Dwayne Johnson turns heel ahead of WrestleMania by embracing ‘Hollywood Rock’ gimmick as WWE adds villain amid sex-trafficking lawsuit against Vince McMahon

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson pulled off a full-blown heel turn this week’s episode of Friday Night Smackdown in Salt Lake City, Utah after facing weeks of backlash from fans ahead of WrestleMania.

Although The Rock’s heel turn is sure to dominate the headlines around the wrestling world, the decision has not taken away from the sexual assault and trafficking allegations against former chairman Vince McMahon

The Rock was already positioned to face WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns after his recent return to WWE TV, although it appears the company changed plans after seeing a negative reaction from fans.

Wrestling fanatics had been obliterating the booking decision to have the WWE legend face Reigns after spending two years teasing a matchup the popular Cody Rhodes.’

They have also expressed their displeasure in person by booing mentions of The Rock during live shows.  Others sent death threats to The Rock’s daughter, Ava, who is currently cast as the general manager for WWE’s development brand, NXT.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson pulled off a full-blown heel turn this week's episode of Smackdown

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson pulled off a full-blown heel turn this week’s episode of Smackdown

The Rock also officially aligned himself with Romans Reigns faction 'The Bloodline'

The Rock also officially aligned himself with Romans Reigns faction ‘The Bloodline’

During Friday’s episode The Rock emerged in a garment that reminded longtime fans of his ‘Hollywood Rock’ gimmick when he previously played a heel (the industry term for a bad guy). And in case there were any doubt about Rock’s new wrestling persona, he was also announced as a member of Reigns’ bad-guy faction, ‘The Bloodline,’ for the very first time before cutting a classic heel promo.

‘Finally, you and your fifty wives will have a story to tell your 600 inbred children one day,’ The Rock said as a shot at the Utah based crowd.

He also took shots at the fans he called ‘Cody crybabies’ for the widespread reactions calling for Rhodes to face Reigns at WrestleMania rather than The Rock himself.

Just last week it seemed that The Rock was aligning himself with Reigns after standing side by side with Universal Champion during the WrestleMania press conference in Las Vegas and even slapped Rhodes in the face while on stage.

The Rock and the ‘Tribal Chief’ then walked out of the arena before they were recorded having a heated profanity laced conversation with Chief Content Officer Triple HHH.

Fans on social media seemed excited about the return of the ‘Hollywood Rock’ character and posted numerous tweets in excitement.

‘Can’t wait to see where this goes,’ said one fan.

‘Yayy My favorite ‘The Rock” posted another.

‘I’m so all in. Best heel turn I’ve seen in a long while,’ proclaimed another. 

‘Yaay most electrifying member of the bloodline,’ posted another.

‘The Rock has turned heel finally man. HOLLYWOOD ROCK IS BACK IN THE CUT,’ another post read. 

Fans online seemed incredibly excited about the return of the 'Hollywood Rock' character

Fans online seemed incredibly excited about the return of the ‘Hollywood Rock’ character

While The Rock’s heel turn and the storyline leading up to it has become one of the most discussed topics in the wrestling world, many have raised the point that the entire thing has been a massive ploy by the company to divert attention away from the sexual assault and trafficking allegations surrounding the McMahon family.

McMahon has also come under fire for a different set of sexual assault allegations that are related to now deceased former WWE wrestler Ashley Massaro. His daughter Stephanie McMahon has also been alleged to have helped cover up the incident.

Massaro committed suicide five-years ago months after the dismissal of her lawsuit claiming wrestling head injuries made her depressed and addicted to painkillers.

The former competitor additionally alleged prior to her death that the WWE had discouraged her from reporting that she had been sexually assaulted at a military base during WWE’s tour of Kuwait in 2006.

She also accused McMahon of abuse and claimed WWE discouraged her from reporting the alleged sexual assault. 

WWE issued a statement after Massaro’s suicide claiming that they were never made aware of the former wrestler’s allegations.

The Rock's return has dragged attention away from the sexual assault and trafficking allegations against Vince McMahon

The Rock’s return has dragged attention away from the sexual assault and trafficking allegations against Vince McMahon 

Stephanie McMahon has also been accused of covering-up sexual assault complaints made by former WWE star Ashley Massaro

Stephanie McMahon has also been accused of covering-up sexual assault complaints made by former WWE star Ashley Massaro

Massaro previously complained to the WWE that she had been sexually assaulted during the organization's tour of Kuwait in 2006

Massaro previously complained to the WWE that she had been sexually assaulted during the organization’s tour of Kuwait in 2006 

McMahon resigned as Executive Chairman of UFC and WWE's parent company TKO due to the allegations

McMahon resigned as Executive Chairman of UFC and WWE’s parent company TKO due to the allegations 

Massaro’s friend recently, Stephanie, made her feel ‘comfortable’ heading into a boardroom meeting before turning on her and attempted to cover-up the star’s complaints.

Revealing the claims she says Massaro told her, Cara Pipia, added: ‘She spoke with Vince McMahon many times. 

‘Vince had his daughter [Stephanie] take his place because she was a female woman and to make Ashley comfortable and they just played with her. 

‘They play with her because everything that Stephanie had made her feel comfortable and safe about, as soon as they walked into this boardroom meeting, Ashley was on her own completely. 

‘She was threatened and there was no compassion, no sympathy, there was nothing,’ she added.

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