The Rock is one of the most famous names to ever set foot in WWE, but according to a WWE Hall of Famer, almost everything didn’t happen for The People’s Champ.
Dwayne Johnson debuted in 1996 and went on to become one of the biggest stars WWE has ever produced, with his Hollywood status superseding even what he achieved between the ropes.
Rock’s journey didn’t get off to the best start, however. Known as Rocky Maivia in tribute to his father Rocky Johnson and his grandfather, top chef Peter Maivia, his twittering white meat babyface was quickly rejected by WWE fans and led to chants of “Rocky sucks” and “Die, Rocky, die”.
It was a reaction shared by the man himself, with Rock being openly frustrated with the character. So much so that according to Mark Henry, the future ten-time world champion almost gave up.
Speaking on a recent edition of Busted Open Radio, Henry reveals that Rock pushed so hard to quit the gimmick that it almost forced him out of the company.
He fought tooth and nail [to move away from his original gimmick]. It got to this point where he was like, ‘Man, I wish I could get to quarterback because I’m going to come back and play football.’ He hated it. He wanted to resign.
However, the former World Champion and current AEW star went on to say that things changed once the Brahma Bull started playing around with the character and trying new things. Remembering Rock used to try out the gear while the pair were on the cockroach together.
It got to the point where he finally said, “Hey, let me try some stuff,” and when he started trying, he started trying it in the car.
He was like, ‘Hey, Mark, how did you say your last name was?’ And I was like, ‘Fool, you know my last name, [imitates The Rock’s catchphrase] Your name doesn’t matter.
The Rock’s legacy is set to continue in WWE in the guise of his daughter who now goes by the name Ava Raine and made her debut last weekend on an NXT house show.
Thanks to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the above transcript.
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