Three of the WWE’s all-time greatest superstars, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Brock Lesnar, all managed to be at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Monday night, but none were used in front of the live crowd during the RAW taping. Austin lives in L.A. part time, so he was just visiting friends and other members of the roster, Lesnar appeared in a backstage interview with Paul Heyman and Michael Cole, and The Rock was filming a movie in the ring after RAW went off the air.
The Rock, of course, was using the live audience to shoot scenes for the upcoming film Wrestling with My Family, which is based on Paige’s life and ascension to the WWE. The Great One instructed the crowd to help him with several chants, but production also included wrestling scenes with the actresses playing the parts of Paige and AJ Lee, as well as stunt-doubles.
The most buzzworthy element to come out of The Rock’s time in the ring Monday night, however, was when he tried to call CM Punk on the phone. The crowd started a Punk chant, so The Rock said he’d call him right on the spot. Unfortunately for the audience in attendance, the call went to voicemail. The Rock left a message and had the crowd drum up another loud chant, leaving smiles on a lot of faces.
However, the reaction backstage was quite different. According to a report from SportsKeeda, WWE officials were not thrilled with The Rock bringing up CM Punk. The most notable officials among them were none other than Vince McMahon and Triple H. It should also be noted that The Rock tried to FaceTime Punk, which also turned out unsuccessful.
As it turns out, Punk was out at the time walking his dog, but after receiving the message, he took to Twitter to respond by thanking Los Angeles. Punk, of course, left the WWE in 2014 on bad terms and has repeatedly stated that he’ll never return to pro wrestling again. He and The Rock engaged in a memorable feud in 2013 where The Rock defeated Punk for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber.
The Rock was simply wasting time and entertaining the crowd until the production crew was ready for him to give the cues for the movie scenes, so it was a matter of spontaneity that brought on the phone call to CM Punk. However, there still appears to be some hostility from Vince and Triple H’s end as they even went as far as to send a referee from the back to the ring to try and tell The Rock to stop with the Punk references.
As noted, The Rock did not appear at all during the live episode of RAW but was also present on the ramp before the show went on the air. He went out to tell the people to stick around after the show was over to participate in the filming and did some schtick, which included many impersonations and catch phrases of other wrestlers. Vince ended the “segment” by coming out to tell The Rock that he was fired and then both went back through the curtain right before the show began.
The last time The Rock was on RAW was more than a year ago, and he again had Vince and other WWE officials upset when he went off script. If you recall, Rock went to the front row where three fans were dressed up as the Undertaker, Macho Man, and Hulk Hogan.
Vince was upset with The Rock but nothing of significance came from it, and it’s likely nothing will from Monday night either. The Rock has complete autonomy when it comes to making WWE appearances these days. In fact, he tells the WWE what he wants to do and who he wants to work with at WrestleMania, not the other way around. And that’s the next time fans should expect him to show up in a WWE ring.
[Featured Image by WWE]