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The Rock. One of the biggest legends in wrestling's history. Debuted on WWF TV rather young and 6 years later was alrrady a legend of the business and definitively leaving for Hollywood to never come back except for the very rare appearance.

Now, I did not grow up watching The Rock. By the time I got into wrestling he had already left for Hollywood. The first time I saw him on TV was in that segment he had with Eugene and The Coach in 2004, for reference.

The Rock's lineage has definitely left its mark in the business. He comes from a family of pro wrestlers. Samoans seem to have a thing for wrestling. The Rock might only be half-Samoan, but still counts and I'm pretty sure Samoans generally view him as one of them.

OK, so when The Rock debuted he was called Rocky Maivia and looked cheerful. Didn't click with the fans but Vince and WWF quickly realised that and turned him heel and made him join The Nation. He was still Maivia, but no longer the goofy looking guy. He became a solid midcarder here and I guess by then people realised he'd eventually main event one day, but still I don't think anyone saw him becoming what he did.

He had a good midcard feud with Hunter Hearst Helmsley which, I believe, culminated in that Summerslam 1998 ladder match. That match was very important to both men's careers, I'd day. And then Rock turns face for a bit and gets harassed by Shane and Vince... but it was all an act. He wins the WWF title at Survivor Series that year and becomes the Corporate Champion. Now THAT'S when The Rock becomes a main eventer and a big star. Seriously, Corporate Rock was GREAT. He's slow talking, savage put downs on the mic, 600 dollar shirts and shoes, cool shades, Elvis hairdo, etc. and his chemistry with Vince, Shane, Austin, Foley, etc. made him one of the coolest heels ever. This was the MNW/Attitude Era, so heels had to be cool like the nWo.

No point in mentioning the Austin feud, we all know it's great and it has been discussed to death, What else can I say about it? Also, please don't turn this into another Austin vs. Rock thread. Feel free to say who you prefer, but don't get into who was better or a bigger draw, please. Just saying. Anyway, before the Austin feud per se, Rock feuded with Foley and that feud really cemented him as a top star. It's crazy how quick Rock climbed up the ranks. In mid-1998 no way did Rock look like he was on par with Austin in terms of star power. Only Goldberg could rival Austin in the wrestling world at the time. But by January-February 1999 it seems obvious to me that The Rock was on par with Austin. Until then, Austin mostly feuded with Vince, who's nto a wrestler, with veterans like Foley and Taker who were big names but clearly were used to elevate Austin and certainly weren't gonna be future top faces of the company. Austin also feuded with Kane, who didn't end up becoming a huge star anyway. So yeah, he needed someone as big as him and Rock was the perfect man for that.

Corporate Rock and post-Corporation Rock where he was teaming up with Mankind and feuding with Billy Gunn was by far the best work of his career, imo. And also my favourite version of the character. 1999 was probably the year where WWF was at its hottest, if I have to guess, since you had both Rock and Austin there in their prime for the majority of the year, unlike in 2000 where Austin missed most of it. Plus, the Austin vs. McMahon storyline was still going.

In late 1999 Austin gets injured as we all know and it's time for The Rock to fill in the top babyface role of the company which he does very well. In most cases, losing your top babyface always does some damage to business, but this time was the exception. WWE didn't lose a step. They also had The Undertaker out for sometime, remember.

2000 Rock mostly feuded With HHH, Vince, Stephanie and Kurt Angle. he still kept some traits of his 1999 character.

Then he loses the WWF title to Austin at Wm 17 and leaves for a while to film the Scorpion King. Then returns in the middle of the Invasion angle and... he seems a bit different. I dunno what it is but it's like his voice became higher pitched, he began smiling more, he began dressing and acting more like a stereotypical athlete/jock and his jokes have become more typical of those types as well. He also became a bit of a ladies man and they even teased him and Trish as an onscreen couple for a while. 2001-2002 Rock also spoke in a more fast paced manner. He was no longer the serious looking and slow talking deep voice Rock from 1998-2000. It's like he was now an actor who happened to walk into a wrestling arena by mistake.

Since then he turned heel one more time as Hollywood Rock in early 2003, which was cool for while it lasted, but still not as cool as Corporate Rock was.

His return in 2011 was pretty cool at the time and I watched the PPV where he wrestled for the first time since 2004 live. It was cool for a while and his feud with Cena had a lot of hype. I think it should have been over after their first match, though. Rock helped further expose Cena as a lame character and I loved that Rock went over Cena on the first match since I was expecting Cena to win, but it wasn't so logical for Rock to win and have a second match, but hey, it probably did good for WWE's finances so it can't have been a bad decision lol

As for his matches... they're hard to watch, tbh. Rock was never the greatest wrestler in the ring. He oversells moves in a ridiculous fashion and seems like he's always moving in fast forward. And let's face it, The People's Elbow is nearly as ridiculous as The Worm. Ofc an elbow drop to the chest can hurt you badly, but Rock barely touches his opponents when he does it.

