The Rock Relives His 1st Wrestling Match on 25th Anniversary

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2021

FILE - In this July 13, 2019, file photo, Dwayne Johnson attends the premiere of
Richard Shotwell/Associated Press

Legendary WWE Superstar Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson celebrated the 25th anniversary of his first-ever wrestling match Thursday.

On Instagram, The Rock posted a photo of himself giving Brooklyn Brawler a hip toss during a match in Corpus Christi, Texas, on March 11, 1996.

The Rock, who went by his real name of Dwayne Johnson in the untelevised match, noted that it was not only his first match in front of a crowd but also his first match of any kind after following the footsteps of his father, Rocky Johnson, into the wrestling business.

He made his televised debut about eight months later as Rocky Maivia and had his first televised match at the 1996 Survivor Series pay-per-view.

With regard to the match against Brawler, The Rock revealed that he was so broke at the time that he borrowed wrestling tights from his uncle and former WWE Superstar Haku and wrestling boots from his father, who gave him boots worn by his old tag team partner George Wells.

The Rock would go on to become one of the biggest stars in WWE history, and he is currently one of the biggest stars in Hollywood as well.

On the subject of his first match, The Rock wrote: "Man, I look at this picture in complete awe and gratitude for the wild, unpredictable journey and at times—the tough roads this hard-working, fanny pack-wearing kid would go down."

The Rock also noted that Brawler was "gracious" enough to allow him to win his first match, adding: "Which is why it was important to me to [lose] my very last match. May sound strange, but that's how you give back to the wrestling business when you leave it. You lose."

Technically speaking, The Rock's last match was an impromptu bout against Erick Rowan at WrestleMania 32, which The Rock won in seconds. Before that, his last match that was advertised ahead of time was a WWE Championship match against John Cena at WrestleMania 29, which The People's Champion lost.

The Rock's comment could be deciphered as him being done with wrestling for good and counting the loss to Cena as his last match, or it could be a sign that intends to step inside the ring again at some point and do the honors.

A dream match against his cousin, Roman Reigns, has been discussed often in wrestling circles, and both men appear open to it. If it is going to happen, WrestleMania 39 in the Los Angeles area seems like a good target.

If that match happens, it will be yet another reminder of how far The Rock has come from the humble beginnings of his wrestling career in March 1996.

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