For the most part, I think many knew that the animosity between Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena before Wrestlemania 28 and 29 had a tinge of reality attached to it. It can’t be much of a surprise to fans, but there was never any real concrete proof, as with most things in the wrestling world.
M&F: So that was real. You’re telling me that’s real?
DJ: Yes, it was very real. When I came back, I needed something real to sink my teeth into, as a performer.
M&F: And why was that?
DJ: John had said some things in an interview that I took exception [in essence, that the Rock cared only about being an actor not about wrestling or WWE fans]. He felt they were okay, I felt that they weren’t okay. I also laughed it off years ago but it wasn’t until I came back and realized that the marquee match-up was going to be between he and I that I would take that edge that we had—and let’s use it. So, we don’t have to hang out, we don’t have to be best friends, we won’t be friends at all.
M&F: Well it worked, because I remember watching it and being like, ‘I think these guys really hate each other.’ I just couldn’t separate it and it was really hard to figure out, and it was awesome to watch for that reason.
DJ: It got really uncomfortable for a lot of people. And it gets uncomfortable for the fans–that they sense something. But then when it gets uncomfortable for the wrestlers and to the executives and the company, then it’s something special.
M&F: Did it get there?
DJ: Right away. And it continued to build. And what happens in wrestling is anybody who is in a feud and anybody who is in a match, everybody knows what everybody is going say. In this case, we approached it differently.