Do I like The Rock? Sure, but I can't say he's in my top 5. I view him more as a side-attraction and a promo cutter than as a wrestler. Honestly, the only matches of him I truly enjoy watching are his matches with Austin and Foley. he had a ton of chemistry with both of those guys.

Rock's promos often had cringeworthy material, but he's always had top notch delivery. That's the biggest difference between him and Cena, imo. Cena clearly tries to sound natural, but fails at it and most of the stuff he says sounds cringeworthy and awkward, imo. He sounds like a dork. Rock never fucking sounded like a dork at all. The IWC likes to compare Rock and Cena and saying that the criticisms people make of Cena are very similar to those people used to make about The Rock in 1999-2002, but I'll take The Rock any day over Cena. Plus, Rock actually lost A LOT for a top guy, which is pretty strange. But I guess he was so over that it did not hurt him. Come to think of it, Rock was probably the weakest booked top guy ever in terms of match results. Kinda funny because he mocked all of his opponents. I mean, if you're gonna call a guy a hermaphrodite or a piece of roody poo candy ass, you can't lose to him. If you do, what does that make you? And if you win, what's the big deal? All you did was beat a piece of shit. Sure, we all laughed at Rock's promos, but most guys aren't allowed to bury people on the mic like that.

Anyway, tl;dr so cliffs:

- Corporate Rock was the best Rock.
- 2001-2002 Rock and Dwayne Johnson Rock from 2011 and beyond isn't really my cup of tea.
- Rock's not that great in the ring and oversells things.
- He's not one of my top 5 favourites.

There ya go. I pointed out some flaws, but I think I overall spoke highly of Rock. He's a legend and massive respect for him.

What about you? What do you honestly think of The Rock?
 

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One of the most charismatic wrestlers ever and his success in film is no surprise to me at all.

He's just got "It", whatever "It" is. I can't put my finger on it and I can't completely put it into words. I just know a star when I see one, and Rock is that.

It wasn't obvious at first. The Rocky Maivia run was, to put it nicely, ill-advised, but the heel turn and transformation into the cocky, catchphrase spewing, shining star we all came to know and love was a sheer delight to see unfold.

As a worker, I'd say Rock was very good. He knew how to take the crowd's reactions and use their involvement to help tell the story. There is no better example of this than at WrestleMania X-8 when he took the negative reaction he received to heel it up a teeny tiny bit and play up to it to make the legendary match with Hogan even better.

If I had any criticisms of Rock's work, it would be some sloppy execution on a couple of things. For example his sharpshooter is the worst thing I've ever seen (well until Cena's STF that is). But generally, he was an exciting wrestler to watch, and rarely rested on his laurels.
 

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I believe during his prime he was very good, the best talker ever, best showman ever. I would have loved to have seen him throughout his prime. However I'm not a fan of his promos currently, it comes across cheesy and really unfunny. He was fine during 2011-2012 but since then whenever I see him I just cringe and not laugh at many of his jokes. However not to be negative I wish he would make more appearances, he adds something extra. I think he is the first WWE superstar to actually become a BIG star in entertainment. I know Hogan is popular but besides wrestling all he has had is a TV show. Rock has been in movies which have grossed over a billion dollars, hosted a game show and is one of the most recognizable celebrities on earth, not wrestling celebrity but simply a celebrity.
 

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Goat on the mic, average in-ring, overrated, good actor.

Despite the fact that he was bloody awesome on the mic he shouldn’t have been pushed that much because there were a bunch of boys in the locker room that were genuinly far better wrestlers than him but stuck in the midcard till retirement.
 

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Despite the fact that he was bloody awesome on the mic he shouldn’t have been pushed that much because there were a bunch of boys in the locker room that were genuinly far better wrestlers than him but stuck in the midcard till retirement.
So you wanted Dean Malenko pushed over The Rock? :heston

No buys. It wasn't just Rock's mic skills, he was charismatic as hell, great presence, a proven draw and a good look which made him feel like a true star. He put butts in seats and made the company a lot of money, something the little in-ring technicians over the years fail to accomplish.

That is a problem with WWE today, they push all these bland workrate guys with no personality instead of people who are charismatic and great on the mic and as a result they have a roster with almost no starpower now and record low ratings.

Epitome of the word superstar. Hollywood Rock was one of the very rare occasions I feel like 1 guy overshadowed a roster (which was very good at the time) and truly felt we were privileged to be watching this guy
This.
 

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Arguably the most charismatic wrestler of all time and one of, if not THE most charismatic entertainer of all time period (I realize that's a huge statement, but he's gotta at least be in the conversation.) He was also a hell of a worker since he could have a solid match with anyone and you never doubted his abilities to sell injuries or his opponent's offense.

Just a very elite talent all around. It's once in a lifetime that you find such a well-rounded individual that can fire on all cylinders as well as he did.
 

