20 Years Ago, The Rock Made His WWE Debut

The Rock Made His WWE Debut

The Rock was named People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” recently, but 20 years ago this week, the actor made his debut in the WWE.

At the time, he wasn’t The Rock character we know today. Instead, he was introduced as “Rocky Maivia”, a baby-faced good guy who created the name as a tribute to his father and grandfather, both of whom were also professional wrestlers.

Rocky officially stepped into the ring on Nov. 17, 1996, when WWE’s Survivor Series PPV took placeat Madison Square Garden in New York City. He participated in a four-on-four Survivor Series elimination match, up against a team featuring Jerry “The King” Lawler, Hunter Hearst Helmsley (aka one of his biggest rivals, Triple H), and Goldust.

Over a year later, Rocky Maivia turned into a bad guy for the first time, joining The Nation of Domination and adopting his “The Rock” persona. During this time, he began to refer to himself in the third person as “The Rock”.

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