#4 The Rock (vs. Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam 2002)
By the time WWE SummerSlam 2002 came around, it was clear as day that WWE was ushering in a new era, and was slowly moving away from the glory days of the Attitude Era. Vince McMahon had dubbed this new era as "The Ruthless Aggression Era". Brock Lesnar was being groomed as the company's future megastar, and his King of the Ring 2002 win was only the beginning of a major push. At SummerSlam 2002, Lesnar defeated The Rock to win his first WWE title, with fans turning on The Great One during the match. In hindsight, one can safely say that this loss did a world of good to The Rock.
The Rock was on his way back to Hollywood following the match, and thus the fans booed him. After the loss, The Rock hinted at a heel turn in a moment that wasn't shown on TV. He returned months later, donning the persona of Hollywood Rock. This new version of The Rock was a cocky, obnoxious character who bragged about his riches and berated the fans at every opportunity he got.
The character didn't last long, but is widely hailed as one of the greatest heels of all time for the incredible work he did in a very short period of time. The two most memorable instances from Hollywood Rock's WWE run were his heel promo against the fans in Toronto, and his surprising loss to The Hurricane, both of which made for must-watch TV. One wonders if we would have ever gotten Hollywood Rock, if it hadn't been for his loss at SummerSlam 2002.Published 28 Aug 2020, 12:19 IST