In a surprising turn of events, former WWE rivals Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena proved they’re real-life friends after all!
A clip shared on WWE’s official account on X (formerly known as Twitter) captured the moment during WWE SmackDown at Ball Arena in Denver. The backstage scene began with ESPN sports analyst Pat McAfee concluding a conversation with Johnson, 51.
As the two finished their handshake, McAfee pointed out behind Johnson, joking, “Hey, there’s a guy, he can’t see you,” in a nod to Cena’s famous wrestling catchphrase, “You can’t see me.” The camera then revealed Cena standing quietly behind Johnson, hands clasped behind his back. The crowd erupted in excitement as an unsmiling Johnson greeted his former foe.
Despite their best efforts to maintain a serious demeanor, both men eventually broke into grins. “I see you trying to smile!” Johnson teased, pointing at Cena, who nodded in agreement. The Peacemaker star extended his hand for a shake, welcoming Cena with, “Welcome home.” The two shared a hug, and the audience cheered enthusiastically.
Fans online responded positively, expressing joy at seeing the longtime rivals in a more relaxed moment. One wrestling fan mentioned how the encounter brought a pleasant surprise amidst ongoing Hollywood strikes.
The professional rivalry between the two wrestlers provided entertainment for WWE fans over the years. Season 2 of the A&E series WWE Rivals delved into their notorious competition, with Cena publicly critiquing Johnson both on and off-screen. This led to highly anticipated matches in 2012 and 2013.
Despite their history of verbal sparring and memorable matches, Cena has recently spoken highly of the Black Adam star. Cena expressed his hope for Johnson’s return to wrestling, acknowledging his status as one of the greatest performers in sports entertainment.
“While he’s earned the right not to be pressured into that choice… as a fan, do I want to see one of the greatest performers of all time step back in the WWE ring? Yeah,” Cena shared in 2021. He emphasized that he wouldn’t pressure Johnson and that any conversation with him would not aim to convince him to return to the WWE ring.