WWE Survivor Series 2011: A Look at The Rock's WWE Debut 15 Years Later

Kevin BergeFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2011

It was 1996.

The 18,647 people in the crowd at Madison Square Garden were loud and wild.

Rocky Maivia, the newest WWE superstar, enters the arena with a smile on his face, high-fiving the crowd members as he enters.

He looks confident and almost immediately gets the approval of JR who announces: "Now there's gonna be the man, right there. 'That Blue Chipper,' right there."

If you weren't convinced by him, Sunny even agrees on commentary with the simple: "Rocky Maivia is looking good."

You know right away, this guy is important, with Vince McMahon dubbing him the "first third-generation star ever".

After his entrance, most of the focus becomes on the veterans as they each eliminate one another until it is down to three men.

Rocky Maivia stands alone on one side of the ring while two veterans in Crush and Goldust look to beat down on the new rookie.

Suddenly, the crowd goes wild for the young rookie as we hear a resounding "Rocky" chant shake the entire crowd.

Sunny can't believe the ovation while JR confidently declares: "And it won't be the last time."

The crowd goes wild as Rocky fights both men on his own. It is obvious that Rocky is green in the ring, but his heart and excitement shine through with the crowd behind him.

Suddenly, after the miscommunication from the two remaining partners, Goldust goes down, and The Rock gets a huge pinfall on Crush with a flying crossbody.

Then, after just 30 more seconds, Rocky shocks the announcers and pleases the electric crowd when he hits a running shoulder breaker for the three count.

It was obvious from that point on that Rocky was destined for big things, but no one could have known just how big.

Since that day, Rocky Maivia would become The Rock and capture nine World Championships alongside a Royal Rumble win and becoming a Triple Crown star.

The Rock would become one of the biggest stars of the most important WWE era, the Attitude Era.

He would branch out to Hollywood and become a fairly successful box-office draw.

This Sunday, The Rock returns to that same arena to another loud and excited crowd.

Again, there will be "Rocky" chants. Again, the crowd will be behind him no matter how great he is in the ring.

However, this time, he arrives as the most electrifying man in professional wrestling, The Rock.

This time, he doesn't look green. He looks like a professional.

This time, it won't just be a moment for The Rock. He will be the main event.

Are you ready for The Rock to wrestle at Survivor Series one more time?

I know I am!

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