office grosses. The 38-year-old Johnson’s biggest grosser in a starring role was 2008′s “Get Smart” with $130.3 million.
Johnson’s charisma and comedic chops made it a natural transition to movies. He was as much a standup comic as a brawler in the ring and with the raise of an eyebrow delivered the most famous arch not found in St. Louis.
His catch phrases like “smackdown” and “jabroni” have worked their way into the public lexicon. He popularized “The People’s Champ,” “The Rock says,” and “it doesn’t matter!” on his way to becoming the heavyweight champ of trash talk.
Johnson’s handful of cameo appearances since his last match in 2004 only made the millions (and millions!) of fans clamor for a return – even as others like Cena wondered why he abandoned the genre that made him a star.
Johnson said he was simply too busy building his film career to commit to the weeks needed to appear for a successful pay-per-view build.
“The goal was to come back in a big, powerful way,” he said. “My return has been years of strategizing with Vince McMahon.”
He delivered all his greatest hits in his return, a 20-minute live promo that had the crowd hanging on every word and chanting “Rocky!” as he announced, “Finally, The Rock has come back home!”
“That night was the greatest ‘RAW’ moment I had ever experienced,” said Johnson, who debuted in 1996.
Johnson’s encore was designed to boost the buzz for Wrestlemania – what WWE calls the showcase of the immortals.
WWE – the company with Wrestling in its name and put the Wrestle in Wrestlemania – has oddly tried to distance itself from the term, wrestling.
But it’s clearly what fans want to see. Since making the full-time shift to holding the spectacle in football stadiums in 2007, the production has rivaled the Super Bowl. Wrestlemania drew 72,219 fans last year at University of Phoenix Stadium; 72,744 to Houston’s Reliant Stadium in 2009; 74,635 to the Citrus Bowl in 2008 and 80,103 to Ford Field in 2007.
“WWE will always be the greatest show you’ll ever see,” Cena said.
Cena followed Johnson’s path in his outside projects, starring in movies and recording a rap album. While the TV angle has played up animosity between the pair, Cena said he always wanted Johnson back in the ring.
“I can’t tell you how much it plugs our product back in,” he said. “It’s like getting hooked up to defibrillators. It’s the one little jump-start we needed.”
The WWE also invited back Johnson’s retired rival, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to serve as a guest referee. And the hard-partying “Jersey Shore” socialite Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is on the same card as The Undertaker.
The polarizing reality show star is competing in a six-person tag-team bout. She’s the latest in a line of celebrities to participate that started with Mr. T in the first Wrestlemania main event and stretches through Donald Trump, Lawrence Taylor, Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather.
Add The Rock to the list. The former Miami Hurricane has interjected himself into the WWE title match between the former “Real World”-star-turned-WWE champ, The Miz vs. Cena. All three will attend “RAW” on Monday for one final round of hype before Wrestlemania.
McMahon and the WWE know the real money match is Cena vs. The Rock.
“I have been willing to do anything for that match. I will do anything for that match,” Cena said. “If I have to talk more trash about The Rock, I’m your guy.”
It sounds like the bout is closer to reality – or at least the tease is – than ever. Johnson is booked for “RAW” the night after Wrestlemania, but he wouldn’t disclose how many more appearances he’d make before leaving in June to film his next movie.
Johnson appears in the movie, “Fast Five,” which opens April 29, and he recently wrapped filming on “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” the sequel to “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” He pushed back the start date of his next movie so he could stick around the WWE – and just maybe wrestle again.
“I’ve never said never. I’m open to it,” he said. “For years when I was asked that, I kept my emotions very close to my sleeve. I would say, ‘No, I don’t see myself wrestling a match,’ because I didn’t want to leave that open too much. I wanted to make sure I was concentrating solely on my goals in acting.”
He believes he can handle the acting-wrestling tag-team combo from here on out and dropped enough hints that he’ll be landing “The People’s Elbow” well beyond Wrestlemania.
“It’s ‘The People’s Era’ that’s getting ready to happen,” he said. “It’s just beginning.”
