The Rock's 5 Greatest Matches
Hot off the heels of The Rock's birthday and already in the long buildup towards the main event of WrestleMania 28, let us take a look back on our favorite jabroni-beating, pie-eating, trailblazing, eyebrow-raising superstar with a countdown of his five greatest matches.
Hit the slideshow for a quick nostalgia trip through matches ranging from entertaining to simply amazing.
No. 5: The Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan (WrestleMania X8)
The staredown between The Rock and Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X8 is one of the most iconic images in wrestling history. By having the audience in the palms of their hands by simply locking eyes, it was amazing to imagine what a showdown between the two would bring.
While the match was no technical masterpiece, I will still maintain that it was very well done in the fact that it suspended your disbelief in ways that no other match could.
This was the match that turned grown men into children as they watched superheroes come to life and face each other in the squared circle.
No. 4: The Rock vs. Triple H (Judgement Day 2000)
Take note future wrestlers: THAT is how you do an Iron Man Match.
This bout between two legendary superstars in their prime, in my opinion, outdid the Iron Man Match between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart at WrestleMania XII.
With some extremely solid wrestling, tons of pinfalls (including simultaneous ones) and fast-paced action throughout, this match stands the test of time and is widely considered to be the very best match between The Rock and Triple H.
No. 3: The Rock vs. Kurt Angle vs the Undertaker (Vengeance 2002)
Vengeance 2002 was one of the crowning moments in The Rock's career, with the Brahma Bull taking home the undisputed championship following an amazing match.
This standoff between three iconic superstars had everything right with wrestling: fast-paced, unpredictable and entertaining action.
Having the wrestlers constantly do each others specials was one of the reasons that this match was one of my favorites when I was new to wrestling. A quick rewatch showed me that nostalgia did not cloud my judgment and this bout was indeed awesome, albeit for reasons that I might not have noticed while watching as a kid.
No. 2: The Rock vs. Mankind (Royal Rumble 1999)
"How does it feel, Rock, to be in a match that you can't win and I can't lose?"
The "I Quit" match between the corporate champion and the hardcore legend featured that quote as the centerpiece of its buildup.
The Royal Rumble bout between The Rock and Mankind was in one word: brutal.
With unprotected chair shots to the head of a handcuffed Foley as well as other spots that were innovative at the time (falling into stage equipment), this match illuminated just how far The Rock would go to win the title and just how far Mankind would go to hold on to it.
This match, which, above all else, told a magnificent story topped off by one of the most brilliant endings I've ever seen, can be appreciated even more once you see just how much of a toll it took on Foley's body as well as the emotional impact on his family (the effects of which were chronicled in "Beyond the Mat" as well as Foley's second autobiography).
No. 1: The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (Wrestlemania X7)
You all expected it to be No. 1, but that just shows how classic this match truly was.
This match had everything. It had the amazing buildup, the intensity and the same iconic feeling as The Rock vs. Hogan.
The Rock and Stone Cold left everything in the ring in a fast-paced, back-and-forth battle that never let up. With tons of false counts as well as an ingenious buildup to an Austin heel turn, the shocking conclusion to the this legendary battle only cemented it in my heart as The Rock's greatest match...and how fitting for it to be in the main event of WrestleMania.
Thanks for checking out the list. Let's hope that The Rock's next showing against John Cena is just as entertaining as some of the matches listed.
Feel free to comment if you agree or disagree...or love French fries.