On the latest edition of Something to Wrestle, Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson discussed Vince McMahon's early view of The Rock. Prichard also reflected on the debut of The Rock, and more. Check out the highlights.
On Vince McMahon's first impressions of The Rock:
“It’s funny. Vince will sometimes view a second-generation wrestler as always being compared to the first generation and to their father. Nine times out of 10, you can’t live up to that. No one can a lot of times because people remember their family fondly. So, he was a little hesitant. Third-generation is a little different. Rock was the first and Rock was unique. Everybody called him Dewey, short for Dwayne. I know when I was first introduced to him by Pat Patterson, it was Dewey, and Rock hated that. Didn’t want to be called Dewey. I think it was Cornette that finally came up with, ‘Can we take the combination of both names?’ Rocky Johnson and Peter Maivia, and came up with Rocky Maivia. I think that Cornette that came up with that name.”
On the WWE debut of Rocky Maivia:
“Obviously, we were looking for big things from The Rock. I think from day one, from the very first time we saw him, we looked at him and said ‘that’s a future WWE Champion.’ That’s someone. He had the size, the look, the charisma – everything about him was A-plus. But man, that Garden audience could be fickle. They did come with the Rocky chants, but man, he had to fight for them. He came out and it was kind of like, ‘Yeah, okay. We’ve seen this before. You’ve got to impress me. You haven’t done shit yet.’ He came out like he was already over, and rightfully so. But it just takes time sometimes, and again, you’ve got to start somewhere. You’ve got to start with moments like this so you can look back and go, ‘Boy, I remember the first match, and it was not the greatest in the world.'”