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson spoke to Associated Press sports writer Dan Gelston this week about his return to WWE, the build to WrestleMania and beyond. The most newsworthy part of the interview, which you can read at Sports.Yahoo.com in its entirety, is that The Rock is more open to wrestling another match than he’s been in the past several years.
“I’ve never said never,” Rock said. “I’m open to it. For years when I was asked that, I kept my emotions very close to my sleeve. “I would say, ‘No, I don’t see myself wrestling a match,’ because I didn’t want to leave that open too much. I wanted to make sure I was concentrating solely on my goals in acting.”
Rock thinks he can handle his movie career while still making appearances for WWE, which would include getting back in the ring. “It’s ‘The People’s Era’ that’s getting ready to happen,” he said. “It’s just beginning.”
In a recent interview, WWE Superstar Randy Orton predicts that John Cena will prove he’s a better Superstar than The Rock on this Monday’s WWE Raw show.
Orton stated, “You see the interviews that The Rock does and he says that he doesn’t want to be known as a wrestler. He doesn’t want to be known as a sports entertainer or a performer with WWE or a WWE superstar. He wants to be known as an actor. Now all of a sudden he’s back in our world telling the fans what they want to hear. He’s telling them, ‘I promise that I will never go away again. I promise that I’m back for good and that I’m here to stay.’
Orton continues, “He said that, what, six or seven weeks ago? Have we even seen him live since then? No. Via satellite. I think Cena will own The Rock. I think Cena is wittier and can go off the cuff. Cena writes his own stuff, while The Rock has stuff written for him. It just all comes down to who you are in the ring and what kind of performer you are in the ring, and I think Cena is 10 times the performer in the ring that The Rock is. This Monday in Chicago, he’ll prove it.”
What do you beleive is going to happen this week int he last Monday Night Raw before WM 27?
“Ladies and gentlemen,” yelled an announcer five weeks ago on the WWE’s Raw, “Please welcome the host of WrestleMania 27.” The lights in the arena dimmed. A minute’s worth of anticipation built. Then, a voice… “If ya smeeeeelllll what The Rock is cookin’” came roaring from the speakers. And out came the man himself – scowling and posturing like he’d never left. Really though, Dwayne Johnson was gone for seven years.
Johnson, of course, used the sabbatical to become a force outside of the ring and on Hollywood movie sets. It worked. He’s since acted in Walking Tall, Get Smart, and The Game Plan among other films. On April 29 he’ll star in the latest installation of the Fast and the Furious series, Fast Five.
Endless cheers upon his entrance that Valentine’s Day evening confirmed wrestling fans missed him dearly. EW caught up with the people’s champ recently to talk about why he left the safe confines of studio sets and returned to the physically taxing, but oh, so entertaining life of smackdown-laying and slick-talking to jabronis. The Rock promises WrestleMania XXVII (April 3 on pay per view) will not be one to miss, and he hints that we can expect more from him after.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: After seven years away and becoming increasingly successful as an actor, why did you decide to come back the WWE?
DWAYNE “THE ROCK” JOHNSON: I’ve always had a love for live performance. And growing up in the wrestling business, I have a love for entertaining the fans in that way. It’s a very visceral, intense, emotional, entertaining outlet for me. To be able to perform in front of 75,000 people… It’s always inspired me.
Your exit wasn’t a big deal. You kind of slipped out the back door. Did you know you’d be back?
When I left the business seven years ago, I quietly walked away. I didn’t want a big exodus or farewell. I quietly thanked who I needed to thank and I walked away. I wanted to 100 percent commit myself to acting and making movies of different genres. I always knew I’d come back. I just didn’t know in what capacity. Nor did I know when.
What made this opportunity look so appetizing?
This opportunity came along and it felt right and I felt we could do something that’s never been done. They’ve never had a host at Wrestlemania. And as a performer, the adrenaline rush and excitement to host 75-80,000 people, in the Georgia Dome? S—! There’s nothing like it.
