WWE fans on social media are blaming the box office failure of Black Adam for The Rock’s obvious return to the next WrestleMania.
WWE shook things up at the recent Royal Rumble when Cody Rhodes won the match for the second year in a row. Many fans expected this to set up a rematch with Roman Reigns over the world championship. However, on Friday night’s episode of SmackDown took an unexpected turn that surprised many viewers.
Instead of advancing the Rhodes and Reigns feud, WWE brought in The Rock. This seems to finally initiate the long speculated confrontation between Reigns and The Rock. Initial fan reaction to swerving the Rhodes rematch and introducing The Rock has been a bit brutal with some citing it as the obvious PR play for the fallen star.
“I hope everyone is aware that this play by The Rock was pushed by his PR team to rehab his image from the last two years of damage from Black Adam and other Hollywood ventures in the last year,” a Twitter user said. “Including his poor handling of the Hawaii disaster from last year. WWE is as hot as it is right now and Cody Rhodes dying at the altar to rehab Dwayne’s public image is insane LMAO”
We really have to suffer through all this s–t because BLACK ADAM sucked and tanked,” said another.
“He f–ked up the DCEU refusing to work w/the character Black Adam was the arch nemesis of (yes it was already f’ed, but his actions helped deliver the final death blow), bumps Punk out of a WM main event years ago & now Cody tonight,” added another.
The Rock is trying his hardest to be more insufferable than Hulk Hogan. All because that stupid Black Adam movie bombed. Well he’s doing a pretty good job so far,” a Twitter user said.
“Remember when Dwayne Johnson campaigned for a decade to play Black Adam and then fought against any potential Shazam showdown because he wanted to face Superman and everyone hated it? He’s doing the same thing in the WWE right now,” added another Twitter user.
Dwayne Johnson’s first outing as DC antihero Black Adam ultimately proved to be a costly endeavor for Warner Bros. The 2022 film which also introduced superteam the Justice Society of America to the DC universe is estimated to have lost the studio between $50 million and $100 million. Despite Johnson’s star power and the long-awaited debut of Black Adam on the big screen, the film has had a lackluster performance at theaters worldwide following its release. It marks one of several DC films that have failed to meet box office projections that year.
Dwayne Johnson had been trying to get Black Adam off the ground for years now, but the movie was released right before a massive DC Universe shake-up at Warner Bros. Discovery, which saw Walter Hamada exiting his post as the president of DC Films. Hamada is now at Paramount Pictures, overseeing all things horror.
Black Adam won’t be part of the first chapter of James Gunn and Peter Safran’s DC Universe. However, Johnson has spun that there is an opening for the character to return thanks to the vast storytelling opportunities of the multiverse. That doesn’t seem likely.
A new era for the DC Universe
James Gunn and Peter Safran are now in charge of DC’s film, television and animations efforts at Warner Bros. Discovery, bringing the company’s comic book-related assets under one roof. Gunn is said to be focusing on the creative direction of the DCU while Safran is handling things that are related to business and production.
Check out The Rock’s appearance on Smackdown here or in the embed below.