It seems that the former WWE rivals, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena, have put their on-screen battles behind them and are actually good friends in real life!
In a video shared on WWE’s official account on social media, the two wrestling legends surprised fans by appearing together during WWE SmackDown at the Ball Arena in Denver on a Friday night.
The clip starts with Pat McAfee, a sports analyst from ESPN, wrapping up a conversation with the 51-year-old Dwayne Johnson. As they finish shaking hands, McAfee points out behind Johnson, humorously saying, “Hey, there’s a guy, he can’t see you,” in reference to Cena’s famous wrestling catchphrase, “You can’t see me.”
The camera then reveals Cena standing silently behind Johnson, hands behind his back, and the crowd goes wild. An unsmiling Johnson acknowledges his former foe. They face off, trying to maintain their serious demeanor, but it doesn’t take long before both break into grins.
Johnson teasingly says, “I see you trying to smile!” while pointing at Cena, who nods in agreement. The star of “Peacemaker” then extends his hand to Johnson, welcoming him with the words, “Welcome home.” The two share a hug, and the audience erupts in cheers.
Fans reacted positively online, happy to see that these longtime rivals have mellowed out and become friends.
“This was cool to see, Strikes did us fans wonders low-key,” wrote one wrestling fan, likely referring to Hollywood’s ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes that started over the summer.
Over the years, the two wrestlers had a fierce professional rivalry that thrilled WWE fans. Season 2 of the A&E series “WWE Rivals” even explored the intense competition between these wrestling icons.
Cena publicly criticized Johnson both on and off-screen, leading to dream matches in 2012 and 2013. In 2011, Cena started questioning whether Johnson even cared about the wrestling business, given that he hadn’t been in a ring for eight years. The show even featured an old clip of Johnson calling Cena “an idiot with confidence” for his remarks before their Wrestlemania match.
Despite the war of words and the legendary matches, Cena has had nothing but praise for Johnson in recent times. Cena, who returned to the ring in 2021 after a break, expressed his hope that Johnson would make a wrestling comeback.
“He’s earned the right not to be pressured into that choice. I can say he is a fan of WWE. He is the most electrifying man in sports entertainment,” Cena said in 2021, acknowledging Johnson’s illustrious career. “So as a fan, do I want to see one of the greatest performers of all time step back into the WWE ring? Yeah. But in no way am I gonna call him, and if I’m gonna talk to him about something, it’s not gonna be to try to get him back in the WWE ring.”