Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is arguably the most successful wrestler who ever lived. After his successful stint in pro wrestling, in which he most recently won the WWE Championship in 2013, he shifted into the world of Hollywood where he is now known as one of the most top grossing actors in the entire industry.
The Rock stars in Hercules, which released today. The myth that surrounds the Greek demigod is that he had to overcome 12 labors, which is fitting for our feature on one of WWE's greatest legends.
Wrestling Inc. is proud to give you The Rock's 12 Greatest Moments In WWE History, counting down the top moments of his wrestling career.
Without further ado, here is our third and final installment, where we count down numbers 4 to 1:
4. The Rock Returns To Help Mick Foley vs. La Resistance
What made the Rock n' Sock Connection -- the beloved tag team consisting of The Rock and Mankind -- so great was the fact that Foley idolized "Rocky," while Johnson's character was almost repulsed by his partner. Foley would try to emulate The Rock's catchphrases and moves, while being ridiculed and threated by "The People's Champion."
On an episode of Raw in December 2003, La Resistance had cornered Foley, ready to pounce on him to deliver a beating. Before they could get their hands on the shaggy superstar, The Rock's music hit and the Anaheim crowd went absolutely berserk for the returning legend.
It seems like back then, Johnson's returns were hard to come by, seeing how many times he's come back since his departure for Hollywood. Still, "The Great One" doesn't skip a beat when making his presence felt, and instead, has the hearts of the fandom skip a few beats. This return was special, since his comeback was somewhat unexpected, and the way he mocked both Rene Dupree and Rob Conway was quite unique and patriotic.
3. The Rock Joins Mankind For "This Is Your Life"
When The Rock couldn't handle Mankind any further, the latter decided to host a birthday party for his tag team partner after feeding him "Mr. Socko" the previous evening at Unforgiven 1999. The Rock's birthday was actually in May.
Mankind wanted to prove that he was sorry, and decided to bring back several people of The Rock's past to make it up to him. Little did Mankind know, The Rock was in no mood to make nice with those individuals who had wronged him while he was growing up. The Rock blamed himself for the loss at the pay-per-view, and despite telling his partner he had a title match later that evening, Mankind pulled some tricks out of his bag.
Mrs. Betty Griffith, The Rock's sixth grade home economics teacher, was kicked out of the ring because of her reluctance to allow "Rocky" to make pancakes. Then came Coach Hart, who punished the star for attacking the quarterback, and took him out of the game. After telling Hart to stick the whistle in one of his preferred places, out came Joanne, The Rock's high school sweetheart. "Rocky" gave her the boot, too, for cutting him off on second base. Finally, Mankind summoned Yurple The Clown, after giving his partner a matching jacket and his own personal "Mr. Rocko." That didn't turn out so swell, either.
This segment clocked in at almost 30 minutes, and could be one of the most comical sequences in the promotion's history.
2. The Rock Battles Stone Cold Steve Austin At WrestleMania X-Seven
The second bout of The Rock and Steve Austin's WrestleMania trilogy was one of the most anticipated contests in WWE history. Two incredibly popular wrestlers who had carried the company for so long where going to duke it out in a match too unpredictable to call. The promos for this bout were surreal, and the commercials actually made Limp Bizkit's music sound half decent.
Taking place in Austin's home of Texas, this colossal match up was touted to be the match of the century, and it lived up to expectations, despite the ending leaving a sour taste in many mouths.
For just under a half hour, The Rock, who held the WWE Championship at the time, battled "The Rattlesnake" in a back-and-forth classic, complete with cliffhangers and their respective finishing moves being used by one another.
Their battle was contested in the crowd, outside the squared circle, and saw both men busted open with blood running down their faces. In the end, Austin had turned heel and aligned himself with Vince McMahon, who helped Austin beat The Rock for the belt in violent fashion.
Maybe The Rock didn't win this contest, and it was a sad scenario to have to witness, however, it was one of "Rocky's" best matches in the company, and the main event ranks right up there as one of the better main events in Mania history, if not the best one.
1. The Rock defeats Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X8
A year after losing the title to Austin at WrestleMania X-Seven, "The People's Champion" was feuding with the NWO at the time, and set up a massive bout against "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan. Their match was billed as "Icon vs. Icon," and it couldn't have been described any better than that.
Toronto's SkyDome (now the Rogers Centre) was as loud as ever, as the crowd was about to witness a match for the ages. Hogan had been a popular figure inside and outside the world of professional wrestling, and he was the biggest wrestling superstar of the 1980s and 1990s. The Rock was already a legend by 2002, and this was a dream bout made only in the world of video games.
The winner of this match was going to be declared as the best ever, or perhaps the greatest superstar in wrestling history. As the two came face-to-face for a pre-match staredown, even they were surprised by the atmosphere they generated when looking at the crowd, and almost broke kayfabe in arguably the most spectacular moment in wrestling history.
With the observers having goose bumps from their neck to their ankles, the match wasn't the most technical or greatest encounter ever in a WWE ring, but it took guys like Hogan and The Rock to grab the pulse of the fans and control their emotions like they did.
The crowd was split, and when The Rock delivered a "Rock Bottom" to his foe, the Canadian crowd erupted when Hogan rose to his feet and hulked up before delivering his patented leg drop. In the end, the torch was passed to The Rock, who had won the classic encounter.
The debate between The Rock and Austin will rage on forever when it comes to the greatest star of the 1990s, and who had more of an impact in the Attitude Era. That said, the way Johnson was able to propel to fame by using his enigmatic and explosive personality will never be forgotten, and it's downright impossible for anyone to ever emulate the electricity he brought into the world of pro wrestling.
Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.