It’s go time for the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
The WWE has faced recent scrutiny for being too much drama, not enough stars, and not enough actual fighting during its wrestling events.
But the box-office numbers will return because Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson just announced his unprecedented return to the WWE ring.
Many wrestlers have made the leap from the world of professional wrestling to the world of making movies. Some have failed and some succeeded.
Some of wrestling’s most unsuccessful ventures into acting include names like Bill Goldberg, Kevin Nash, Steve Austin, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin. Goldberg’s claim to fame was “Universal Soldier: The Return.” Hogan’s career in acting was an absolute joke with his biggest film being “Suburban Commando” or maybe “Thunder in Paradise.”
Then you have the quasi-successful wrestlers’ careers like the epitome being Jesse “The Body” Ventura who co-starred in “Predator” and “The Running Man” alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. But he also played a criminal in the Sylvester Stallone starring vehicle “Demolition Man.”
And then you have the so-far too-early-to-tell unknowns like Dave Bautista and John Cena. Bautista is famous for starring as Drax in “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the other Avengers movies and looks to have a bright career ahead of him. But movies where he’s one of the main leads like “Stuber” or “Escape Plan: The Extractors” either bombed or went straight to video-on-demand.
The “invisible” Cena’s Hollywood career is just getting started but he had successful supporting roles in “Trainwreck,” “Sisters,” “Daddy’s Home 1 & 2” and “Blockers,” which the latter was definitely a starring role. But can he make the leap to an action star? Time will tell.
But then you have the undisputed G.O.A.T of wresting-to-movie-stars pantheon, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
In fact, Johnson is not just the biggest movie star in the world today; you could argue he’s the biggest movie star of all time. That’s really not a joke.
Robert Downey Jr. AKA Tony Stark, AKA “Iron Man,” will probably be the highest paid actor of 2019 given his salary and backend profit for “Avengers: Endgame,” but one enormous thing you have to consider with that, other than the other stars of the film, is that it’s part of the Marvel brand.
Johnson’s brand is himself. Yes, almost all of his big budget films like “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” the “Fast and Furious,” “Rampage” and “Baywatch” franchises already had built-in audiences based previous material or video games, but he’s the face of every single one of these movies.
Marvel is the face of Marvel movies. As box-office as Downey Jr. has been over the last decade, he can’t really hold a candle to Johnson.
And now Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has announced he will return to WWE Smackdown on Fox this Friday after a five-year hiatus. And this will mark the 20th anniversary of the program.
He wrote on Twitter, “FINALLY…I come back home to my @WWE universe. 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 #IfYaSmell #Smackdown #RocksShow #FOX.”
FINALLY…I come back home to my @WWE universe.
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 😈🥃#IfYaSmell🎤 #Smackdown#RocksShow #FOX pic.twitter.com/V5i4cxqIqH
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 30, 2019
There’s no doubt this will be the highest rated Smackdown in five years. You can bet on that.
According to Deadline, other WWE stars set to appear on “SmackDown!” include: Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Kurt Angle, Lita, Mick Foley, Booker T, Trish Stratus, Goldberg, Jerry Lawler, Mark Henry and Sting.