wrestling / News

Austin Theory Recalls Sharing Ring With The Rock, Says He ‘Inspired’ Rock

February 22, 2024 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
The Rock WWE Smackdown Austin Theory Dwayne Johnson Image Credit: WWE

Austin Theory believes that The Rock was inspired by their encounter in the ring last fall. Theory and Rock had a promo segment on the September 15th, 2023 episode of Smackdown that ended with Theory taking the People’s Elbow. Rock is of course now back in WWE on the Road to WrestleMania and part of the TKO Board of Directors, something Theory takes a certain amount of credit for as he told The West Sport. You can see some highlights below, per Fightful:

On what it felt like being in the ring with Rock: “I guess you really have to ask the Rock what that felt like. He went out there with Austin Theory, and i was out there with Pat McAfee doing my own thing, but The Rock came out because The Rock wants to be popular again. He got 150 million views with Austin Theory, at the time. It’s probably like 200, 300 million now. For me, it was just another day at work but for The Rock, look what it’s done for him. I mean, it promoted him to being with the board of directors at TKO. He’s really inspired by me. He’s done a lot of things and look at him now. There’s a whole bunch of controversy that he stole Cody’s story. Am I responsible for that? I mean, I did inspire The Rock. Austin Theory inspired The Rock. You hear that? We all know it, we all know it.”

On if he was nervous about the segment: “I was just nervous that Dwayne would feel like he was just so overshadowed by me. I was thinking he would feel that. But, I went out there and made him feel like somebody, I made him feel special and I think that’s what got his feet under him again and now he wants to come back and play WWE superstar. That’s the thing, he wants to play WWE Superstar, Austin Theory lives being a WWE superstar. There was no room for nerves. Rock got to come be a part of Austin Theory Live, on my show, SmackDown — and I put him in his place. I told the whole world, it doesn’t matter what the Rock says. It doesn’t.”