Holy shit. The Rock is pissed. Specifically, he’s pissed at one of his Fast 8 co-stars. On Monday, he posted an epic rant on Facebook:
This is my final week of shooting Fast & Furious 8. There’s no other franchise that gets my blood boiling more than this one. An incredible hard working crew. Universal Studios Entertainment has been great partners as well. My female co-stars are always amazing and I love ‘em. My male co-stars however are a different story. Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don’t. The ones that don’t are too chicken shit to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses. When you watch this movie next April and it seems like I’m not acting in some of these scenes and my blood is legit boiling — you’re right. Bottom line is it’ll play great for the movie and fits this Hobbs character that’s embedded in my DNA extremely well. The producer in me is happy about this part. Final week on FAST 8 and I will finish strong.
Whom could he be talking about? Tyrese? Ludacris? Scott Eastwood? Nope—the internet took no time at all to decide Vin Diesel was the culprit. The Rock’s gravelly voiced co-star is producing Fast 8, and rumors have been swirling about people wasting other people’s time and something about a possible pissing contest.
To which I would reply: Read that Instagram post more closely. There’s no apology in there. Nothing is settled. Watch Vin’s video from Wednesday. He goes full-on scary monster voice on that last “EVERYTHING.” Doesn’t that shit sound ominous to you?
Here’s the thing: This isn’t a feud between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson. Dwayne Johnson is America’s best celeb dad. Dwayne Johnson saves silly dogs. Dwayne Johnson still has one of the best Lip Sync Battle performances ever seen on Jimmy Fallon.
This is a feud between Vin Diesel and The Rock, who is an altogether different person from Dwayne Johnson. The Brahma Bull puts boots to asses. The Great One doesn’t have time for your shit. The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment will LAYETH. THE. SMACKETH. DOWN. ON ALL YOUR CANDY ASSES!
That’s the key word right there. Dwayne Johnson is a lovable teddy bear. He would never call someone a candy ass! The Rock, however, absolutely would. In fact, there’s no one The Rock has faced in a WWE ring whom he hasn’t called a candy ass.
Which is exactly why this is all just a setup. The Rock and the WWE are planting the seeds for the best celebrity/wrestler feud since Karl Malone/Diamond Dallas Page vs. Dennis Rodman and Hollywood Hogan. (Or Jay Leno and Diamond Dallas Page vs. Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff.) The WWE is still at a creative and ratings nadir, and even if it weren’t, there’s nothing Vince McMahon wouldn’t do to drum up interest in his product and his marquee events—the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania chief among them (no matter how far off into the future they might be).
You know what else needs publicity? The sure-to-be-godawful xXx: Return of Xander Cage, the sequel nobody was asking for. There hasn’t been a xXx movie since 2005, and that one didn’t even have Vin Diesel (much like the second F&F film). That shit is slotted for release January 20, 2017. Just ask Furious 7 villain Jason Statham about releasing action movies in January. Absolutely no one cares.
You know what else happens in January? The Royal Rumble, the WWE’s second- or third-biggest show of the year, conveniently the same weekend that xXx comes out. Also not-so-coincidentally: Fast 8 premieres on April 14, less than two weeks after Wrestlemania, WWE’s biggest show of the year, where the McMahon family always goes all-out and The Rock has become an annual featured attraction, despite the fact that he doesn’t get in the ring much these days.
A Rumble match between Vin and Rocky would be incredible, but at ‘Mania? You might as well start printing money. Hell, Ronda Rousey might even get involved — she appeared in the ring with the Rock to promote the last Fast movie (and also laid the smacketh down on Triple H and Stephanie McMahon).
Even better, both could happen. Here’s my dream scenario: The Rock comes out as a surprise Rumble entrant. He gets aaaaalmost to the end, only for OH SHIT VIN DIESEL to come out of the crowd and pull the top rope on him, causing The Rock to fall out of the ring and lose out on a title shot. This leads to a perfect setup for the epic grudge match at Wrestlemania.
It’s no less plausible than what happens in the Fast & Furious franchise—or what allegedly happens on set between its stars. That’s why, per usual, the safest position to take is that only pro wrestling is real. It’s everything else that’s a work.