A packed house in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center welcomed Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson back to the ring during a surprise visit to WWE’s “Monday Night Raw” night, marking his first appearance since losing to John Cena at “Wrestlemania 29” in April 2013.
The “Hercules” action star came face-to-face with two Russian characters, Rusev and Lana, as Johnson told the crowd that he arrived in New York this week and went straight to the Bronx to pay his respects to now-retired Yankees captain Derek Jeter — sparking a rousing chant of the baseball player’s name.
C.J. Perry, the actress that portrays anti-American Lana, apologized in July for comments she made during a performance, telling a crowd that U.S. citizens should be “scolded for your warmongering” in Afghanistan and Iraq. It didn’t take long before Johnson was being cheered on while body slamming Rusev, sending him comically flying over the ropes and out of the ring.
The entire performance, of course, ended with Johnson’s signature line, “If you smell what The Rock is cooking.”
Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb took a break from hosting “Today’s” fourth hour to join Johnson and the rest of the WWE wrestlers on Monday.
The NBC hosts, best known for dishing on celebrity gossip while drinking on-air, were the latest guest stars to tackle the showcase event.
Kotb, who is a seven-year breast cancer survivor, and Gifford joined WWE for its third consecutive year supporting Susan G. Komen and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Joan Lunden sat ringside as a special guest along with other breast cancer survivors.
Watch the video clip from WWE’s “Monday Night Raw” above.