Finally The Rock Has Come Back…As A Heel

(Photo by Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)

It’s 2024, and who would’ve thought WWE fans would be witnessing another run of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in WWE? And what makes his 2024 run even more interesting is for the first time since The Rock’s run as “Hollywood Rock” in 2003, The Rock has once again turned heel.

As The Rock initially returned to WWE to face Roman Reigns for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 40, because of the overwhelming backlash the angle had for substituting Royal Rumble 2024 winner Cody Rhodes out of challenging Roman Reigns for the belt, The Rock has instead joined forces with Roman Reigns, introducing a new version of his character.

The Rock is one of the most beloved WWE superstars in history. But despite this, even he isn’t immune to criticism regarding his on-screen character. Considering The Rock’s character in recent years has received a fair share of criticism, especially going back to his second WWE in 2011, The Rock’s newly-adopted heel turn is a breath of fresh air.

For one, The Rock’s turning heel allows Cody Rhodes to challenge Roman Reigns for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 40, as initially planned. Second, The Rock portraying a heel brings the best out of him regarding the entertainment value of his on-screen character, as many argue that’s where The Rock shines the most when portraying that role. Whether it’s leading The Nation, being part of The Corporation, or embracing his “Hollywood” side, as much as how good of a babyface The Rock is, he’s arguably at the top of his game when he’s a heel.

The Rock turning heel and joining The Bloodline was a perfect example of WWE and The Rock turning something negative into a positive. Even though many have clamored over the idea of The Rock challenging Roman Reigns in a “dream” match at a WrestleMania PPV, challenging Roman Reigns at this year’s WrestleMania instead of Cody Rhodes unsurprisingly drew an overwhelmingly negative response from fans and critics.

With fans turning on The Rock and even reviving the “Rocky sucks” chants at WWE events, The Rock does what he does best whenever receiving a negative response from the fans, using it to his advantage. After coining the “Cody Crybabies” term during an interview on the Pat McAfee Show, it was only a matter of time before The Rock got in his comfort zone and embraced his heel side.

The Rock officially turned heel during a live WrestleMania 40 press conference after verbally mocking Cody Rhodes’s fans in front of the live audience while also slapping Cody Rhodes in the face. After that, The Rock’s first heel promo upon joining The Bloodline on a February 2024 episode of Friday Night SmackDown received universal acclaim from fans and critics alike, arguably one of the best promos he’d cut in a long time.

The Rock may be in his early 50s and probably has a short list of matches left in his tank. But considering he’s recently joined the board of directors in TKO Holdings, The Rock’s association with the company and joining The Bloodline on TV could lead to bigger things for his in-ring career, possibly even another run as a world champion.

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