The Rock - WrestleMania Rehearsal

Dwayne Johnson Is Angering A Lot Of People In WWE And Hollywood Right Now

The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, or whatever you want to call him, is angering a lot of people. While Dwayne returned to WWE this year to wrestle for the first time in over a decade, he also did something even bigger. He became a member of the TKO Group Board of Directors. While this role is essentially a group job, in which people may vote for things but one man does not hold all power, Johnson has made it sound bigger. This is likely due to wanting to portray something bigger as a heel on WWE programming.

However, a lot of people are having issues with Dwayne in both WWE as well as in Hollywood. While some Hollywood issues are usually over nothing or complete jealousy, others are bigger. For example, Tyrese Gibson from the Fast & Furious series had an issue with The Rock doing a spin-off from the franchise with the Hobbs & Shaw film. Whether the issue was because he was not on it or because he did not like it happening at all, the problem was still present.

This is more of a weird squabble, but one can see where Gibson comes from. Yet the latest issues connected to Dwayne Johnson are a lot bigger. Some of which go against the character of the man we’ve known publicly for many years now. Let’s dive into a few of those problems.

 

Hollywood Beef: The DCEU

Dwayne Johnson - Black Adam
[Image via DC Entertainment]

There had been talk that Warner Bros. was planning to revamp their DC Comics Extended Universe. DC Entertainment planned to make something much more coherent going forward, which most were happy to hear. The DCEU had been putting out terrible films, far worse than what they were capable of producing. Dwayne Johnson came in and felt he could take a leadership role in this area.

He has been connected to the Black Adam character for a long time…dating back to his early Hollywood run. Now that he is the biggest star on the planet, it made a lot of sense to do the Black Adam film. However, the film was poorly received. Most of this, to many, had to do with how much they were attempting to do in one film. The idea was that they would introduce several characters, alongside the title character of the film.

The movie even had a cameo by Superman actor Henry Cavill at the end of the movie. Johnson was trying to spin off a new DC Universe from this, which Warner Bros. Discovery seemed to be interested in. However, after the movie turned out, fan appetite for this new universe was not where WBD wanted it to be. That led to hiring Guardians of the Galaxy & Suicide Squad 2 director/writer James Gunn to lead the new DC Universe.

This was a big hit for Johnson, but it will likely turn out to be the best thing for DC Entertainment.

 

Hollywood Beef: Dwayne’s Horrible Lack Of Professionalism On RED Movie Set

Red Notice
[Image via Netflix]

One thing we’ve never heard about Dwayne Johnson is that he lacked professionalism. It has been just the opposite. He’s always been the model of being a hardworking professional who gives his all into everything he does. However, recent reports have been referencing several major allegations.

Most of the issues referenced about Dwayne come from a detailed report published by The Wrap.

The author claims that Dwayne was late to the set quite a lot on his latest film, Red One. This is a sequel to the Netflix action-comedy Red Notice that came out a few years ago. The author claimed that Johnson’s chronic tardiness led to a “massive budgetary misadventure.” The Christmas-themed movie has now seen its budget balloon to more than $250 million. If true, that would place its budget on the same level as most superhero films.

Apparently, he’d made co-stars and crew members wait up to eight hours for him. However, if Johnson was going to be late to set by just an hour due to some traffic problem, he’d likely call. By doing this, you take the crew off the clock. Plus, most of the co-stars in the movie are going to make the same amount of money on the movie regardless of when it’s finished.

Yet eight hours?!?

He could take a flight from New York to Los Angeles in less time. If the issue was that he was having to travel back and forth between cities during WrestleMania time, we could see the issue. Yet he was not filming this movie during that period. Wouldn’t the studio change the call time to avoid such extreme budgetary issues for the crew and cast? This just seems too unbelievable to be true.

Odd Personal Demands:

The report also claimed that Dwayne made several “odd personal demands” over the years. They referenced one they claim Johnson himself admitted to during an interview with Esquire in 2021. Where they claimed he expected assistants to dispose of bottles that he urinated in so that he wouldn’t interrupt his three-hour workout routine. However, most took this as a joke from Johnson at the time and none of his assistants have ever claimed he asked this of them.

This same report went on to say that Dwayne Johnson has been known as “the hardest worker in the room.” However, he has actually “developed a reputation in the industry for his lateness and lack of professionalism on set.” They claimed this comes from multiple insiders. We feel this is also a bit odd to hear. Mostly because, if this were factual, one would assume studios would catch wind of it.

Studios do not work with people who are late a lot and lack professionalism. In fact, they go out of their way to avoid using them. However, Johnson has worked with a lot of the same co-stars who have never expressed issues with him. He has also worked on several projects with the same studios, again, none ever claimed to have an issue with him.

