When most of the general public remembers The Rock as the most electrifying man in sports Entertainment, they think of The Rock from around 1998-2000; the silk shirt-wearing Rock & Sock Connection, “Roody Poo Candy Ass” and all that. But Dwayne Johnson didn’t reach his prime until later, towards the end of the wrestling boom after most of the casual fans tuned out of the WWE.
By 2003, Rock’s act of pandering to fans, leaving to shoot a movie and coming back to do the same old thing was getting old. So when fans started turning on Rocky, he came back in 2003 to put together the single best heel run in the history of wrestling. Yeah, I said it.
Rock donned his black leather suit and was at his absolute most entertaining. He was able to grab the mic and cut promos for 20-30 minutes straight, pissing off fans to no end. He was also putting on entertaining matches that allowed him to have fun matches without risking injury to his now-lucrative Hollywood body.
His last match during that run was against Goldberg on April 27, 2003, just over 10 years ago today. And really, that was the last time we saw the great Rock on a consistent basis in the WWE. Ten years later, that runs holds up. So take a look at some of the greatest moments from Rock’s overlooked masterpiece.
The Canada Promo – This is the holy grail. This is just a perfect heel promo. Rock comes out to a rabid Canadian crown and talks them down for booing him a year earlier. The man stood in the ring and killed for 15 straight minutes. There are just too many quotables to name. Just watch and watch again.
The Rock Concert – So if you’ve watched wrestling over the last couple of years, you’ve seen The Rock concerts where he does live karaoke and calls Vickie Guerrero all sorts of b*tches and whatnot. Well, those originated in 2003 and these were actually entertaining. Here, Rock sings with Willy Nelson’s guitar and damn near had Sacramento ready to riot. They should have just left well enough alone.
The Hurricane Minifeud – Here’s what made 2003 Rock great. He didn’t just show up to have the big feud and leave like he does now. He actually gave up-and-comers the rub. His series of vignettes was the best thing The Hurricane ever did and Rock even lost to him on RAW. Man, everything he touched turned to gold in 2003.
Bonus: This video was released last year on a Stone Cold documentary and it featured the two best rivals just riffing after RAW went off the air one week. Why hasn’t there been an Austin/Rock documentary yet? These two almost never had a single bad moment together in the ring.