The Rock on The Pat McAfee Show recap: Rock says he expected the reaction from the Cody Rhodes fans, in the midst of a training camp for his return to the ring

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson appeared on ESPN’s “The Pat McAfee” on Thursday. The following are the highlights of the interview that can be viewed in full below or via

-The Rock said history would be made at the WrestleMania XL press conference. Rock said Cody Rhodes will announce his decision, even though we all have a feeling regarding the way it’s going.

-McAfee asked why now is the time for Rock to return to the ring. Rock said it’s tough to come back in sports. He said his training camp has started and he has rings set up in multiple locations. He said his body is hurting, but it’s also like riding a bike. Rock said the reason he is returning is that he loves it. He said he doesn’t have to go back, but he loves pro wrestling. Rock said it’s who he is and what he was born to do. Rock added that this story began the second that Roman Reigns declared himself the Head of the Table.

-McAfee said it feels like there is a generational conflict between the Rock and Cody Rhodes fans, then asked if Rock if he expected the reaction to be what it was. “I expected it, we expected it, because it’s right there.” He said he tries to keep his finger on the pulse. He said in sports and entertainment, there’s often a wave of noise that happens right out of the gate. He said you want to pause for a second, not make any rash decisions, and see how it all plays out. Rock said he’s known Cody for a long time and they are buddies. He recalled their fathers being friends. Rock said he loves Cody and his passionate fans.

-Rock said everything is strategic. He noted that he was scheduled to face Reigns at WrestleMania 39 and it didn’t happen. He said his goal is to grow WWE as a global brand. He said he wants to “cast the net way past this” to bring in new fans.

-Rock mentioned that his daughter Ava (Simone Johnson) has received death threats coming out of the Smackdown angle. Rock said it’s crazy. Rock reminded people that everyone in the ring all talk and all work together outside of it.

-Rock also recalled the advice he was given when he started acting. He was told to lose weight and not to talk about wrestling. Rock said he tried it for a year or two and then decided he was going to try it his way.

-Rock said he will probably “lean out a little bit” for his in-ring return. He said he weighs roughly 268 pounds now and the goal is to get to down to 262 pounds.

Powell’s POV: Rock is having some fun at the expense of the passionate Cody Rhodes fans by labeling them “Cody Crybabies.” Rock also spoke about some non-wrestling topics, including the announcement of the Moana 2 movie. Rock also stuck around for the interview with Michael Rubin of Fanatics. Join me for my live report on the WrestleMania XL press conference tonight as it streams on Peacock at 6CT/7ET.


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