The Rock Hated His Name; Cody Praises Bray Wyatt; Angle Would Wrestle Omega for $10M

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 4, 2021

Dwayne Johnson, a cast member in "Jungle Cruise," poses at the world premiere of the film, Saturday, July 24, 2021, at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.

The Rock Says He Hated Rocky Maivia Name

The fans weren't the only ones who disliked the Rocky Maivia name and character in 1996, as it turns out the man behind them wasn't too keen either.

Answering a fan question for Wired (h/t H Jenkins of Ringside News), Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson divulged that he wasn't pleased with being called Rocky Maivia upon debuting in WWE:

"When it was first pitched to me from Vince McMahon, he says, 'I've got your name and I want it to be Rocky Maivia, what do you think?' He knows me now, and this is how I speak, I go, 'I hate it, I hate it,' because I hated the name. I hated it.
"The lineage I had allowed me to knock on the door, but I wanted my own space. While I was very proud to come from who I came from with my dad and my grandfather, and my whole family is in wrestling, I said, 'I still wanted my own space.' I said, 'I hate it,' and he said, 'Oh well, that's your name.'"

The name was a mashup of two wrestling legends who paved the way for The Rock: his father Rocky Johnson and his grandfather Peter Maivia.

Johnson received an instant push under the Rocky Maivia name and quickly became Intercontinental champion. Despite his roots and the fact that he was a babyface, the fans never embraced him in that role.

He garnered so much heat that WWE decided to turn him heel and align him with the Nation of Domination, which was a move that sent his career on a sharp upward trajectory.

As The Rock, Johnson became one of the biggest stars in the history of wrestling, and he parlayed that success into a massive acting career in Hollywood.

The Rock is now one of the most recognizable people in entertainment, and he overcame a rough start in WWE in order to reach those heights.

Cody Praises Wyatt's Creativity

Following Bray Wyatt's shocking release from WWE last week, AEW star and executive vice president Cody Rhodes had some kind words for the former WWE and Universal champion.

During a media call for AEW Dynamite: Homecoming, Rhodes was asked for his thoughts on Wyatt's WWE departure and whether he could be a fit in AEW.

Rhodes declined to comment on AEW's potential interest in signing Wyatt, but said:

"Bray Wyatt was my rookie in the second season they did of NXT. The Rotunda family and the Rhodes family, they certainly go way, way back. I can't comment on if I see a spot for him, when it comes to us, but I can tell you, he's an incredibly creative individual, an incredibly creative man."

Cody also drew from his own experience and suggested Wyatt should have no problem finding success in wrestling outside of WWE if he intends to take that route:

"And whenever I see someone like that lose their job or move into the next phase in their career, as someone who left WWE on my own, at the time, that was super unheard of to leave. I can't be everyone's sounding board, but I really want to be. I'll give you an example. I'll pivot away.
"I would have never thought that Matt Cardona was going to end up being GCW champion and getting pelted with trash, but I should have thought he would be doing something, and to circle back to Bray, I can't comment on if he fits in with us, but I can say, if he has an ounce of passion for this, that guy can fit in anywhere because he's a very special, special talent. That's really all I could say there."

While Cody couldn't talk about Wyatt possibly coming to AEW, presumably since Wyatt is under a 90-day non-compete clause and tampering could come into play, one can only assume AEW will be interested when he becomes available.

Lately, AEW has brought in several former WWE stars, including Malakai Black and Andrade El Idolo. Rumors are also running rampant that CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are set to sign with AEW.

As a three-time world champion in WWE and a top guy for much of his 12-year run with the company, Wyatt would move the needle for any wrestling promotion.

Wyatt is among the most creative minds in the business, as evidenced by his dueling Firefly Funhouse and Fiend personas, and the sky may be the limit for what he can accomplish if given the creative freedom to call his own shots.

Angle Talks What It Would Take to Have One More Match

Kurt Angle wrestled his final match over two years ago at WrestleMania 35, but he isn't completely ruling out an in-ring return.

On his Kurt Angle Show podcast (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Marco Rovere), Angle discussed what it would take to get him back in the ring:

"If they paid me $10 million, I would do one more match. I'll wrestle Kenny [Omega] for $10 million. I'll get my ass kicked.

"Mrs. Angle [would kick my ass], I'm more scared of her than anybody else. I wouldn't be able to tell her, there's no way she would let me do it. She would lock all the doors from the outside."

Although he is widely regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, Angle may be best off staying retired given his age (52) and the fact that he dealt with so many injuries throughout his career.

WWE gave Angle a nice farewell tour, although may fans were left dissatisfied with him losing to Baron Corbin at WrestleMania in his final match rather than facing a higher-profile opponent.

Given that he is the AEW World champion, Omega would qualify, although it likely would no longer be the dream match it would have been in previous years.

Many consider Omega to be the best in-ring worker in the world, and while that distinction once belonged to Angle, the Olympic gold medalist is nowhere near that conversation now.

A one-time return in AEW, WWE or elsewhere at some point could be a great way for Angle to cap his Hall of Fame career, but his days of having lengthy, complex matches are likely over.

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