In fact, Amazon MGM had a spokesperson reach out to deny the report’s claims. They actually claim he had been “an incredible partner in the project” for the RED films.

 

Hollywood Beef: Problems With Co-Stars

Vin Diesel and The Rock
[Image via Universal Pictures]

The Wrap’s report on Dwayne Johnson further laid into him, claiming that his tardiness has caused issues with co-stars. They referenced Vin Diesel as the most notable, as the two worked together on a few Fast & Furious films. Issues between the two go back to 2016, which People even reported on. One insider told People that “Vin was having problems with The Rock because he keeps showing up late for production. Sometimes he doesn’t show up at all, and he’s delaying the production.”

Johnson apparently also had issues with Ryan Reynolds when they worked together on Red Notice for Netflix. It led to a “big fight” where Johnson stormed off the set. Of course, TMZ also referenced that Johnson being tardy annoyed Reynolds. However, they patched things up and the shoot continued without further issues.

Yet both of these things are not exactly fair to Dwayne Johnson.

In fact, the issues with Vin are much deeper than tardiness. If he was late so much that it caused Vin fits, why would Dwayne be brought back for several films in a row? It is not as if his character had to be in the movies. Heck, they even proved that notion with others. Plus, he will be coming back for the final installment of the franchise soon too.

When it comes to the Red Notice lateness, the movie was filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Most of the lateness that would have taken place was likely due to problems with specific COVID regulations. A lot of studios struggled because of New York & California regulations. One would assume that these would get in the way of filming.

COVID Quarantine Rule Breaking:

Which is why the same insiders reported that he broke several strict quarantine rules. In fact, while the crew had to be sequestered during production, Johnson flew home on his private jet. Yet it should be noted that he has two young daughters whom he likely would have wanted to spend time with.

Another crew member claimed he had a BBQ with friends and family, and got COVID from it. That would have forced him to miss at least a week of shooting time, if true. Of course, a lot of people were getting COVID during 2020. Therefore, it cannot be known completely how one catches it.

What seems to be the case here is that they want to blame Johnson for lateness or not showing up for Red Notice filming. Meanwhile, they claim he’s breaking quarantine rules. A lot of these rules, of which, got in the way of filming. One could assume here that even if The Rock was late to every other project, the strict regulations for filming were likely the toughest thing to overcome for the actors and crew for the movie.

All of this tells us that the report wants to have its cake and eat it too, if you will. Claiming he’s late to filming, but not taking into account that lateness might have been forced. Let’s say he is late to set despite the regulations, where is he at for several hours? A lot of the movie took place on location, so wouldn’t they just get him from his trailer? Everything taking place in a studio would likely have enforced trailer quarantine most of the time outside of this.

 

Dwayne Johnson’s Tardiness & On-Set Issues Throughout His Career

Rock Concert on SmackDown
[Image via WWE]

Apparently, the report claims that Dwayne Johnson has not just been tardy to some of his most recent films. The issues with Johnson go back many years and stem from his refusal to work a full shooting day. That is in spite of factoring in his three-hour daily workout. They claimed one studio insider told them that Johnson does not want to work more than a four or five-hour day. Another insider told them that it’s all a “control thing.”

They also cite how Johnson’s tardiness has been an issue dating back to even his HBO football series Ballers. This show ran from 2015 to 2019, so they claim the issue with Johnson goes back roughly a decade. The report claims:

“They rent a location they can shoot as much as they can of other actors while they wait for him to decide if he’s coming to set. He was regularly three to four hours late to set. Keeping (more than 100) crew members waiting for no reason.”

This reportedly came from a producer who visited the set & a production assistant.

A third insider told them that in March 2017, Johnson was six hours late to the Ballers set. Ignoring that he was, at most, only a supporting actor on the show.

In 2018, apparently, Johnson was also late while filming the movie Rampage. The Wrap claimed that he was late on average four to five hours a day. Two insiders reportedly told them that one co-star actually kept records of his tardiness.

The report also claimed two insiders told them Dwayne Johnson was three hours late arriving at the site of WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia.  They went on to claim: “He would arrive two hours behind schedule, drawing boos from the crowd and criticism from the local Philly press.”

He’s “Difficult” They Claim:

The accounts they reported on regarding Johnson being “difficult” come after the 2018 Skyscraper blockbuster as well as the Black Adam film in 2023. Both underperformed critically and commercially.

It is also important to report that The Wrap decided to turn this entire report into something much bigger. They went on to claim that Johnson has been connected to other controversies in the past year. One of which had to do with both he and Oprah Winfrey as both faced backlash over begging fans to contribute to a fund to support Maui residents who lost their homes in deadly wildfires.

