5 up-and-coming WWE Superstars that The Rock put over
In the modern day, WWE is adept at booking monster heels. The formula is simple: take a well-built performer with a reasonable amount of charisma and have them convincingly defeat a number of credible opponents. It's a recipe as old as time itself and one that will remain effective until the coming of the apocalypse.
Creating top babyfaces, however, let alone one such as The Rock who can move the needle at the box office despite putting over a number of up-and-comers, is a far more difficult proposition. This is why the Fast and Furious star's in-ring career is actually underappreciated even though he has legions of fans around the world.
With that being said, here are 5 up-and-coming WWE Superstars that The Rock put over.
#5 Chris Jericho
On August 09, 1999, Chris Jericho made one of the best debuts in WWE history, going toe-to-toe with The Rock, one of professional wrestling's greatest ever promos, on the microphone. However, the months that followed weren't too kind for the former WCW man who found himself in a long-term feud with Chyna for the Intercontinental Championship.
While the Ninth Wonder of the World was a big star at the time, the booking of the program didn't do Jericho any favors, firmly establishing him as a mid-card heel. In fact, Y2J didn't really start to connect with the audience until he and Chris Benoit joined forces to win the World Tag Team Championships from "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Triple H.
After Benoit suffered a neck injury, Jericho emerged as a significant figure in the Invasion storyline, initially siding with Vince McMahon and WWE. However, he slowly began to turn heel and exhibit signs of resentment towards fellow Team WWE member and then-WCW Champion The Rock.
They squared off in a match for the Big Gold Belt at No Mercy 2001 which Jericho won after hitting the former University of Miami Hurricane with a full nelson facebuster on a steel chair. This victory was a huge notch in the Winnipeg native's belt and helped him shed any traces of the "Vanilla Midget" stigma that he may have stayed with him from his WCW days.