I’ve been waiting for you to come back the same way Hip-Hop has been waiting for that new Outkast album or Detox. It’s been about eight years since you were a full-time wrestler and everything I wanted to be in life. You are one of the biggest stars of all time and have the most mainstream success of any wrestler not named Hulk Hogan.
And since you left wrestling, things have not been the same. There hasn’t been a wrestler to recreate what you and Stone Cold Steve Austin did in the late 90’s. While Austin legitimately can’t wrestle due to a banged up neck, you chose to go to Hollywood. More power to you. I understand the pursuit of cheddar without risk of dying at 40 like most of your peers. But good lawd would it hurt to just pop up on Raw or Smackdown! once a year or something?
A couple of days ago, I found myself hoping against hope that you’d return (and that we’d get another Outkast album while we’re at it). As I was wishing for one last Rock match, I saw this preview. And it dawned on me that it’s over.
There is no Santa Claus. Detox is a myth. And The Rock is no more.
To commemorate this loss, here are a list of the Rock’s 5 Greatest Matches of his all too short career:
5. vs. Hulk Hogan At Wrestlemania X-8 — No one can call this an athletic masterpiece as Hulk Hogan was like 83 when this match took place. And there are a few awkward moments in the match. But the sheer star power made this memorable. This was Hulk passing the torch to the next megastar. Unfortunately Rocky’s star power would push him beyond the ring.
4. vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin At Wrestlemania X-9 — The Rock vs. Stone Cold is the greatest story ever told. Okay, maybe it’s second to the Bible. But barely. And this match was the final chapter in their rivalry. After about five years of the most entertaining wrestling/promos wrestling has ever seen, these two locked it up one more time. If you watch closely at the end you’ll see The Rock sharing friendly words with Austin, thanking him for their careers. (Spoiler Alert: Wrestling is fake.)
3. vs. Kurt Angle At No Way Out 2001 — One knock against The Rock from his early years was that he wasn’t that good of a wrestler. But Dwayne slimmed down and really started to focus on his craft. That’s how he was able to put together a classic match with Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle. In another bit of wrestling comedy, though, the ref forgets to count to three at the end. Awwwwkward.
2. vs. Triple H At Judgment Day 2000 — One hour. A full hour of two of the biggest stars in WWE history battling it out. This was pretty freaking epic and little teenage David thought this was the coolest match ever. No matter how fake wrestling is, an hour of tossing people around is a daunting task. And these two made one of the most entertaining matches of all time with their effort.
1. vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin At Wrestlemania X-7 — Like I said, The Rock vs. Austin is almost as legendary as Baby Jesus vs. Mephisto. And this was the pinnacle. The Illmatic of their feud. It’s the greatest Wrestlemania main event ever and one of my top five matches of all time. Watch and think about how far wrestling has fallen since these two left the biz.