WWE Friday Night SmackDown kicked off with a return from Pat McAfee. McAfee grabbed a mic and said he loved the Mile High City. He went on to praise SmackDown, calling it “the greatest wrestling show to ever be on television.” MaAfee then welcomed everyone to Friday Night SmackDown and on cue, Austin Theory’s music hit.
A lively exchange between Austin Theory and Pat McAfee in the ring. Theory said that it wasn’t SmackDown but, in fact, the “Austin Theory Live” show. In response, McAfee playfully reminded him that this show belonged to the people, and then The Rock made his surprise entrance.
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) September 16, 2023
Theory told the Rock that the the ring belonged to him. Despite Theory’s attempt to press on, The Rock promptly cut in with a “Shut your mouth.” The Rock emphasized that Theory was still in the dark about how things really worked.
Handing over his microphone to McAfee, The Rock shed his jacket, ready to make his statement. Retrieving the mic, The Rock electrified the crowd with his classic catchphrase: “Finally, The Rock has returned to Denver!” The resounding response was the crown chanting “Rocky!”
In an attempt to follow suit, Theory tried to invoke the “Finally…” line, but the audience met his words with a chorus of boos. The Rock was then about to speak when Theory interjected with a: “It doesn’t matter what The Rock says!”
The Rock then orchestrated a call-and-response chant with the crowd, alternating between “You are” and “an asshole.” The Fox network censors reacted predictably.
The Rock lightened the mood by explaining that he was simply having some fun with the audience. He then unveiled his own theory: in three seconds, he would lay a smackdown on Theory’s candy ass. However, before The Rock could make his move, Theory launched an attack on him. The Rock quickly rebounded and executed a spine-buster, setting the stage for his signature move, the People’s Elbow. Pat McAfee then followed up with his own rendition of the People’s Elbow.