The Rock credits his long history with WWE fans as a big reason why they respond so strongly to him.
On the Day 1 edition of WWE Raw taking place on New Year’s Day, the company heavily promoted an appearance from a former WWE Champion. When it was time for the segment, Jinder Mahal appeared as the crowd booed in disappointment. After Jinder did a promo insulting the crowd, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson appeared unannounced on Raw in San Diego even though there were rumors that he might show up since he was in Los Angeles at the Rose Bowl earlier in the day.
As he tends to do, The Rock insulted Mahal while leading to “Day 1 Doucehbag” chants for Mahal. The Rock also beat up Mahal with a spinebuster as well as a People’s Elbow.
After taking care of Mahal, Rock did a promo. Rock said that he was hungry, so he asked fans if he should get some food and sit in a booth, at the bar, or at the head of the table? That last part was a direct shot at his cousin, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, who has called himself the “Head of the Table” for the last three-plus years.
While posting on Instagram, The Rock wrote about his connection to the WWE Universe while noting he debuted over 25 years ago (at Survivor Series 1996). Johnson also added that the pop he received was on another level from some of the other reactions in his career.
This is 25+ grateful years of building this sacred connection with the people. This eruption at the end just hit different. I’ve experienced some very loud crowd pops, throughout my career, but this was on another level.
This reaction had layers.
Love U back.
~ people’s champ
The Rock Sets WWE Social Media Record
On the New Year’s Revolution edition of WWE Smackdown, they celebrated The Rock’s appearance on Raw by noting that the clip of The Rock’s appearance drew over 171 million views on social media over five days. That broke a WWE social media record.
That same episode of Smackdown also featured comments from the “Wise Man” Paul Heyman, who seemed to dismiss The Rock as any kind of threat to Roman Reigns’ spot as the “Head of the Table.” Reigns opted not to talk about The Rock when the People’s Champion was brought up to him.