People were upset because Johnson is worth roughly $800 million and Oprah is obviously notably very rich. Johnson did make a video where he claimed he could have been better. Yet it should be noted that Johnson did contribute a lot of money to the cause. Both he and Oprah reportedly pledged to send around $10 million to the cause, but both ended up sending a lot more. This means people getting upset with them about not helping are clearly out of bounds.

Despite this, Johnson has been drawing a lot of criticism. The report claimed that he’s been accused of being arrogant, elitist, hypocritical, or engaging in election-year political opportunism. This last part, everyone, is truly what their report was about, in our opinion. The Wrap essentially put together a hit piece on Dwayne Johnson in their report.

 

The Political Side Of This

Cody Rhodes, The Rock, & Roman Reigns - WrestleMania Kickoff
[Image via WWE]

Dwayne Johnson is no stranger to politics. Dating back to the 2015 period, when Donald Trump was elected it started a lot of controversy. People have actually asked Johnson to run for office, but back then he claimed he was not ready for such a move. From there, he has been taking the idea of running for President seriously but has not decided to run. Before the 2016 election of Donald Trump, Johnson had been a Republican. Ever since, he has not really been affiliated with either major party.

That said, it should not surprise people that Johnson claimed he would not publicly endorse Joe Biden for President this year. He would claim this while on Fox News when pressed about it. This is likely due to the fact that he did publicly endorse Biden against Trump in 2020. However, some took this as “right-signaling,” when in reality, Johnson never claimed that he’d be supporting Trump. He simply stated he was not going to publicly endorse Biden.

In fact, you can see where he came from. Johnson told Fox News that he regretted endorsing anyone because he thought that with his level of influence, he helped to sow division in America. He claimed that he wanted to keep his Presidential choice to himself this year. However, he complained that he was “really bugged” about today’s “cancel culture, work culture.”

Civil Minded, Civil Issue:

The latter is a problem many have issues with, but especially those in Johnson’s age group.

This seemed to signal that he is where a lot of the country is on this Presidential issue. Both men are not what America wants right now, so supporting either guy isn’t really worth it. Sure, one might be better than the other, but does Johnson want to be affiliated with either? Probably not. That is especially true if he does, indeed, want to run for office one day.

Vanity Fair, however, claims Johnson has “always walked a narrow line” when it comes to politics. He has been suspected of Republican leanings and harbored political ambitions, which we referenced already. However, if he has leaned to the right for so long…how could he be “turning” to the right as they claimed?

The thing is, even if he has some old-school Republican values, why would this matter? Why would not sharing who he’s voting for make people buy into some sort of new, Alt-Right-crazed Dwayne Johnson? While there are several issues people might have with Johnson both understandable and not so much, one clear thing we’ve never seen from him is that type of behavior.

It seems that a lot of The Wrap’s contents were filled with either lies or a lot of bad reporting. Especially when you consider that Johnson constantly is brought back to work for studios that he has worked with before. He might be a star, but the person painted by The Wrap would be a nightmare to deal with. Why keep hiring a person like that? There are plenty of other people who could be an action star for your film, such as John Cena or Dave Bautista.

 

Dwayne Johnson Shuts Down The Wrap’s Report Regarding WrestleMania

The Rock - WrestleMania Rehearsal
[Image via The Rock – Instagram]

One thing that probably angered Dwayne Johnson more than anything was the report that he was late to his WrestleMania 40 call-time. Let’s face facts here…it’s a live performance. Johnson knows that he cannot be late to the arena to not only discuss the match but also to ensure everything goes right for entrances and so on. That is especially true for his match, as it was taking place on Night #1.

Johnson shut down the report of his lateness by posting images of himself, literally at the arena before the show took place. He’s discussing what is likely his entrance with the crew before the show. While he might have arrived later than some others did, he was not so late that he arrived as the show took place.

It is true that Johnson was either not at or was late to some fan events that took place during Wrestlemania Week. However, Johnson did do a ton of press that week including appearances around New York on The Tonight Show, and a few for ESPN. Therefore, it is likely that he was being used mostly for show press and could not make it to some fan events.

Likely Planned Lateness To Fan Event:

Another he was scheduled for, and late to, some believe was done for “heel purposes.” The reason some assume this is that the WrestleMania Fanatics Event involved several wrestlers on the card. However, when “The Rock” arrived, he played off his lateness in character, saying:

“Are you booing because The Rock was supposed to be here at 4 o’clock? Is that why you’re booing? You’re booing because The Rock was a little late? Is that why you were booing? Why was the Rock late? You wanna know why The Rock was late? Are you sure you wanna know why The Rock was late? He was watching YouTube, watching videos of Jalen Hurts losing in the playoffs again. You boo because it’s the truth. Now, The Rock has shown up. You have greatness in front of you. Stand there, shut your mouth, and enjoy the ride The Rock is taking you on.”

