A title like that shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s The Rock we’re talking about. But the real reason behind that came from his other profession…
The Rock is arguably one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. During his heyday in the Attitude Era, “the People’s Champion” graced our television screens each and every week at the center of attention on, at the time, WWF programming.
The Rock graced my screen around that time as well, but in a completely different capacity. And because of that, I’ve become the passionate wrestling fan I am today.
I was born in 1997, so it makes sense I wasn’t tuning in to the Monday Night Wars when it was going on. Instead, I was probably watching cartoons or sleeping. Typical baby stuff. But in 2001, I was introduced to The Rock. That year, “The Mummy Returns” hit theaters, two years after the franchise’s first film “The Mummy.” I was a fan of the action genre, but there was absolutely no way I should’ve been viewing films such as those. But, I ended up doing so. My parents obtained a VHS version of the film when it was released and allowed me to watch it. The movie isn’t too violent, but there are some scenes that aren’t for young children. I was fine watching it. It didn’t faze me. A few scary parts but hey, I was four or five years old so it was acceptable.
In the movie, The Rock played “Mathayus”, aka “The Scorpion King.” (Rock would star in the same role in a self-titled movie in 2002 set as a prequel) The CGI was interesting to say the least, but for me I thought the character was very cool, and the actor playing him was even cooler.
I saw The Scorpion King the next year, and thought it was just as incredible. This actor, who’s name I thought was legitimately “The Rock,” was a total badass. The all-around action made me very intrigued by him. And he carried that over into “The Rundown” in 2003.
Eventually, I learned of Rock’s other profession through, and I kid you not, the special features page of The Scorpion King. There was a short video that showed some WWE footage, and I was hooked from there. I believe that one of the films (Mummy Returns, Scorpion King) also showed a preview for “Beyond the Mat,” a 1999 documentary that focuses on life outside of the ring.
I’d say 2002 was the year I came to love wrestling. And from that year on I became more and more interested in the product. From buying the video games, to buying the action figures and toy belts, I was a WWE fanatic. And it was all thanks to the Rock, or as I now know him as Dwayne Johnson. I owe a lot to him as I’m not too sure if I would’ve ever become a wrestling fan if I hadn’t discovered him. It’s obviously hard to play the “what if game,” but I’m grateful for the path I went down to have the passion for the industry.
For me, it’s great to see Rock as such a success. Box office star, businessman. You name it. He might even become U.S President one day so who knows.
He will go down as one of my all-time favorite wrestlers. I unfortunately never got to witness him during the late 90’s, but it’s nice to see him every time he comes back, even if it’s just for one night. And now with the WWE Network, I’m able to go back and watch him in his prime.
I’m not passionate about a lot of things. But my passion for wrestling is as real as it gets. And I owe it all to the Great One.
— pwstream (@pwstream) July 27, 2017