WWE WrestleMania 40: The Rock muted after breaking protocol, threatening ref against Cody Rhodes, Logan Paul defends title

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Welcome to news.com.au’s live coverage of WrestleMania 40 at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field.

The Rock is continuing to cause controversy every time he steps in the ring in his return to professional wrestling.

It was a banner day for Australian wrestling on the opening night of WrestleMania on Sunday (AEST), with Rhea Rhipley successfully defending her WWE women’s championship against Becky Lynch and fellow Aussie Grayson Waller claiming the SmackDown tag team championships with partner Austin Theory.

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Adelaide’s Bronson Reed also won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal on the pre-WrestleMania edition of SmackDown.

But all the talk was about Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock, who made his long-awaited return to pro wrestling — helping cousin Roman Reigns prevail over Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins in the night one main event.

It puts The Rock on a collision course with Rhodes for the WWE World Championship, with The Rock’s storyline likely culminating in a match against Reigns.

The narrative means the odds are stacked against Rhodes in his clash with Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship on Monday AEST.

11.05am – Logan Paul defends title

Logan Paul has defended his WWE United States Championship in a a triple threat match against Kevin Owens and Randy Orton.

A highlight came when Paul launched himself off the ropes, landing on Owens before smoothly transitioning into a forward roll and jumping on top off Orton.

The YouTuber sealed victory with another seriously athletic ‘frog splash’ move — jumping high off the ropes on top off Owens and holding him down for the three-count.

Pat McAfee said in commentary: “My god, look at the height. If there was a roof on this place, Logan may have just flirted with it.”

Paul entered the arena on the back of a Prime truck, and a mascot dressed as his energy drink saved him mid-fight by pulling him out of the ring just as Orton looked to finish him off.

The Rock breaks protocol

There was a surprising moment during The Rock’s cameo on night one, when he appeared to use his position as a board member on WWE’s parent company TKO to threaten the referee.

At one stage he swore at the referee and threatened to have him fired if he ‘counted’ anyone out in the match.

The Rock said: “Listen to me, if you count, you’re fired. You understand?

“You know The Rock, I don’t f**k around. You count, you’re fired.”

WWE is meant to be fairly family friendly viewing and broadcasters had to use the mute button in a belated effort to ensure The Rock’s expletives didn’t go to air.

'You count, you're fired!' The Rock blows up during WrestleMania

The referee also apologised to Rhodes when The Rock punched his tag team teammate Seth Rollins in a low blow, telling Rhodes there was nothing he could do about it.

“Oh my god. The Rock just delivered a deliberate low blow,” the commentator said.

“Chad Patton the official literally went over to Cody Rhodes and apologised to him and said, ‘I can’t do nothing about it’.”

“Chad Patton with a disgusted look on his face, really helpless at this point.”

The 51-year-old actor has fully embraced his villain role since announcing his return to professional wrestling at the start of the year.

The Rock called WWE fans in Utah’s Salt Lake City “trailer park trash” in a blistering rant at SmackDown in February.

The Rock’s return has divided WWE fans, with many desperate to see Rhodes complete his story by defeating Reigns to finally become world champion after 15 years.

WRESTLEMANIA 40 NIGHT TWO CARD

Sunday April 7 US time – Monday April 8 from 9am AEDT

Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs Cody Rhodes

WWE United States Championship: Logan Paul (c) vs Kevin Owens vs Randy Orton

LA Knight def AJ Styles

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Drew McIntyre def Seth Rollins

WWE Women’s Championship: Iyo Sky (c) vs Bayley

Bobby Lashley, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins def Karrion Kross, Akam & Rezar (Philadelphia Street Fight)

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