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Nick Khan Reveals Who Requested The Rock’s 1997 Heel Turn

The Rock Dwayne Johnson Article Pic 8 WrestleFeed App

During a recent appearance on the Bill Simmons podcast, WWE President Nick Khan revealed who originally requested Dwayne Johnson’s 1997 heel turn, that transitioned him from Rocky Maivia into The Rock, and eventually helped him in becoming one of the greatest of all time, in both pro wrestling and later on in Hollywood as well.

Here’s what Nick Khan had to say about The Great One:

“When The Rock came in as Rocky Maivia, third-generation wrestler, smiling with the tassels from his arms. Boos throughout. Even worse than boos, no response. The worst.

And then all of a sudden, and I’ve heard this story from both individuals involved, the story separately, from Vince and from Dwayne Johnson. Dwayne and Vince had a conversation at Madison Square Garden. Again, Rock was a face. And Rock said, ‘Let me go out, let me do my thing, let me sort of talk like I talk.’

And Vince said something to the effect of, ‘Do it. Go, get ’em.’ And it was that night, the ‘Rocky sucks’ chants had already started, and all that stuff, where he sort of lit it up, and The Rock took fire.”

In 1997, Rocky Maivia underwent a dramatic transformation in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).

Frustrated by the fans’ rejection of his wholesome babyface persona, he made a shocking heel turn. Shedding his ring name, he rebranded himself as ‘The Rock’.

This persona shift marked the beginning of an iconic career, as The Rock evolved into one of the most charismatic and beloved villains in wrestling history, setting the stage for his legendary rise to superstardom in the WWF/WWE.

Also Read: The Rock Reveals Why He Hasn’t Wrestled A Proper Match Since WrestleMania 29

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