The Rock appears to fire back at criticism of upcoming Roman Reigns feud: 'Tough skin, love the passion'


Dwayne Johnson, otherwise known as The Rock, stunned the pro wrestling world on Friday night when he appeared on “Friday Night SmackDown” to have a staredown with WWE Undisputed Universal Champion Roman Reigns.

WWE fans watching Cody Rhodes seemingly put his rivalry with Reigns on hold to pass the torch to The Rock were upset with how the storyline progressed and expressed outrage on social media.

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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is seen during a ceremony announcing he has joined the Board of Directors for TKO at New York Stock Exchange on Jan. 23, 2024, in New York City.  (Michelle Farsi/Zuffa LLC)

The Rock posted a clip from his return onto his Instagram late Saturday.

“FEEL the mana,” he wrote. “So f—ing blown away by this insane energy from the People. Undeniable – and one of the loudest ovations I’ve ever experienced in my career.

“Thank you Birmingham, Alabama, thank you WWE, thank you to the man himself, Cody Rhodes – and most importantly, thank you to the People.… Our connection is unbreakable and our bond is ELECTRIC.”

He then appeared to address the critics.

CODY RHODES, BAYLEY WIN EPIC ROYAL RUMBLE MATCHES, EARN WRESTLEMANIA SHOTS

The Rock and Roman Reigns

The Rock and Roman Reigns face off in the ring. (WWE)

“ps, tough skin, love the passion.”

He then reposted a few videos showing positive fan reactions to his return.

The Rock’s appearance came more than a week after he joined the TKO Group Holdings board of directors.

He made a special appearance on the “Day 1” episode of “Monday Night Raw” on Jan. 1 and cut a promo that suggested he was going after the so-called “Head of the Table” in Reigns. It set the stage for the faceoff on Friday night and potentially what’s to come in about two months.

Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania 39

Cody Rhodes wrestles Roman Reigns during WrestleMania Goes Hollywood at SoFi Stadium on April 2, 2023, in Inglewood, California. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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The Rock and Reigns will face off at a fan event in Las Vegas on Feb. 8.

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