Dwayne Johnson is bulking up his Internet persona with a new YouTube series called The Rock Reacts, in which the actor reacts to various things. For the first installment, he chose to provide commentary on his very first appearance in the WWE, a match that took place on November 17, 1996 at Madison Square Garden. This year marks the match’s 20th anniversary.
Back then, he went by Rocky Maivia and wore “a fucking Chia Pet on my head as a haircut,” as he says, but he was “super, super, super amped” to be there. He also didn’t know where the hard cam was, so he mistakenly put on his game face with his pack turned to the cameras. Johnson faced off against Jerry Lawler, Crush, and Goldust until it was down to the latter pair — and it was a moment that changed his life.
The moment Jake “The Snake” Roberts got beat, you felt an immediate shift in the tone of the crowd, 22,000 people in Madison Square Garden. They looked at the two bad guys, they looked at the new rookie, and in that moment, 22,000 people can either go, ‘Shit, he’s gonna get his ass kicked,” or they go, “Shit, he’s gonna get his ass kicked, but you know what? We like that dude, and we want him to kick ass, too.” And 22,000 people did something in this moment that defined my career and literally changed by life.
Watch the video below:
Twenty years later, Johnson is The Rock, who at the height of his movie career and one of the busiest actors in the business. In addition to starring in HBO’s Ballers, he also went from filming the R-ratedreboot to filming to filming , and somewhere in there he squeezed in voice acting for Disney’s . Soon, he’ll also be filming , the video game adaptation, sequels to and Journey, and DC’s