One word spoken from the mouth of the Great One sends the millions (and millions) of Rock fans into overdrive. No-one, and the Rock means no-one, has ever had such a command over the people.
But does that make him the greatest superstar of all time? No, of course it doesn't. It takes a lot more than one word to make a truly legendary superstar. So what makes the Rock the greatest of all-time?
Is it his technical ability in the ring? No, if that was the case Kurt Angle or Bret Hart would be the best. Is it his popularity amongst the fans? No, if that was the case, Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan would challenge him. Is it his ability on the mic? No, otherwise he would be the greatest by a street.
So what is it? Well, I think it is a combination of these three factors and more, and no-one has a better combination of these than "the People's Champion".
He was technically sound in the squared circle, pulling off moves such as spine-busters, DDTs, and sharpshooters to perfection. His move set became well-known, but not monotonous. Everyone knew the spine-buster was followed by the People's Elbow, but that didn't make it any less electrifying.
While we're on that point - who else could make an elbow drop the most electrifying move in sports entertainment? Who else could get 50,000 on their feet by raising an eyebrow or removing an elbow pad? There is no doubt that The Rock could walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
When he said he would "Layeth the Smackethdown", more often than not he would do so.
When it comes to popularity with the fans, there are very few who could touch The Rock. Perhaps only Hogan and Austin deserve to be mentioned in the same breath. Whether it was as a heel or a face, The Rock could get whatever reaction he wanted out of the fans.
Early on in his career, he played the part of a heel so well that fans took to holding signs up saying "Die Rocky, Die." His entertaining promos soon made him a prime candidate for a face turn, and it became one of the smartest moves in WWE history.
He was soon known as "The People's Champion", and it was a name he deserved more than anyone else in the annals of wrestling. Perhaps the biggest reason for his adoration from the fans came in his many interviews or promos.
When The Rock got hold of the microphone, you knew you were in for an entertaining segment. His catchphrases became so well known that every fan in every arena in every state would join in whether The Rock was saying "Finally...The Rock has come back to New Jersey", or was indulging in a chorus of Smackdown hotel.
Even when his insults were, quite frankly, poor, he delivered them in such a way that made them sound good. Who else could pull off saying the phrase "Go drink a big glass of shut up juice!?"
When he was getting insulted, all he had to do was hold up a palm to stop them in their tracks.
As well as being the greatest on the mic, more than capable in the ring, and popular among the fans, it was his ability to play a part that separated him from the rest. He was the most hated heel, then turned into the most loved face, then turned back into a heel who could get any reaction he wanted out of the crowd.
He was involved in some of the greatest rivalries of all time. Namely, the Nation of Domination vs. DX, The Rock vs. Triple H, and, of course, The Rock vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. His match against Hollywood Hogan at WrestleMania X8 was one of the most eagerly anticipated matches of recent times.
But don't just take my word for it. Lets have a look at some of his accomplishments. He is a seven-time WWF/E Champion, a two-time WCW Champion, a two-time Intercontinental Champion, a five-time Tag Team Champion, a Royal Rumble winner and the sixth man to be a Triple Crown Champion.
He has twice won the Match of the Year award and the Most Popular Wrestler of the Year award, and once won the Wrestler of the Year award.
So lets look at a checklist for what makes the greatest superstar of all time:
- Great in-ring ability? Check.
- Great performer? Check.
- Great on the mic? Check.
- Popular amongst fans? Check.
- Able to play heel and face to great effect? Check.
- Many titles won? Check.
- Great rivalries? Check.
- Match of the Year? Double Check.
- Superstar of the Year? Check.
- Great charisma? Check.
No-one can fulfill all of these points to the level the Rock did. The Brahma Bull, the People's Champion, the Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment, the Great One, whatever you want to call him, he is the greatest superstar in WWE history.
Who, in the blue hell, could top the Jabroni beating, pie eating, trail blazing, eyebrow raising son of a gun in those ten criteria?
It doesn't matter if Ric Flair has more titles. He can take those titles, shine them up real nice, pass them on to Austin, the face of the attitude era, who can turn it sideways and hand it to Vince McMahon, the man who created all of this, and he can shove it straight up his candy ass!
If you smeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelllllllll what The Rock is cookin'!
Great Rock quotes I just couldn't fit in:
Just Bring It
The People's Strudle
Easy big fella!
Know Your Role and Shut Your Mouth!
And if, somehow, you are still not convinced that the Great One is the greatest, have a look at these clips.
I could go on forever but I'll leave it there for now!
Check out the other CvCs on this topic:
Ray Bogusz - Andre the Giant
Josh Swell - Edge
Ross - The Undertaker
Robin Richards - Triple H
They're all wrong but we may as well humour them, eh? :P