Dwayne Johnson recalls the moment that led to the birth of The Rock and why he failed to connect with the audience in his first run in the WWE.
Dwayne Johnson’s The Rock, is one of the most popular characters in the WWE. He is in a league where only Stone Cold and Hulk Hogan can truly lay claim to. However, it seems there was a chance that we would have never seen the character in the WWE.
Speaking with FOX Sports’ NFL insider Jay Glazer on the “One Glass with Glazer” Instagram Live show earlier this week, The Rock noted that the WWE fans knew that his first character, ‘Rocky Mayavia’ wasn’t being authentic.
“The moment I was able to speak my mind and be authentic in the WWE,” he said. “So what I mean by that is when I first started in the WWE, I was this good guy babyface, fresh out of University of Miami. I was told by Vince McMahon, who was a very close friend of mine still today, is a mentor in the world of business, he would tell me, ‘You gotta go out there, you gotta smile, you just gotta… you just gotta smile!’
“This was my rookie year. Smile! So, I said OK. And he said, ‘I want you to be… you’re grateful that you’re here, so you gotta smile’. And then I would go out and I would hear these fans, they just knew that I wasn’t being authentic. They would be like… ‘You f–king suck!’ And I would smile, ‘Hey, thank you, man! I know I do, right?’ I gotta smile.”
Dwayne Johnson recalls the moment that led to the birth of The Rock
“So, finally when the decision was to become a bad guy, to become a heel, I asked Vince, ‘If [you] can just give me two minutes on the microphone, on a live RAW, I just want to speak my mind,'” Rock recalled. “There was a faction at that time, called The Nation of Domination, led by Ron Simmons, who was one of the greatest Florida State football players of all-time. And Vince McMahon said, ‘OK, you got two minutes.’
“Pass me the ball, that was it,” he continued. “Just give me one shot. If I suck, and by the way, I had to tell him that. I said, ‘Listen, I understand that we only have two hours of live television’. And this show is kicking ass, our ratings were great at that time. And I said, ‘Just give me two minutes, one minute, and if I suck you’ll never give me the microphone again’. He said, ‘OK.’
“I grabbed that microphone, I said, you know, this is the very first night I turned bad, and I said, ‘I may be a lot of things, but sucks isn’t one of them.’ And I said, ‘Me joining The Nation is not a black thing, it’s not a white thing, it’s a respect thing, and I’m gonna earn it every night by kicking that ass.’ You know, and I start talking a little s–t, but it was in that moment, that you could feel the crowd of 15,000 or 20,000 people go, ‘That’s real. What he just said, he just spoke from the heart’. And that led to the birth, if you will, of The Rock.”
You can watch a clip of the interview here:
The moments when we take that chance is when true greatness begins.
The rest is history… pic.twitter.com/HaJPnRfsTZ
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) November 25, 2020
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