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Despite the fact that he was bloody awesome on the mic he shouldn’t have been pushed that much because there were a bunch of boys in the locker room that were genuinly far better wrestlers than him but stuck in the midcard till retirement.
So you wanted Dean Malenko pushed over The Rock? <img src="http://i.imgur.com/m2XjBg7.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Heston" class="inlineimg" />

No buys. It wasn't just Rock's mic skills, he was charismatic as hell, great presence, a proven draw and a good look which made him feel like a true star. He put butts in seats and made the company a lot of money, something the little in-ring technicians over the years fail to accomplish.

That is a problem with WWE today, they push all these bland workrate guys with no personality instead of people who are charismatic and great on the mic and as a result they have a roster with almost no starpower now and record low ratings.

Epitome of the word superstar. Hollywood Rock was one of the very rare occasions I feel like 1 guy overshadowed a roster (which was very good at the time) and truly felt we were privileged to be watching this guy
This.
Fuck charisma dude. All I want is good wrestling, even if it feels like funeral’s being held in the venue.
 

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Loved all incarnations of The Rock except Rocky Maivia obviously, He oversells the Stunner but in awesome fashion so I would over look that, Decent In Ring but truly shined on the Microphone second to none, Untouchable Charisma and unselfish to a fault for a Top guy.

How can you not like The Great One?
 

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Loved all incarnations of The Rock except Rocky Maivia obviously, He oversells the Stunner but in awesome fashion so I would over look that, Decent In Ring but truly shined on the Microphone second to none, Untouchable Charisma and unselfish to a fault for a Top guy.

How can you not like The Great One?
Everybody loves The Great One, laughed my ass off in every segment he was included in. But again there shouldn’t have been a monster push, but again he shouldn’t have been R-Truth kinda guy either - something in the middle.
https://youtu.be/FywJYLpXfOU
Hands down pure comedic gold.
 

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His life is an ultimate realization of preparation meeting opportunity. A grand-prize winner of the genetic lottery born with a thousand-watt smile and million-dollar body genetics (His father benched over 500) surrounded by a close-knit family of entertainers. That said, to exclusively his credit, he maximizes these lavish gifts with a remarkably relentless work ethic (seems like he is CONSTANTLY in a big project while maintaining perhaps one of the best hobbyist bodybuilder physiques on the planet. His success never seems to impede his kind personality.

As for his days as a wrestler: I wasn't personally that entertained by the Rock schtick, but he was objectively a wizard at crowd control, as charismatic as a wrestler gets, effective as heel/face once he found his character and though far from a technician was a great athlete and when needed a really good worker in his own right. Accomplished more in seven years than almost all wrestlers accomplish during entire 20-30 year careers.
 
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Rock is one of those guys where if I think how great of a wrestler he is, I wouldn't think he is that good but he has tons of matches that I enjoy and think very highly off. Foley at the Rumble, Austin at WM 17/Backlash '99/WM 19, the evolution match at WM 20 (which is an easy shout for MOTN imo), etc. Unreal resume but I don't think he had the consistency that Austin had to be considered an all timer in that regard.

He has many quirks that are synonymous with him that I also love. For example, now I'm going to make the out of the box comparison but bare with me: Rock kinda reminds me of Genichiro Tenryu a bit, offensively. A ton of the stuff looks pretty bad/silly but that's the charm of it. It wouldn't be a Tenryu enziguri without it looking like crap, same with Rock's Sharpshooter, his suplexes, even his dainty little kicks. It works for him (that's where the comparison ends though lol). His selling is up and down. Sometimes he can make his opponents look like killers but sometimes he is way over the top with it which negates the actual sell imo (something Michaels/Perfect/Dolph Ziggler are susceptible for).

His promos can be superb. His WrestleMania 19 promo is my all time favourite. But I think he is a bit too reliant of the catchphrases which work for the crowd and most people but can be jarring to watch for me. His comedy can be amusing but, again, can take me out of what he is trying to put over. His delivery is non-matched really though.

He was a massive draw in his day and you can argue that he still is but I think he has definitely lost his appeal whenever he shows up now.

Wouldn't be anywhere near my top favourites but The Rock has tons of great things to like about and the bad things aren't major gripes.
 

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One of the most charismatic men on the planet, not just wrestling. The man was destined for success and I knew it even when I was a kid. I think he was going to become famous/a celebrity even without wrestling, that was just what helped him get noticed. He's one of my biggest inspirations, because he truly did start from the very bottom and worked his ass off to get to the top. Even as one of the most famous men on the planet, he's never let the fame get to his head. He's always friendly to his fans and willing to take a pic with them or have light conversation, I've very rarely heard negative stories about Dwayne being an asshole towards people.

I was sad to see him leave wrestling in 2003, but I never resented him for it like many selfish fans. I was going to miss him of course, but I wanted what was best for him and was supportive of him wanting to pursue his dreams and go as high as he could possibly go. When he came back in 2011, I was immediately excited and felt like a kid again. He had an amazing angle with John Cena and getting involved with wrestling again despite his super busy schedule, and afterwards he's on and off showed up every once in awhile to entertain if his schedule works.
Even though it's been over a year since his last appearance, I think he'll come back again and put over Roman in his last match; then finally accept going into the Hall of Fame. One of the all time greats, there will never be another Rock.
 
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