The Rock is up next in the Building Towards WrestleMania series.
Now, The Rock has not appeared at a WrestleMania since the 20th edition so his return this year (even if it is only as a host) is seven years in the making. Since The Rock is the first-ever host of the big event, it's still not too clear what exactly the great one will do in Atlanta.
As it is with most other matches or events on this year's card, we'll have to take a wait-and-see approach. In the meanwhile, let's look back to The Rock's eight WrestleMania matches, and attempt to rank them.
The Rock was destroyed by Ken Shamrock at the 14th WrestleMania. Shamrock forced Rocky to tap out to his ankle lock and would not let go of the hold. For some reason, this made The Rock bleed from his mouth. The Rock was named the winner of the match and retained his title because Shamrock would not let go of the hold. However, looking at The Rock as he was handed the gold, he didn't look like much of a winner.
This was The Rock's WrestleMania debut. At the time he was still using the name Rocky Maivia, honoring both his grandfather and father.
His match with The Sultan (the man who would soon be known as Rikishi) was nothing special, but it did give the Rock a successful title defense. It also gave the future Rock his first WrestleMania moment, as he was joined by his father Rocky Johnson. The father and son combination took down The Sultan and his manager, The Iron Sheik.
The Rock eliminated the Big Show and Triple H eliminated Mick Foley in this Fatal-Four Way match that main-evented the 16th WrestleMania. The Rock and Triple H went at it for a while and it was only after The Rock was betrayed by the boss that he fell to Triple H and failed to capture the championship.
This was the first time The Rock main-evented WrestleMania and he was the WWF Champ at the time. Rock had won the title the previous November and then swapped the title with Mick Foley a couple times. The match went a long way to cementing The Rock's position in the company and it was the first of three straight WWF Championship match losses at the event.
The Rock returned to aid his buddy Mick Foley and take on the Evolution team of Randy Orton, Batista and Ric Flair. The numbers game proved to be too much in the end as Orton took the win over Foley with the RKO.
The match, however, proved to have several classic moments such as The Rock and Flair imitating each other's signature moves. This was also the last time The Rock would wrestle at WrestleMania.
There was nothing at stake in this match except for pride. This would be The Rock's last singles match at WrestleMania (and Stone Cold's last match ever). The Rock claimed to be angry at the fans for the way they cheered for Hogan over him at the previous WrestleMania so he was in full a**hole mode, even going as far as putting on Austin's vest.
The men borrowed each other's finishers and in the end, The Rock put away Austin with three Rock Bottoms. The match also contains one of the greatest moments ever as The Rock leaned over a prone Austin after the match, and thanked him for everything.
It was billed as the past vs. the future. However, we all know now that The Rock would only stick around for only two more years. It was a battle of the icons and remains one of the best WrestleMania encounters of all-time.
The crowd did turn on The Rock as they rooted for their childhood hero. The only thing The Rock could do was play along with the crowd. The Rock was amped as he kipped up after delivering a second rock bottom to Hogan then followed with the People's Elbow and put an end to the match. The torch was seemingly passed again as the two men embraced afterwards.
The men were at their peak, both in terms of success and popularity. The night marked the end of many things as it was also the peak of the company. This marked The Rock's third straight loss at WrestleMania, with all three matches taking place in the main-event for the WWF Title. It was also the second loss to the rattlesnake at the event.
The boss once again cost The Rock the WWF Championship as he once again delivered multiple chair shots to the great one. As the match and night came to an end, The Rock was off to Hollywood. It truly was the end of an era.