Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Reflects On His WWE Wrestling Debut 20 Years Ago

by : Francesca Donovan on : 05 Oct 2016 17:19

The People’s Champ has just thrown back to his WWE wrestling debut with a self-depreciating sense of humour.


The Rock first stepped into the ring nearly two decades ago, and now I feel old.

On 17 November 17 1996, the young rookie – then wrestling under the name “Rocky Maivia” – appeared in his wresting debut at none other than Madison Square Gardens in New York for the Survivor Series.

Maivia may have failed to point at the correct camera during his entrance, but he went onto defeat two WWE bad guys, Crush and Goldust.


The third-generation wrestler reflected back on the momentous occasion in a #RockReflects YouTube video.

He said:

22,000 people did something in this moment that defined my career and literally changed my life in one night. And it’s something you can’t write… It’s something in wrestling you can’t write… You can’t script it in Hollywood because you just can’t script how people are going to react to something… And that thing they did, was 22,000 people started chanting my name.

Johnson added, ‘I have nothing but gratitude for New York City and the WWE.’ It’s a feeling that is totally mutual towards one of the greatest entertainers of all time.


On a lighter note, Johnson passed comment on his young self’s appearance, rocking ‘a fucking Chia Pet on my head as a haircut’.

This isn’t the first time The Rock has made himself the butt of his own jokes.

He famously dressed up as his younger self donning a fanny pack and some questionable attire, and proceeded to share the joke with the world on his Instagram account.


But then again, I guess it’s hard to take life too seriously when you’re the highest paid actor in Hollywood.

Considering the outrage people have felt towards the Jumanji remake, which Johnson is currently filming with Jack Black and sidekick, Kevin Hart, maybe he should’ve stuck to wrestling.

The People know we can’t have our champ back, but it’s nice to share the nostalgia all the same. Just bring it.

Francesca Donovan

A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you've never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.

Topics: News


  1. Joe

    The Rock reflecting on his first ever WWE match is a must-watch