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05th Oct 2016

The Rock reflecting on his first ever WWE match is a must-watch

How's that for nostalgia?

Matt Tate

You won’t believe it, but it’s been nearly 20 years since Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made his debut in the WWE.

On November 17, 1996, the young rookie – then wrestling under the name “Rocky Maivia” – stepped foot into the ring for the first time.

The third-generation Superstar’s action-packed bow came at Survivor Series at Madison Square Garden, one of the most iconic live event venues on earth. Not exactly a modest introduction then.

And what better way to revisit that fateful night than listening to The Rock’s very own commentary on exactly what went down.

In a video feature posted to his YouTube channel called “Rock Reacts”, the legendary wrestler reflected on being ‘super, super, SUPER amped’ in the lead-up to the match.

Screen Shot 2016-10-05 at 10.34.51

Baby-faced and rocking – in his own words – ‘a fucking Chia Pet on my head as a haircut’, Maivia’s excitable entrance wasn’t remotely marred by the fact that he accidentally pointed to the wrong camera, as the world got its first look at the man who would on to become the most electrifying man in sports entertainment.

After partner Jake “The Snake” Roberts was eliminated, the young Rock found himself staring down Crush and Goldust – two bad guys against one good – and as he recalls it, that’s the moment his life changed for good.

With suitably dramatic music playing in the background, The Rock said in the video:

“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 my life in one night. And it’s something you can’t write… It’s something in wrestling you can’t write… You can’t script it in Hollywood because you just can’t script how people are going to react to something… And that thing they did, was 22,000 people started chanting my name.”

Watch how the rest of the match unfolded below.

Nowadays The Rock is busy being Hollywood’s highest-paid male actor, but wrestling fans will undoubtedly enjoy seeing the man who would eventually be known as ‘The People’s Champion’ wind the clock back.

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The Rock,WWE