Celebrating The Rock: His All-Time Top 10 WWE Moments (Video)
Fifteen years ago, Dwayne Johnson, following his dad Rocky's footsteps, started a career out in WWE.
Today, we know him and admire him as The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment, The Rock.
The Rock is arguably one of the greatest athletes and entertainers in the history of the wrestling business. He isn't a bad wrestler, either.
Recently, The Rock has spent a lot of time in the movie industry, but before that, he spent many years inside the four ring posts of WWE.
A lot of WWE fans, including myself, practically grew up with The Rock.
I would like to take this time to make an article celebrating The Great One and ranking his WWE moments over the years.
There are so many great years and moments. The Rock could make you laugh or nearly make you cry, catching your heart in an instant.
The Rock's work on the microphone is legendary and could have you hanging on every word that came out of his mouth.
It was really tough to pick just 10 moments out of his career to date, but I managed.
So, let me know my role, shut my mouth and start with No. 10 on the list...
10. Stone Cold Takes a Swim (04/12/99)
Heading into Backlash 1999, The Rock was in possession of Steve Austin's WWF Championship in the version known as the Smoking Skull Belt.
On the April 12 Monday Night Raw, The Rock threatened to throw Austin's Smoking Skull over a bridge, just as Stone Cold did with The Rock's Intercontinental Championship a few years earlier.
When Austin showed up, The Rock ended up putting Austin himself over the bridge in a very shocking moment in WWE history.
YouTube didn't have a clear version, but I did find a version here.
9. Rocky Johnson Saves the Rock at WrestleMania 13 (03/23/97)
Rocky Maivia vs. The Sultan at Wrestlemania 13
In The Rock's first WrestleMania, wrestling as Rocky Maivia, he successfully defended his WWF Intercontinental Championship.
However, after the match, he was attacked and ganged up on by Sultan, Iron Sheik and Bob Backlund.
Then his dad, Rocky Johnson, came to the rescue, helping him clean house and embracing his son in the ring.
A heartfelt moment for dad and son in The Rock's first WrestleMania.
8. The Rock's WWE Debut At Survivor Series (11/17/96)
The Rock's WWE Debut
"Now there's gonna be the man right there, that's a blue-chipper right there."
We didn't know who The Rock was then, but boy, was Jim Ross spot-on with his comments.
Wrestling as Rocky Maivia, The Rock made his in-ring WWE debut on Marc Mero's Survivor Series team.
Not only did The Rock make his debut on this night, he last eliminated Crush and Goldust to become the sole survivor and give his team the victory.
7. Winning The 2000 Royal Rumble (01/23/00)
The Rock wins the 2000 Royal Rumble
The Rock would come close to winning the 1997 and 1998 Royal Rumble, making it to the final 10 spots, but being eliminated.
However, at the 2000 Royal Rumble, The Rock entered 24th, and he last eliminated The Big Show by gracefully holding on to the top rope to win his first and only WWE Royal Rumble match.
He went on to WrestleMania 2000 in a Fatal Four Way match and lost to Triple H.
6. The Rock Defeats Hollywood Hogan at WM 18 (03/17/02)
The Rock Defeats Hulk Hogan
When WWE purchased WCW in 2001, you immediately started thinking of possible matches, and this should have been the first on that list.
At WrestleMania X-8 at the Skydome in Toronto, a dream match took place: a battle of two generations of wrestling: The Rock vs. Hollywood Hogan.
It took two Rock Bottoms and a People's Elbow at the end to secure the pinfall, but The Rock was victorious on this night.
5. Defeating Stone Cold and Respect After the Bell (03/30/03)
The Rock Defeats Austin at WM 19
A year after defeating Hollywood Hogan at WrestleMania, The Rock was looking to finally beat Steve Austin at WrestleMania in his third opportunity against The Rattlesnake.
Austin was near the end of his ropes and this would be his last match—The Rock knew it, Austin knew it—but few knew it was happening.
After the bell, The Rock pushed senior WWE official Earl Hebner away and told Austin that he appreciated him and he loved him in an ultimate sign of respect.
To this day, this is one of my favorite moments in WWE history.
Click here for a clip of how things went down that night from the Mania of WrestleMania DVD.
4. The Rock Returns, but Which Side is He On? (07/30/01)
The Rock Returns in 2001
After a storyline of being suspended in 2001 in order to film his movie, The Mummy Returns, The Rock made his return on an episode of Monday Night Raw on July 30.
A lot happened while The Rock was gone, most notably, WCW was now owned by WWE.
Shane McMahon was running things over on the WCW side of things, while Vince stayed true and loyal to the WWF.
On this night, The Rock would let everyone believe he was joining forces with Shane and WCW.
The crowd went silent but erupted as he turned and delivered a Rock Bottom to Shane.
3. The Undisputed People's Champion (07/21/02)
On this night at WWE Vengeance in Detroit in 2002, The Rock became the new WWE undisputed champion by defeating Kurt Angle and The Undertaker.
After Angle delivered his signature Angle Slam to the champion Undertaker, The Rock took advantage and hit the Rock Bottom on Angle, followed by a quick pin before Undertaker could interrupt the count.
This was The Rock's seventh WWE Championship, which broke Hulk Hogan's record of six.
Since then, both John Cena (7) and Triple H (8) have tied or surpassed The Rock in WWE Championship reigns, but on this night in Detroit, The Rock was the man.
This was the last time The Rock won the WWE Championship.
2. The First WWE Championship (11/15/98)
The Rock captured his first of seven WWE Championships on this night in St. Louis at the 1998 Survivor Series.
He defeated Mankind in the WWE Championship tournament final, with some help from Vince and Shane McMahon along the way.
Regardless if the Rock was heel then, he was slowly turning into something great, and you could see it unfolding before your eyes.
Just two years after his debut into the company, at the very same event, The Rock was on top of the world.
In the video above, I found some post-match comments The Rock made about his title victory. To view a clip of his win, click here.
1. The Return Home (02/14/11)
The Rock Returns To The WWE
The No. 1 moment in The Rock's career, in my opinion, is his recent return to the WWE.
It was Valentine's Day, and love was in the air.
Never on this day have I loved being a wrestling fan as much as I did when The Rock's music hit on this episode of Raw from Anaheim, Calif.
After seven long years of being absent from WWE, The Rock made his return to a place he called home.
Inside these four corners is where he became The Rock, and on this night, not only would he call out John Cena and be named WrestleMania 27 host, he would let all of the fans know why he returned.
"It is not because of the money, it is not because of a movie, I am back in the middle of the ring because of you," he said.
"When I left the WWE seven years ago, I dreamed big, and you guys dreamed big with me, and you guys helped me accomplish my goals, accomplish my dreams, because you never left my side.
"I want to take this moment to tell you all here, live here, millions watching around the world, thank you, I love you, and it is because of you that I am back in the ring and it is because of you, and I give you my word, that I am never, ever, going away."