Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at a XFL game in February 2023. Feb 19, 2023; Washington, DC, USA; XFL co-owner Dwayne Johnson watches the game between the D.C. Defenders and the Seattle Sea Dragons from the sideline during the second quarter at Audi Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been a lot of discussion this month about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson reportedly being set for the WrestleMania XL main event in April, and a lot of backlash to that from many wrestling fans. That’s seen Johnson embrace his heel side with some promos, including one about “Cody Crybabies” thinking Cody Rhodes should be there instead of him. But on Friday, that led to right-wing figure Nick Sortor (whose bio has him as “On-scene covering stories MSM won’t. | Seen on
@TuckerCarlson Tonight, Fox News, Newsmax, Timcast, etc”) spreading a video of fans booing Johnson and chanting “Maui” at him during a Thursday press conference.

As seen in the community note attached to that tweet, Sortor falsely claimed those chants was about Johnson supposedly not living up to his promise to fund relief on Maui after the August 2023 wildfires there. They were actually a reference to the character Johnson played in Disney’s Moana. And Johnson weighed in on this himself in strong terms Sunday morning:

Here’s the full text of Johnson’s response:

I typically refrain from responding to toxic, false clickbait garbage like this because I hate dignifying ******** with a response, but when you use Hawaii’s tragic events to draw attention to yourself I won’t stay quiet.

This moment you’re referring to is from our @WWE press conference this past Thursday where I turned “heel” – wrestling parlance for bad guy. I’m playing it up with our crowd as they boo. It’s what we do in our WWE universe, and we all love every second of it.

For the record: Our People’s Fund of Maui has already DELIVERED over $50 MILLION DOLLARS to over 8,000 survivors who were affected by the fires, and I’m grateful to the bone that we’ve been the primary funders.

Hawaii is where I grew up, where I raise my children throughout the year and where my ancestors are buried. These are my Polynesian people and these are OUR American people. You can’t imagine how much they are still struggling daily to put their lives back together and take care of each other. Our Poly American people are as resilient as people come, and they will raise and get back on their feet.

Nick, instead of posting ******** like this that you know is false – I encourage you to post something positive for Hawaii, for our Polynesian American people. Or actually take positive action and come to Hawaii to help out in an uplifting way.

I’m in Hawaii now, and I guarantee you, you’ll get great content that can actually make a difference in people’s lives. Genuinely.

Let’s put our energy and our online platforms into lifting people up. Acknowledging the good things that people do. Raising awareness for the suffering in ways that can effectively help. It takes so much effort to be negative, and create and spread bullshit – but when you spread positivity, kindness, and lead by example you can really impact lives.

I’m sorry to all our Poly/Hawaiian ohana of Maui, for shining light on this toxicity as you struggle through tough times – I always try to be Na’au Pono.
Love U.


That is quite the response. And yes, while there are plenty of things fans can take exception to around Johnson’s supposed involvement in the WrestleMania main event, the work of his People’s Fund of Maui really doesn’t seem to be one, and doesn’t appear to be what fans were referencing here. And it’s quite something to see Johnson weigh in on this himself.

[The Rock on Twitter/X]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.