The Rock Comments On His First WrestleMania And More - Wrestle Newz twitter google

The Rock Comments On His First WrestleMania And More

The Rock took to Instagram to look back on his WrestleMania debut as well as hype WrestleMania 32. Here is what he posted:

1997, I was 25yrs old, the youngest Intercontinental Champion in WWE history and performing in #WrestleMania13.

It would become one of the most defining moments of my life. Not because it was my first WrestleMania I had the privilege to be a part of, but because I was boo’d out of the building. Literally boo’s from 20,000 people that screamed “Get the f*ck outta here”. And when you’re supposed to be a good guy or “babyface” in wrestling speak – getting boo’d is the worst thing that can ever happen. They boo’d me because I wasn’t being real. I was told by the company how to act, how to respond to fans and the worst part of all.. I was told what to say and what not to say.

Not long after this match, I lost the title and was eventually sent home for months to recuperate from an injury – it didn’t really matter anyway because I wasn’t drawing the company any money nor did the fans care I was gone.

A week before I was scheduled to return to the WWE, I got a call from Vince who said “How do feel about turning heel?” (which means becoming a bad guy). I said “Great, but I have one request… give me 2 minutes on the microphone on live TV and let me be myself. Be real and authentic. I gotta be me”. Vince said “You got it”. The following week I cut a promo that was from the heart. Real and authentic.

6 months later I was the hottest heel in the company.

Even though I hated being boo’d out of the building at WrestleMania 13, I learned one of the greatest life lessons that still serves me today. Be real. Be authentic. Be me.

Truly my honor to perform this Sunday at #WrestleMania32 for the WWE Universe.. as me. #TheRock #DwayneJohnson #BigBrownBaldTattooedPuppyLover #SlightlyElectrifyingAndOneHandsomeSumb—h

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  • Fat Owens Fat

    And if Vinny Mac had listened to the opinion of the crowd back then, Attitude era wouldn’t have been half as successful as it was if there wouldn’t have been the Jabroni Beating, Pie eating, Highflying, Electrifying, Elbow Droppin, Spine Poppin, Trailblazing, Eyebrow raising, People’s CHAMP!

    • Z….

      Considering that he became a heel shortly after, I dont see how that isnt listening to the reaction he got, and making a decision accordingly. Obviously, Rocky Maivia wasnt working. The fans let them know that emphatically. That allowed The Rock to be himself, as he mentioned. You cant really say that the same course of action would have ended up happening if he doesnt get bood like that that night, and if I recall correctly, for a good while after that night. It takes someone that knows what they’re doing, like Vince, to actually pull the trigger on the change, but at some point, he had to weigh the reaction into that decision. Its unfortunate that it has been a long time since Vince operated that way

      • Fat Owens Fat

        Because at that point in the business, there were a lot of big names to carry the company forward. Today its just 1-3 guys who can stand in if one’s leaving or injured. There’s no luxury of options. Especially this year, half the roster is out and it includes all the big names that are usually there for the company.
        In the 90s there were so many divisions to keep the show running for the 2 hours and not feel repetitive like it feels today because you see the same people having a match every week with zero build. There’s no cruiserweights showcasing their insane agility, there’s no divas who can legit sell a storyline like Trish/Lita or Sable/Torrie did. They tried to go the intergender storyline like Steiner/Stacy/Test with Lana/Rusev/Ziggler but it bombed because Lana went public with her status. The wrestlers today aren’t even half as entertaining as the ones from the 90s. They’re all stuck in the mold of replicating another wrestler of the past instead of redefining the term altogether.

        Almost all shows that are script based are done so to have their intelligence insulted. There were a lot of intelligence insulting moments in the Attitude Era, but we were all too young and not so bright to call it out like we do today with the help of the internet. People today cringe at wrestlers using words like Fruity Pebbles or Tater Tots, but in the 90’s the Rock would use words like that on a regular basis and nobody had any problems. Its just a change of mindset from growing up as a kid to now seeing it from an adult’s perspective. An old wrestling fan would still swear by the 70’s and 80’s wrestling and term the Attitude Era as “crass” or lack of taste era.

        • Z….

          All very valid points, most of which I’ve considered at times in the past, especially your last paragraph (though when I’ve gone back and watched older stuff, which I havent done in a few years, I still mostly find it compelling, and that includes stuff from before my time). I think its not just the insulting of intelligence, but the blatant ways they do it now (like they’re throwing it in your face), and probably some frustration over missed opportunities. Your first point isnt arguable. I actually totally forgot about considering the amount of stars in that era. As you said, having so many different guys that can carry the company allows more time to try other stuff, and as you also mentioned, when you have other divisions and titles that actually matter, you can afford to watch a character grow and gain notoriety and experience, while also having more entertaining programs. I wonder if this is somewhat caused by something we’ve been seeing in mainstream sports as well. People dont care about the regular season anymore. All that matters is the championship. I think thats the problem in WWE. They put SO much emphasis on being World Champion, and rightfully so, but that just made everything else literally not matter.

          One has to consider, though, that maybe you have a few more names that can step in if you build them right. I think that is definitely an issue, but I wouldnt put that entirely on creative/Vince/whoever. I think one of the problems today is the fact that everyone wants everything to happen instantly, yet they also complain when other things they dont like happen instantly. And as mentioned, there isnt any kind of platform to test the waters with guys b/c the midcard doesnt exist. So you see guys getting pushed to the moon, and then the fans dont like him, and then he ends up working 30 second matches on (what is now Main Event?) without entrance music. I think from both perspectives, there needs to be more time to figure out exactly what you think about a character. You just dont get that time nowadays. Everything is too definitive. Thats probably what happens when you’re running a globally traded company as big as WWE.

          • Fat Owens Fat

            With a publicly traded company, you have to justify the spending to your stock holders. I think that’s one reason why they stopped having different rosters for RAW and SD and instead has the same roster from Raw appear on SD and do double duty. The WWE has slimmed down their roster over the years and they randomly add new people while they let a few old names go like a constantly working cycle. Now with half the roster out with an injury and with more media focus over how the company manages injured wrestlers, they have nobody to fill in the void and this WM is totally devoid of any meaningful storyline now. Shane facing Taker is the ultimate proof of how bad the injuries have hit WWE to have an old guy who wasn’t even a full time wrestler face the Phenom with a career vs company stakes on the line.

  • The Shockmaster

    History to repeat again with Booman Reigns?

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