Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson performed a full heel turn on this week’s episode of Friday Night Smackdown in Salt Lake City, Utah, after facing weeks of backlash from fans leading up to WrestleMania.
Although The Rock’s turn is sure to dominate headlines across the wrestling world, the decision has not downplayed the sexual assault and trafficking allegations against former chairman Vince McMahon.
The Rock was already positioned to face WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns following his recent return to WWE TV, although it appears the company changed plans after seeing a negative reaction from fans.
Wrestling fans had been scratching their heads over the decision to book the WWE legend to face Reigns after spending two years teasing a matchup against the popular Cody Rhodes.
They have also expressed their displeasure in person by booing The Rock during live shows. Others sent death threats to The Rock’s daughter Ava, who currently holds the position of general manager of WWE’s developmental brand, NXT.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson performed a full-blown heel turn on this week’s episode of Smackdown
The Rock also officially aligned himself with Romans Reigns’ faction ‘The Bloodline’
During Friday’s episode, The Rock appeared in an outfit that reminded longtime fans of his ‘Hollywood Rock’ gimmick when he previously played as a heel (the industry term for a bad boy). And in case there was any doubt about Rock’s new wrestling persona, he was also announced as a member of Reigns’ bad boy faction ‘The Bloodline’ for the first time before cutting a classic heel promo.
“Finally, you and your fifty wives will have a story to tell your 600 inbred children one day,” The Rock said like a shot to the Utah crowd.
He also took shots at fans he called ‘Crying Cody’ for widespread reactions calling for Rhodes to face Reigns at WrestleMania instead of The Rock himself.
Last week it seemed like The Rock was aligning himself with Reigns after standing next to the Universal Champion during the WrestleMania press conference in Las Vegas and even slapping Rhodes while on stage.
The Rock and ‘Tribal Chief’ then exited the arena before being recorded having a heated, profanity-filled conversation with Chief Content Officer Triple HHH.
Fans on social media seemed excited about the return of the ‘Hollywood Rock’ character and posted numerous excited tweets.
“Can’t wait to see where this goes,” said one fan.
‘Yayy My favorite ‘The Rock’ posted another one.
“I’m totally in. Best heel turn I’ve seen in a long time,” proclaimed another.
“Yes, the most electrifying member of the lineage,” another posted.
‘The Rock has finally turned heel, man. HOLLYWOOD ROCK IS BACK ON THE CUT,” another post read.
Fans online seemed incredibly excited about the return of the ‘Hollywood Rock’ character.
While The Rock’s heel turn and the story leading up to it has become one of the most discussed topics in the wrestling world, many have raised the point that it has all been a massive ploy by the company to divert attention from sexual assault. and trafficking allegations surrounding the McMahon family.
McMahon has also come under fire for a different set of sexual assault allegations involving now-deceased former WWE wrestler Ashley Massaro. It is also alleged that his daughter Stephanie McMahon helped cover up the incident.
Massaro committed suicide five years ago, months after her lawsuit was dismissed alleging that head injuries during wrestling made her depressed and addicted to painkillers.
The former competitor also alleged before her death that WWE had discouraged her from reporting that she had been sexually assaulted at a military base during WWE’s tour of Kuwait in 2006.
She also accused McMahon of abuse and claimed that WWE discouraged her from reporting the alleged sexual assault.
WWE issued a statement after Massaro’s suicide stating that they were never aware of the former wrestler’s accusations.
The Rock’s return has diverted attention from sexual assault and trafficking allegations against Vince McMahon.
Stephanie McMahon has also been accused of covering up sexual assault allegations made by former WWE star Ashley Massaro.
Massaro previously reported to WWE that she had been sexually assaulted during the organization’s tour of Kuwait in 2006.
McMahon resigned as CEO of the UFC and WWE’s parent company over TKO due to the allegations.
Recently, Massaro’s friend Stephanie made her feel “comfortable” by going to a boardroom meeting before turning on her and trying to cover up the star’s complaints.
Revealing the claims she claims Massaro told her, Cara Pipia added: “He spoke to Vince McMahon many times.
“Vince had his daughter (Stephanie) take his place because she was a woman and so Ashley would feel comfortable and they just played with her.
“They played with her because as much as Stephanie had made her feel comfortable and safe, as soon as they walked into this boardroom meeting, Ashley was completely alone.
“She was threatened and there was no compassion, no sympathy, there was nothing,” he added.