The Rock’s 10 Greatest WWE Moments
Before he was the most bankable film star in the world, Dwayne Johnson was The Rock, a wrestling legend
Dwayne Johnson debuted in the WWE in 1996 under the name Rocky Mavia. He jumped into the ring, unheralded, at Madison Square Garden and became the Sole Survivor in his very first match in the Survivor Series. A star was born.
Six Second Victory:
In front of 100,000 people at WrestleMania 32 in Dallas, Texas, The Rock tore through his warm-up fights and challenged Erick Rowan to a bout. Rowan accepted, but was almost immediately dropped, as The Rock recorded the fastest WrestleMania victory ever at six seconds.
Already an established actor, The Rock completed his comeback to the ring with an eighth WWE Championship at Royal Rumble 2013. After beating John Cena at WrestleMania 28, he set his sights on the Championship. A back and forth exchange with title-holder CM Punk cast doubt over his ability to maintain his wrestling prowess, but The Rock proved his durability, claiming the title with The People’s Elbow.
For the company:
At the 2001 Survivor Series, Vince McMahon put the control of the WWE on the line against Shane and Stephanie McMahon’s Alliance in a Winner-Takes-All Match. The senior McMahon picked The Rock to captain his squad, and the match came down to The Rock against Team Alliance captain ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. The Rock pulled through, saving the WWE in the process.
Judgement Day 2000:
In one of the most memorable and historic matches in WWE history, The Rock and Triple H pulled no punches at Judgement Day 2000. The two exchanged submissions and pinfalls at a rapid tempo until The Rock was finally disqualified in the closing moments for an incident of outside foul play. Even though he lost the final tally 5-6, his participation in the bout has gone down in the annals of professional wrestling.
The King of trash-talk:
Before his days as a family-friendly movie star, nobody had talked trash like The Rock since Mike Tyson. Ahead of their bout in 1999, The Rock imitated King of the Ring winner Billy Gunn praying to God, asking for tips on how to defeat the Champion.
The Rock and Mankind, who were sworn foes up till this point, came together to dethrone a common enemy in the form of The Undertaker and Big Show in 1999. The tandem would become an iconic WWE alliance.
McMahon handed the WWE Championship to The Rock at Survivor Series 1998, giving him his first title. Controversy arose as Mankind was seen by many as the rightful champion, but the entire episode was symbolic of the WWE’s iconic Attitude Era.
In front of his home crowd in Miami, where he also played college football, The Rock overcame John Cena after not competing in a singles match for over a decade. An absolute classic match and one of the most unforgettable images in WWE history.
The Rock came back to the WWE at Raw on Valentine’s Day 2011 to announce that he would be a special guest at Wrestlemania 27. After a 7-year absence from consistent wrestling action, his immediate, rapturous reception displayed his enduring legacy.