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Marking the the 25th anniversary of The Rock's debut in WWE

The Rock made his debut at Survivor Series 25 years ago today as Rocky Maivia
The Rock made his debut at Survivor Series 25 years ago today as Rocky Maivia

On November 17th, 1996, a fresh-faced rookie named Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson debuted in the World Wrestling Federation under the ring name Rocky Maivia.

At Survivor Series, he would team with Marc Mero, Jake Roberts and The Stalker (Barry Windham) in a four-on-four elimination match to defeat Crush, Jerry Lawler, Goldust and Hunter Hearst Helmsley.

Not only did he have flashy wardrobe and a million dollar smile, he also had something else very important: the combination of his father's first name and his grandfather's last name.

A blue chip athlete, he would score the victory and be the sole survivor in his very first match. It was clear that the then-WWF had huge plans for him.

25 years ago today The Rock debuted at Survivor Series. It wasn't perfect but by God,The Rock became the greatest. https://t.co/SP6GH8pJIK

As he stood tall in the ring that night, the fans loved the moment. And they showered this seemingly new star with love.

He was pushed to the moon right away, eventually capturing the Intercontinental title. It appeared he would be the promotion's next great superhero and fan favorite. However, that didn't last for too long.

Over the course of the next several weeks, the crowd would turn on Maivia in a very brutal way. Very soon, the audience began taunting him with chants of "die, Rocky, die" and "Rocky sucks". So just as quickly as he blew up, his balloon was deflated.

He would go disappear for a while after suffering a legitimate knee injury.


The return of The Rock

Wouldn't it be nice if @TheRock came back to #FridayNightSmackDown in classic-Rock attire? Pricey silk shirt, gold-framed shades etc. and cut a vicious promo on some Jabroni? Like 1999-Rock got in a time machine and came to the present?Would pop the universe 🀨 #TheGreatOne https://t.co/woRz6InCrG

He would, of course, return and eventually re-brand himself as The Rock, a cocky, smart mouthed heel. The rest, as they say, is history.

It's almost funny to look back at this day 25 years ago and now see the man who eventually became the most 'electrifying man in sports and entertainment'. The biggest movie star in the world as well.

It's hard to speculate what would have happened to The Rock if he had remained under the 'Rocky Maivia' moniker for the remainder of his career. He certainly wouldn't have achieved the heights of greatness he has today, nor the fame and fortune.

But it all started on this day in 1996, then fate just took over from there. We're all much luckier for it.


What did you think when you saw The Rock's debut? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Edited by Arjun
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