Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the highest-paid actor in Hollywood and one of the true icons of professional wrestling. He took to Instagram this week to remember his match with another icon, Hulk Hogan.
The 18th anniversary of the “Icon vs. Icon” match from Wrestlemania X8 was this past Tuesday, prompting The Rock to answer a fan’s question regarding his thoughts on the match. He said he was on board with Hogan returning to WWE when Vince McMahon asked him, mentioning locker room leaders at the time were mixed on the idea. He added he “very selfishly” asked to wrestler Hogan.
“I loved it. Immediately I saw the marque, I saw the build up, I saw the promotion and I just saw the intrigue from the fans because this is a match you never thought you would see,” The Rock said. “It’s like Tyson versus Ali, you never thought you would see that.”
The Rock said he was excited about the return of the NWO, and appreciated Scott Hall’s style of working in particular. He called the build for the match “incredible” and said he brought the idea of promoting the match as “Icon vs. Icon” to McMahon during the build.
The Rock said everyone in the back could feel the crowd wanting to cheer for Hogan during the build.
“We were all collectively, including Hogan, just felt like ‘Well, let’s just feel it out there and see where the crowd goes, then we’ll adjust.’ and I was like great,” The Rock said.
The Rock mentioned, going into the match, it was agreed that he would beat Hogan in a passing of the torch scenario but how he was “waiting for the green light” from Hogan. He said his decision to act like a heel helped define the match dynamics for fans and praised Hogan for being able to transition playing the face easily.
The Rock said the match taught him the value of listening to his gut.
“In that moment I had to listen to my gut,” The Rock said, “and I thought ‘I’m going to work as a heel now and give the people, 68,000 people, give them the opportunity to not be conflicted. Cheer him, you can boo me, because the only thing that matters is we have a great match.”
You can check out the Instagram post below. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Wrestling Inc.
View this post on Instagram
Yesterday was the 18th anniversary of the history making ICON vs ICON WrestleMania match between myself and the Immortal @HulkHogan. Here’s my answer to your questions about how I felt about our iconic match and some unique backstory to our build up and the importance of doing something that’s served me my whole life – always listen to my gut. Thanks for all your great questions and thank you, Terry for passing the torch. Truly, my honor. Stay health everyone and take care of one another ? we will get thru this. #iconvsicon #goat #listentoyourgut
Woo Nation contributed to this article.
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