The Rock reunites with John Cena in long-awaited return to WWE as former rivals look down before sharing warm embrace: ‘Welcome Home’ stuns fans at an edition of SmackDown in Denver.

The Rock came face-to-face with John Cena on his long-awaited return to WWE on Friday night – and his old rival couldn’t resist a wry smile.

Just hours after appearing on the Pat McAfee Show – live on the campus of the University of Colorado – The Rock showed up at the wrestling promotion where he made his name as he stunned fans at an edition of SmackDown in Denver.

McAfee, who is a commentator with WWE, was in the ring with 2022 United States Champion Austin Theory when the wrestling great made his sudden entrance.

After sparking a frenzy in the arena, The Rock exchanged words with Theory before both he and McAfee dropped his People’s Elbow finishing move on the WWE star.

And later on in the show, there was time for him to bump into one of his most iconic adversaries.

The Rock came face-to-face with John Cena on his long-awaited return to WWE

After a brief staredown, the former rivals enjoyed a warm embrace at the SmackDown show

The Rock also featured on The Pat McAfee Show in Denver before heading to WWE on Friday

While speaking backstage, McAfee told The Rock to turn around and look at someone who ‘can’t see you’ – in reference to Cena’s famous catchphrase.

The Rock then said while spinning towards Cena’s direction: ‘I can see him.’

The pair, who enjoyed memorable battles at both WrestleMania 28 and 29, then stared each other out for a few seconds.

‘I see you trying to smile,’ The Rock said.

Cena couldn’t contain his clear delight at seeing his former opponent, before saying: ‘I am, welcome home.’

The Rock got the better of Cena at WrestleMania 28 before his great enemy evened the score one year later.

Both men are widely considered as two of the greatest WWE athletes to ever set foot inside the squared circle.

He famously went head to head with Cena at WrestleMania in 2012 (pictured) and 2013

It’s the first time that Johnson wrestled in any capacity since that October 2019 appearance, which came around the time that he announced his retirement from pro wrestling.

It isn’t clear if ‘Rocky’ will be making a return to the WWE or if this was a one-off appearance because he was already in the Centennial State.

But Johnson’s time in Colorado is not done just yet. He’ll be making an appearance on College GameDay live from the University of Colorado campus in Boulder – just half an hour north of Denver.

The Rock will be appearing on the show as a celebrity ‘guest picker’ to take a crack at selecting the winners of Saturday’s slate of American college football games.