Dwayne Johnson is quick on his feet, but most feel this whole late arrival was planned out to give others more time. Once The Rock arrived, they’d have to end the show with him. Therefore, they ended up using several others before him. He also had to conduct business and do press that same day, which is perhaps why he was going to be late for the event. It’s possible that he told them about the possibility and they worked it out for him to arrive a bit later than normal.

 

The WWE-Related Issues With Dwayne Johnson

The Rock & Cody Rhodes
[Image via WWE]

While some of the stuff The Wrap reported is nonsensical and does not make sense, other reports are understandable. Reports from several trusted sources within the professional wrestling industry claim that there is some discontent with Dwayne Johnson currently. A lot of this has to do with the idea that he randomly inserted himself into WrestleMania plans. This is especially true when it comes to the Cody Rhodes & Roman Reigns rivalry.

The idea was that The Great One would come in and “save” WrestleMania 40 with a match against his cousin, Roman Reigns. Triple H was reportedly not a fan of bringing The Rock in like this but allowed the TKO Board to get what they wanted. This is perhaps why the segment involving this seemed to have no trace of Triple H creativity compared to the rest of the very show where this took place.

The idea, to many, was Triple H letting the fans decide what they wanted to see. Obviously, we know they wanted Cody. That led to Dwayne calling up Triple H with the idea of turning heel, which he was all for. It allowed Triple H & TKO to both get what they wanted, and everything worked out great.

Yet the idea of Rock “saving” WWE or the show. Especially taking credit for revitalizing the appeal of pro-wrestling did not sit well with many. Several suspected it to be part of the heel persona. However, reports backstage claim otherwise.

The consensus backstage is that The Rock was attempting to capitalize on WWE’s rising popularity and success during his return. He obviously entered during a peak period for the company, meaning he did literally nothing to get them where they are.

The Odd Nature Of The Rock – Version 10.0

Backstage reports claim Johnson was attempting to overshadow Cody Rhodes. He also recently tried to take credit for Drew McIntyre re-signing with WWE too. Which, by the way, he had nothing to do with.

Ringside News claimed in their report:

“It was the big locker room buzz on Monday at RAW about how The Rock is trying to take credit for everything when he walked in during the hottest period in the history of the entire business. How he tried to upstage Cody and it failed. How he tries to take credit all the time for ‘making wrestling cool.’”

Some also stated that it seemed odd that they had him return the way he did. However, it makes a lot of sense when you look at the fact that the TKO Group probably wanted something and Triple H wanted another. TKO overrules Triple H here, so they let fans decide as “The Game” intended. Leading to the compromise we all saw.

The compromise led to the heel run that The Rock has been enjoying. Yet we can also see how eager he is to have some sort of title on his shoulder. He wore the championship that Muhammad Ali’s widow gave him during the 2024 WWE Hall of Fame. He carried out for his WrestleMania match and on the WWE RAW following WrestleMania weekend during his segment with Cody. This title is not an official championship defended in the company, which is why wearing it every time is odd.

It almost comes off as a young fan wearing a replica title during shows or at one. You know it’s not real, but it makes you feel cool.

 

What Is Next For Dwayne Johnson/The Rock?

The Rock - WWE
[Image via WWE]

It’s uncertain when he’ll come back, but The Rock is rumored to be wrestling again this year. Perhaps, by then, any issues will have been resolved. The hope is that people will not hate Johnson beyond the normal level of heel heat one would normally get as a “bad guy.”

While he might not have anything to do with people re-signing, perhaps Johnson is being used as a public face for WWE. Triple H is the notable boss, the true boss of the company. However, if he did similar to what Rock did, no one would care. Yet Triple H does not handle contracts at this point in his WWE career either. Therefore, WWE could just be using Rock in this realm to take advantage of his social media following.

Johnson is also a member of the TKO Group Board, so it makes sense to do this with him anyway.

Beyond this, some might assume his career in Hollywood might take a small hit from the report from The Wrap. Yet with one studio already in his corner, as well as Johnson proving the report false for his WWE work, it’s likely that he’ll bounce back from this.

After all, a lot of this could be blown out of proportion if he did some of the things claimed. Based on the fact that he keeps getting work and works with a lot of the same people, one would assume a lot of this report is false.

What’s next for Dwayne? He is currently filming a movie. However, when he’s done with the film by late Summer…perhaps a return to WWE so he can work a match at SummerSlam could be in the cards.