Before your return last month, it had been a long time since you’ve been in front of that crowd. How did you feel backstage when you were about to come out and surprise everyone?
It’s a charged excitement standing backstage and knowing that there is great anticipation in the air. There are probably 18,000 people hanging on every minute before the big announcement happened. So now the challenge for me is to have fun and electrify and entertain the audience. I had a 20-25 minute monologue.
I caught it.
When my music hit, going out…. It was f—ing incredible. That night was the greatest Raw moment I’ve ever experienced. And that’s saying a lot. I’ve had the privilege of working with a lot of icons in the WWE. The goosebumps never left my body during that monologue.
You know, a lot of kids got in trouble for saying stuff like, “It doesn’t matter!” to the teacher when I was in middle school. You had a huge impact on kids. Some of it was positive, some detention-worthy.
[Laughs] I gotta tell you, man, that was the cool thing back then. There’s not another platform like that for me where I can be that intense, in your face, infused with entertainment. Coining the phrases that people go on to say like “It doesn’t matter!” or telling John Cena, “Enjoy your Fruity Pebbles, you yabba dabba bitch!” Boom, “Yabba dabba bitch” is everywhere now. This is why I love that. And I’ve always loved the showmanship of professional wrestling. While I love making movies, I love that platform, too. I can be that guy who you see calling someone a “yabba dabba bitch” and then cap it off by planting their ass with a Rock Bottom. As an actor, no other platform like that exists.
What can we expect for you as Wrestlemania’s host? I know you’ll be holding the mic. But as a fan, we all expect for you to lend a hand or a boot in the beat down party.
What you can expect is getting me at my best — microphone in hand, entertaining the audience, taking the 75,000 people on a great ride for four hours, interacting backstage and in the crowd. And on top of all that is the fact that I can take my boot and stick it straight up someone’s ass. And when I’m done with that, I will slap the lips clean off their face. [Laughs]
It’s crazy, because this will actually happen.
Yeah! So we’ll go from there — whether it’s a singing bit or a comedy bit or something that’s a bit more intense [like] exactly what I just said. I worked with Anne Hathaway and I love her. And I’ve met James Franco. He’s a great guy. They did a great job at the Oscars. But they’re not putting boots to asses. They’re not slapping lips off faces.
Are you going to take a break from movies for more wrestling?
No, I’m going to do both. I’m coming out with Fast Five. I think audiences are really going to like that. I’m a new character [in the Fast and the Furious series]. I hunt down Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. That comes out at the end of April. You know, I do pretty good at hunting guys down.
I believe you. When you made your return you said you were never going anywhere again. Will we see you often as a recurring act in the WWE after Wrestlemania?
It’s all up in the air. It depends on what makes sense to the audience. You always think audience first. Much like this return to wrestling, I’m always looking forward to do big and better. [Laughs]
What’s with the diabolical laughter?
After Wrestlemania, you’ll see what I’m talking about… Coming back into the business, I wanted to partner up with [WWE chairman and CEO] Vince [McMahon] and create something special that’s never been done that’s big on a global scale. And hosting Wrestlemania answered that. In addition to that, it’s not only hosting. It’s evolved into me whopping somebody’s ass. I’m looking to do something big and special with Vince after Wrestlemania.
How good does it feel to be back?
To be privileged and blessed to be able to make movies and then to be able to go into an environment that is my home — that I was born in to — is not only an honor, but something I live for. When I was a kid at four-years-old, that’s when I started amateur wrestling with my dad and family. And when that’s instilled in you it never goes away.
By Geno McGahee
The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) has returned to his home, the WWE, where he became one of the most popular pro wrestlers. His witty promos and charisma led to a movie career, making him the most successful pro wrestler turned lead actor. I still contend that NO HOLDS BARRED was the best wrestler into lead role film however.
With the big pro wrestling event around the corner, Vince McMahon has stepped up and brought The Rock back to the show and he immediately began a war of words with John Cena, one of the biggest current draws in the WWE. This all pointed to a showdown at Wrestlemania between the two, but apparently plans have changed and the Miz, another WWE star stands across the ring.
