The Rock gets a $9 million payday for his Wrestlemania work



If you smell what The Rock is cooking, it’s probably in a luxury kitchen.

TKO, the owner of World Wrestling Entertainment, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said it had granted Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson 96,558 additional shares of the company’s stock. At current prices, those shares are worth approximately $9.3 million.

Those shares, the company said, “vested upon completion of certain services” and come after Johnson was part of the storyline for the main event of the WWE’s biggest premium live event of the year. They’re part of a $30 million stock award Johnson received in January that’s scheduled to vest over time.

Johnson appeared on both nights of the two-evening program, wrestling on Saturday—and defeating Cody Rhodes –and attempting to interfere in the next night’s main event, where Rhodes faced Roman Reigns. He also appeared on WWE programming in the lead-up to Wrestlemania, turning his popular hero into a villain.

Johnson was initially scheduled to face Reigns himself, but fans pushed back, wanting to see Rhodes in the main event, something the company will explore in a YouTube documentary later Wednesday.

Johnson joined the board at TKO in January and finally claimed ownership of his famous nickname. He first started with WWE in 1996 and has since graduated to become Hollywood royalty, as well as a successful entrepreneur. There were even efforts to recruit him to run for president in 2020.

He’s never been able to get too far from the squared circle, however. Most of his returns have been for cameos, but this latest run (and payday) might have reignited his interest in wrestling. Before announcing he would “go away for a little while” on Monday to WWE fans, he dropped hints he would return to continue his feud with Rhodes at some point in the future.

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