Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one of the most electrifying performers to ever step in between the ropes of a WWE ring, and on Wednesday he reflected on the 25-year anniversary of his debut.
Before Johnson was “The Rock,” he had been billed as Rocky Maivia. He wrestled his first match at Madison Square Garden at Survivor Series in 1996.
Dwayne Johnson at the “Jumanji: Next Level” Press Conference at the Montage Los Cabos on Nov. 23, 2019, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. (Vera Anderson/WireImage)
He teamed up in the Survivor Series-style match with Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Marc Mero and The Stalker, and the team defeated Crush, Goldust, Hunter Hearst Helmsley (later known as Triple H) and Jerry “The King” Lawler.
The Rock wouldn’t become “The Rock” until 1998.
On Twitter, he recalled his Madison Square Garden debut.
Dwayne ”The Rock” Johnson and John Cena in action during WrestleMania XXVIII at Sun Life Stadium on April 1, 2012, in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
“Wow 25yrs ago I wrestled my first match in @wwe in Madison Square Garden. Shaking my head right now. What a wild, unpredictable road I’ve been on. So many people to thank along the way. Especially the fans. Love U guys. Humbled by this journey. Wtf’s up with my awful haircut,” he wrote.
The Rock would go on to become an eight-time WWE champion and later one of the top action stars in Hollywood, from being featured in the “The Fast and the Furious” saga to starring on his own show “Ballers.”
Dwayne ”The Rock” Johnson looks on during his match against John Cena during WrestleMania XXVIII at Sun Life Stadium on April 1, 2012, in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
Since stepping away from being in the ring full time, The Rock has made sporadic appearances. He appeared last on the SmackDown 20th anniversary show in October 2019.