The WWE officials have reportedly shown displeasure in the Rock’s comments about Cena, believing that it takes attention away from the match at hand and will take away any excitement that fans have concerning it. WWE is currently scrambling to keep the Rock in the spotlight and maintain great exposure and attention all around for the event. There is the possibility that The Rock could be added to that Miz/Cena match in some capacity or replace the Miz, considering the current buzz between he and Cena.
It seems like a giant bolt of electricity was sent through out the wrestling world last Monday night. Only one man can electrify millions of people around the world and that is “The Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment,” The Rock!
It seem as though the fans were not the only ones taken by The Rock’s return. Many of his former rivals and other wrestlers gave their thoughts on his return on Twitter:
Stone Cold Steve Austin(@SteveAustinBSR): It was great to see The Rock back on RAW tonight…helluva promo from an electrifying cat. great stuff heading into Mania.
John Cenar(@JohnCena): CeNation. Rock was in rare form tonight. It was great to see him enjoying himself out there. Even if it was at my expense. I’ve been called a lot worse. Just glad to see him back in action.
Chris Jericho(@IamJericho): Congratulations to one of my favorite opponents and greatest rivals on returning to the WWE. The Rock is the BEST promo man of all time…
Christian Cage(@Christian4Peeps): Not only was every fan but every wrestler was glued 2 the tv guaranteed.
Taz(@OfficialTAZ): GREAT JOB by Rock! Miss having steaks with him & Dud’s after shows!!! Great times! 1 of the greatest of. all.times!!!
Joey Styles(@JoeyStyles): The Rock cuts the best promos in the history of WWE, Sports Entertainment, Pro Wrestling or whatever I’m supposed to call it now…period.
Jim Ross(@JRsBBQ): The Great One is back 4 WM27! The Rock will host Wrestlemania. He looks awesome. Dwayne Johnson’s classic ‘Rock’ promo 2nite on RAW was the best thing on RAW in recent memory. Young wrestlers hopefully paid attention. Stone Cold also did some classic, long promos back in the day. It’s a lost art w/o question. Rock hit a grand slam.
For my money….no one.
Sorry, young Mr. Beiber.
The Rock’s Raw closing promo was golden. I smelled money while he was commanding the live audience. My instincts tell me that fans watching at home were just as emotionally invested as were the fans in Anaheim.
Rock created as much magic Monday Night in Anaheim than Walt Disney did on his best day in the same city.
Hopefully, all the talents who were still at the Honda Center locker room area were listening closely to what the Rock said, when he said it, and saw how he was a majestic maestro who had the live audience in the palm of his hand.
One could tell that Rock was enjoying himself. His DNA is ‘ring worthy.’
Great promo men over the years had one common denominator. They all could ‘feel’ the audience.
Rock felt it Monday night.
He once told me that what he always missed most about appearing in WWE was the adrenaline rush that he got from the live audience. Nothing on Earth can replicate that unique feeling for any entertainer/athlete, etc.
Trust me on that one. (Announcers kill for moments like Monday night.)
Some fans are hammering us on Twitter @JRsBBQ proclaiming that it will be Rock vs. Cena at WM27. That’s not what I heard. I heard that Rock was Hosting the event which works very well for me. Will there be some sort of Rock/Cena interaction? Sounds that way to me which is why I’m ‘staying tuned.’
With Rock as the Host of the biggest WWE event of the year inside the Georgia Dome, fans can expect the unexpected.
WWE and the Rock aren’t collaborating at WM27 without the Rock making a significant IMPACT in Atlanta.
How does the man that Hollywood knows as Dwayne Johnson make an impact w/o wrestling in a match?
Very easily. Rock did it tonight and never laid a hand on anyone.
All I know is that business picked up in WWE Monday night and with all that is planned for WM27 I can’t wait to attend the event live.
I expect more huge announcements to come at the Elimination Chamber PPV and soon thereafter as in 2/21/11.”
Here’s one pic Dwayne posted on his whosay page…more will be added soon.