Dwayne Johnson, who celebrates his birthday today (May 2), headed into 2017 as the highest paid actor in Hollywood earning a whopping $64.5 million in 2016. But let’s face it, regardless of the millions…and millions that he earns from his acting career, to many, he will always be The Rock.
Of course, he didn’t start off as The Rock.
In the video below, Johnson looks back on his WWE debut that took place at Madison Square Garden on the pay-per-view event Survivor Series on November 17, 1996. Then billed as Rocky Maivia, he was a long way from becoming “The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment,” but even The Rock had to start somewhere.
Seriously, that hair alone was ridiculous (which he acknowledges), nevermind his gear.
Eventually, crowds everywhere would soon sour on the squeaky clean Maivia. As if almost by fate, a knee injury put Johnson on the shelf for four months, and when he returned in August 1997, The Rock was born.
The rest is history.
Approaching the 20th Anniversary of his first WWE wrestling match, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is reflecting on the day his life changed forever: November 17, 1996. He made his debut at Madison Square Garden as "Rocky Maivia" at WWE's Survivor Series in a matchup against Crush and Goldust.
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock reporter. The first man she ever loved was Jack Daniel. (True story.)