The Rock's Top 5 WWE Royal Rumble Moments

Bill Pivetz@@BPiv_SportsCorrespondent IIIDecember 31, 2012

The Rock's Top 5 WWE Royal Rumble Moments

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    The Rock is scheduled to challenge for the WWE Championship at the 2013 Royal Rumble.

    It will be his first appearance at the January event since 2002.

    Despite only appearing at six events, The Rock made a mark at each one including making it to the final three in the 2001 rumble match and coming up just short against Chris Jericho for the Undisputed WWE Championship the following year.

    The Rock is looking to make another moment this year by winning his eighth WWE Championship. But until then, we must look back at the past.

    Here are my top five Royal Rumble moments provided by The Great One.

No. 5. First Rumble Appearance (1997)

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    The Rock, known as Rocky Maivia at the time, made his first rumble appearance in 1997. He came out at No. 25 and lasted over 13 minutes.

    Although he didn’t eliminate anybody, Rock was in the ring with some of the biggest names in the business like Bret Hart, Mankind, The Undertaker and the eventual winner, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

    This wasn’t memorable because of The Rock’s dominance in the match. His performance in his first rumble match was an early indicator of who Rocky Maivia would become in the WWE.

No. 4. Final Two with Stone Cold (1998)

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    The following year, The Rock had a much better showing in the rumble match.

    The Rock came out at No. 4 and spent over 50 minutes in the ring. He eliminated Ken Shamrock and Nation of Domination teammate, Faarooq.

    The match came down to The Rock and Stone Cold. After receiving a Stone Cold Stunner, Rock was tossed out.

    The Brahma Bull came up short, but he took a beating in the match, including getting stuffed in a garbage can and hit with a chair by Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie.

No. 3. Royal Rumble Victory (2000)

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    The Rock’s next rumble match appearance came in 2000 when he entered at No. 24.

    He went right to work as he quickly eliminated Big Boss Man, Crash Holly and Al Snow.

    The Rock saw himself once again in the final two. This time it was with the 500-pound Big Show. Rock was on the receiving end of a Showstopper. Big Show went to eliminate Rock, but he held on and sent Big Show flying to the floor.

    Even though this was Rock’s only rumble victory, it wasn’t that memorable. It led to the underwhelming Fatal Four Way match at WrestleMania 2000 between Triple H, Mick Foley, Big Show and himself for the WWE Championship.

No. 2. Costing Stone Cold a Rumble Victory (1999)

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    Earlier in the night, Rock won the WWE Championship, but there will be more on that match on the next slide.

    After all 30 Superstars entered, the final two were Stone Cold and Mr. McMahon, the same two who started the match.

    During Austin’s beating on McMahon, The Rock came out and distracted Austin, which allowed McMahon to eliminate Austin and win the rumble.

    The Rock’s distraction provided the WWE with two months of build towards the biggest match of the year.

    They put on a memorable match at WrestleMania XV, one of three historic matches in their rivalry.

No. 1. I Quit Match with Mankind (1999)

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    The Rock and Mankind traded WWE title reigns at the end of 1998. Mankind was champion going into the 1999 Royal Rumble event.

    These two wasted no time making things hardcore as Mankind introduced a steel chair early in the match.

    The Rock then rang the ring bell against Mankind’s head. Rock attempted a Rock Bottom on the announce table, but it gave out from under them. They continued fighting up the ramp.

    Rock punched Mankind off a ledge onto some electrical boxes. That wasn’t even the most brutal part. Rock handcuffed Mankind and had his way. Rock ended the match after hitting Mankind over 10 times with a chair.

    This match put The Rock on another level. It was the perfect match to begin Rock's road to WrestleMania and the No. 1 Rock moment at the Royal Rumble.