SmackDown 1000 has been and gone and the WWE would probably classify the event as a success at this point.
For the first time since 2016, SmackDown drew more viewers than Monday Night Raw in the ratings and they had an hour less of programming.
The return of Evolution and, in particular, Batista, has also drawn big numbers on WWE's YouTube channel. Within the first 24 hours, it had garnered over three million views and it currently stands at four million.
But one thing missing from the Blue Brand's broadcast was the inspiration behind its inception - The Rock.
The Great One's catchphrase is what spawned the show and he was the WWE's first-ever draft pick when he was selected number one by SmackDown back in 2002.
Rocky has been synonymous with SmackDown ever since and even though he is one of the busiest men in Hollywood, the very least fans expected of The Rock was a pre-taped promo or video message.
Instead, they got a tweet.
It's almost certain that the WWE would have reached out to the former 10-time WWE champion, but whether he was too busy filming Hobbs and Shaw remains to be seen.
Dave Scherer said on PW Insider Elite audio that he believes the current controversy between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and the missing journalist certainly played a part in the Rock's decision.
Of course, the WWE is scheduled to head to Saudi Arabia in a few weeks for the Crown Jewel pay-per-view and the company is coming under pressure from some quarters to cancel the event. Thanks to Ringside News for the quotes.
“One thing everyone needs to consider is where The Rock’s concern is," Scherer said. "I’ll bet ya he thought about it, and I’ll bet ya as soon as this Saudi Arabia thing happened he said, ‘I’m one of the top box office draws in the world. I just can’t be associated with WWE right now.”
Notable wrestling insider Mike Johnson noted it was a viable theory although he doesn’t know if that’s exactly the case. Chances are, only The Rock will ever know.
Speculation continues to suggest that The Rock will main event WrestleMania 35 against his cousin Roman Reigns next year, so let's hope none of WWE's other business arrangments get in the way of that.
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