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WWE History: Rare photo shows The Rock in his WWE tryout match

The Rock in 2013
The Rock in 2013
Modified 22 Jun 2019

The backstory

In the mid-90s, Rockey Maivia signed a contract with the then WWF, carrying the legacy of High Chief Peter Maivia, and Rocky Johnson. Initially a babyface, Maivia failed to impress the rabid WWE fans, who quickly got tired of his overly joyous mannerisms. This resulted in the rookie getting chants of "Die Rocky, die".

Soon after, he was given a character makeover, which turned him into a dastardly heel who was sick and tired of the fans not appreciating him. Thus, The Rock was born. Around two decades later, The Rock is widely regarded as being one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time.

The tryout match

Before he became possibly the greatest sports entertainer in WWE history, The Rock was a clueless rookie, who had just come out of a not-so-stellar Football career. WWE veteran Pat Patterson helped The Rock get several tryout matches with WWE in 1996.

One of these matches featured Rockey Maivia taking on The Brooklyn Brawler at a house show. An image has recently surfaced online, and shows The Rock in a completely different look, in action against The Brooklyn Brawler inside the squared circle.

Rocky Maivia vs The Brooklyn Brawler in a house show match in 1996
Rocky Maivia vs The Brooklyn Brawler in a house show match in 1996

Maivia was soon signed to a contract, following which he received additional training from Mark Henry.

Also read: When Brock Lesnar thanked the fans after Raw went off the air

The aftermath

The Rock went on to become multiple-time WWE Champion, had a legendary WrestleMania rivalry with Stone Cold Steve Austin, that consisted of three matches that took place over the course of 5 years. Today, The Rock is one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood and will soon be appearing alongside his cousin, Roman Reigns, in the movie "Hobbs & Shaw".

Published 22 Jun 2019, 10:42 IST
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