Miami welcomed one of its sons home on Raw tonight, as Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, aka The People's Champ, returned to WWE and pro wrestling. And at least at the start it felt a bit more like a SNL sketch than anything.
When he interrupted The Miz's return, the crowd at American Airlines Center exploded.
Then he ran into Rick Ross, because, he's The Rock and major rappers just gravitate to him like planets around the sun.
Bumping into Big Show, he revealed that the Giant's feet actually did touch first in the 2000 Royal Rumble. Had he lost, Paul Wight would have starred in The Scorpion King and gone on to be the biggest box office star in the world.
Continuing on with an over-enthusiatic "remember that?" bit, Johnson met with Lana and intimated that the pair had gotten, well, intimate, while she and Rusev were going through a rough patch. He did congratulate them on the news, and RuRu on his future wife's bedroom prowess, because, he's The Rock.
Making his way through Gorilla, wishing Pat Patterson a happy birthday, he finally made it to the ring where...
There were "THIS IS AWESOME" chants.
Before he could get rolling with his WrestleMania hype speech, Johnson went off script to interact with guys cosplaying as Hulk Hogan, Undertaker, Randy Savage and himself; and to shut down chants in Macho Man's direction.
No one was sure where this was going, and then FEEL THE POWAH. The audience took a moment off from marking out to put their hands together for their two-time tag team champions, The New Day.
An extended promo duel followed, and Rocky challenged any of the trio to get in the ring with him. Heels that they are, they went to exit rather than give the crowd a moment. But Johnson called for some family, and The Usos made their way out to chase the champs into the ring. Superkicks, Rock Bottoms and a People's Elbow followed.
The segment didn't set anything up, and probably lends credence to the idea that Rock will be in a hosting role at WrestleMania, as opposed to in an active feud with anyone.
Live, the audience had a blast. Judging by my Twitter timeline, online fans were on a spectrum from not entertained to repulsed (UPDATE: of course, there are many supportive fans online as well who loved the segment. The original post was not intended to indicate that there weren't).
Regardless of how you felt, we're getting more in 69 days in North Texas at WrestleMania.