Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Black History Month: The Rock

My attempt at doing the People's Eyebrow
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

The Rock has a lot of proud in his Samoan heritage.  It's now tattooed all over his upper body.  But as many of you know, the Rock is the son of the legendary Rocky Johnson, who I also recently featured as a part of the Black History Month series.

I think few could argue that the Rock is one of the all time greats of the ring.  He's on my personal Top 5 of favorites.  And I believe he's one of the few wrestlers who have SUCCESSFULLY transitioned from the ring to the big screen.  In fact, I think the Rock is "that guy" when it comes to gauging success beyond the squared circle.  In terms of box office appeal, he's surpassed Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, and even Jesse Ventura.  If you ask non wrestling fans to name a wrestler, more often than not these days I hear "the Rock" as the first response.

Now the Rock is back in the WWE, at least temporarily.  And I'm glad to see him involved in wrestling again, I really am.  But I don't think he should go over John Cena at Wrestlemania.  As the event gets closer I'm sure Chad and I will spell out the reasons why we believe that.  For now, I want to focus on the Rock's successes in the ring.

Rocky Maivia (WWE)
He evolved from Rocky Maivia into the Rock over a short period of time.  The fans first cheered the bright eyed, energetic third generation star who was proud of his family ties to wrestling.  But soon he became the egotistical, power hungry up and comer in the Nation of Domination before embracing the fans again and then turning into a corporate suck up in Mr. McMahon's corporation.  Finally, the fans again welcomed the Rock with open arms, and they haven't been able to get enough of him since.

I enjoyed the Rock after he dropped the Rocky gimmick.  He's one of those guys I've liked either as a heel or a face.  He's entertaining on the mic and he's never been afraid to put someone over.  Remember when he jobbed to the Hurricane?  What about the Big Bossman?  He even helped to propel the career of Brock Lesnar and put Goldberg over when he came to the WWE.

The Rock at Survivor Series 2011 (WWE)
The Rock is one of those guys who the fans will always hold a special place in their hearts.  Heck, I still make "The Rock's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies" and "Rock Bottom Pancakes" out of the Can You Take the Heat cookbook from 2000.  I would imagine after April 1, we'll see even less of the Rock than we have over the last 12 months.  But I'll be the first to admit, it's nice having him around.  Next stop: Hall of Fame???

1 comment:

  1. Bob Fester, AAPW Ring AnnouncerFebruary 16, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    The Rock has been the ultimate sports entertainer. His chain wrestling would not have impressed Lou Thesz or Verne Gagne but anytime the Rock appeared the show was on! Rock on!