But while the Manchester United man’s confrontation with Barrett at a special edition of WWE Monday Night RAW in Manchester may have been a publicity stunt for all involved, we can’t help but think there may be more too it.
For one thing, Barrett and Rooney have something approaching history, with the wrestler previously unhappy with his Red Devils foe following an incident in last season’s FA Cup.
A life-long Preston North End supporter, Barrett accused Rooney of diving for a penalty during United’s 2-1 win over the Whites.
There was talk of a potential tag team match-up too, which would have seen Barrett team up with ex-Bolton star Kevin Davies to take on Rooney and WWE legend Stone Cold Steve Austin.
And while that particular encounter has yet to happen, the British grappler appeared keen to face Rooney during an interview with the Football Association earlier this year:
“…I’m a huge Wayne Rooney fan, I always have been, and there’s no real beef there between us – but if he did ever want to step in the ring, then believe me I’m waiting for him.”
The likelihood of Rooney stepping into the ring has only increased in the wake of this week’s slap, with Barrett also stoking the fires in a post-match interview with WWE.
Warning the Manchester United man that his days “are numbered” we have a feeling this particular rivalry is far from over.
And with Kai Rooney a big fan of WWE, his dad would no doubt relish the chance to get in the ring.
Wrestling supremo Vince McMahon would undoubtedly be open to the idea of such a profile-raising encounter in the UK too, having dabbled in similar territory already this year when the star of superhero TV favourite Arrow, Stephen Amell took to the ring to face Stardust.
Barrett, meanwhile, appears keen on the idea:
Could Rooney soon be stepping into the wrestling ring? We hope so.