2:01pm PT by Rick Porter
Dwayne Johnson Returning to 'WWE Smackdown' for Fox Launch
Finally … The Rock is coming back to WWE Smackdown.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will make his first appearance on the weekly show in six years when Smackdown — named after one of Johnson's catchphrases when he was a WWE star — debuts Friday on Fox. The show has spent the last nine years on cable (Syfy from 2010-15 and USA from 2016 until last week).
The Fast and Furious and Ballers star announced his return on Twitter, saying, "There's no greater title than the people's champ. And there's no place like home."
FINALLY...I come back home to my @WWE universe.
This FRIDAY NIGHT, I’ll return for our debut of SMACKDOWN!
LIVE on @FOXTV.
There’s no greater title than #thepeopleschamp.
And there’s no place like home.
Tequila on me after the show #IfYaSmell#Smackdown#RocksShow #FOX pic.twitter.com/V5i4cxqIqH
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 30, 2019
The WWE has teased a "star-studded" opening for the show on Fox, with appearances by several other pro wrestling icons and a card that features several of the promotion's biggest stars, including Brock Lesnar (in a rare match not at a pay-per-view) taking on WWE Champion Kofi Kingston, along with Roman Reigns and women's stars Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.
Johnson hasn't been part of the active WWE roster for years; his last appearance on Smackdown came in early 2013. He has made occasional appearances, both in and out of the ring. His most recent in-ring action was at WrestleMania 32 in 2016.
In an appearance on Live With Kelly and Ryan in early August, Johnson said he "quietly retired from wrestling."