The Rock to return to WWE’s “Friday Night Smackdown”
“FINALLY…I come back home to my @WWE universe,” the people’s champion wrote on Twitter Monday. “This FRIDAY NIGHT, I’ll return for our debut of SMACKDOWN! LIVE on @FOXTV. There’s no greater title than #thepeopleschamp. And there’s no place like home. Tequila on me after the show.”
The “Central Intelligence” star hasn’t appeared on the show in six years or on WWE programming since April 2016, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Johnson announced that he “quietly retired from wrestling” during an interview on “Live with Kelly and Ryan” in August, so it isn’t clear exactly what kind of role he will have on Friday.
It makes sense that he would appear at the show’s Fox debut, as he’s the wrestler who coined the show’s name. “Smackdown is The Rock’s show,” was a catchphrase of the talented performer for years, reports CNET.
Johnson, dubbed the “most charismatic Superstar of all time” in his WWE biography, won’t be the only wrestling legend to appear at the network’s premiere, which also doubles as a 20th anniversary celebration. Hulk Hogan, Sting and Jerry “The King” Lawler will all be present at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the show, according to an August press release.
The show has aired on cable channels for the past nine years and was initially broadcast on NBC’s Syfy from 2010 to 2015 before moving to the USA Network from 2016 until last month.