Denver fans were treated to two surprise returns last Friday, as Pat McAfee and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson kicked off the September 15 episode of WWE SmackDown. For Johnson, his arrival was met with a thunderous ovation from not only the live audience, but the online WWE Universe as well.

WWE announced on Monday that the segment was viewed over 103 million times. Wrestlenomics is reporting that Friday's Smackdown was viewed by over 2.5 million people. The adult 18-49 rating clocked in at a 0.70. That amounts to a 23% increase over viewership last week and a 33% increase in the adult 18-49 demo.

Austin Theory, on the other hand, was unimpressed, which prompted Johnson to lead the audience in chanting "you're an a**hole" at Theory. Johnson and McAfee then laid Theory out with back-to-back People's Elbows.

On the heels of his surprise return, Johnson issued a series of thank-yous to the WWE Universe, McAfee, Theory, and those involved behind-the-scenes.

"I was - I’m still - completely blown away by this crowd reaction in Denver this past Friday night on SMACKDOWN," Johnson tweeted. "My appearance was a surprise to everyone and this crowd of 14,000 erupted with the roar of 100,000 strong. Top 5 loudest crowd reaction of my career (which I was like “holy sh*t” when I walked out.)

I’m so grateful and humbled by this. I never take it for granted and “coming home” will always be sacred to me. Thank you my guy PatMac, the talented Austin Theory, [WWE] family backstage, Team Rock behind the scenes - everyone who joined us to go ALL IN. But most importantly, thank you with all my love, gratitude and respect, to THE PEOPLE. Our connection is real. Electrifying."

After appearing before the crowd, Johnson made his way backstage, where he was later greeted by former foe John Cena. Despite their bitter rivalry in WWE, Johnson and Cena shared a rather wholesome moment on this occasion, as Cena welcomed Johnson back before the two embraced each other with open arms.

With the addition of The Rock and Cena, SmackDown's viewership ratings rose 24% in the preliminary numbers in comparison to the previous week.