The date is November 17, 1996, and 19,000 people in Madison Square Garden are watching Survivor Series while millions of others watch on PPV. During the night, a third-generation Superstar with a weird haircut and some sort of odd islander-type garb comes slapping five and flashing smiles down the aisle. Ok, sure. But he was kinda lame, and no one really liked him. People disliked him so much that they started chanting about how he sucked and they wished death upon him. And then he got hurt. When he returned, he joined the Nation of Domination, and within a few months The Rock was born. He became the de facto leader of the Nation, just before it sort of fell apart, but not before beginning to refer to himself in the third person and asking people about his culinary skills.
That was the beginning of the end, I guess.
For 15+ years, The Rock has “electrified” audiences by deriding his opponents, and other members of the roster because “entertainment,” through homophobic rants, misogynistic diatribes, and ridiculous made-up, meaningless phrases to the delight of crowds and the utter confusion of people like me. Why is this fun? What purpose does this serve in doing business? As a wrestling fan, I don’t want to see anyone wrestle The Rock if he says they’re awful, because I have seen The Rock’s matches. If The Rock is in the ring with anyone who is not amazing, the matches are sloppy or boring or both. Further, what does it accomplish? How does The Rock benefit from pinning a gay woman baby who likes to do unspeakable things with animals, or whatever? My point with this part is that The Rock’s “great promos” were self-serving piles of dog turds that didn’t really do anything except make most people think homophobia is cool and make ME think The Rock is secretly 12 years old. Go find the interview he did at WrestleMania XX, and just watch it. I’ll wait.
How awful was that? And that’s The Rock’s thing. That’s what he does every time he opens his mouth. He vomits nonsense and people lap it up like it’s the greatest thing they’ve ever tasted, and I will never understand. I wrote the other day that I actually shuddered with embarrassment when, at WrestleMania 27, he said, “When The Rock says ‘Yabba!’ you say ‘Dabba!’” and people didn’t say, “No way, idiot, I’m not 6 years old.” They actually did it. For the next year, he did everything BUT tell John Cena, “You’re a homosexual male and you have sexual intercourse with other homosexual males.” And that’s not ok. The things The Rock says are not ok. Considering WWE has spearheaded a big, fat anti-bullying campaign, having The Rock as the poster boy for the organization sends a hell of a lot of mixed messages to children (and adults).
It’s no secret that people with a moral compass have raised eyebrows at the hypocritical messages provided by WWE television in comparison to their anti-bullying stance. And I’m not talking about a bad guy who bullies another Superstar—that hardly happens anymore, because today’s wrestling villains are either “cool” or “the worst,” with none who are good at beating people up. I’m talking about guys like John Cena and Sheamus who are the actual worst and treat people poorly, but they’re cheered and everything is perfect because they’re the “good guys.” Sheamus attacking someone because he lost a match is highly unsportsmanlike, regardless of the circumstances. A “good guy” threatening an authority figure until they get what they want, because Steve Austin did it and it was completely f**king insane, is not ok, and it’s the wrong message to give to the audience. If a bad guy was doing the exact same thing, we’d have a completely different story, because eventually that bad guy is going to get his comeuppance, and he deserves what he gets at that point. Then, HE’S the bully who deserves to be punished, and that’s a lot more ok. The point of this paragraph is just that WWE shouldn’t be able to have their cake and eat it, too. If they’re going to place their company in the figurative hands of people who aren’t stand-up guys, but should be, they can’t expect people to support Be A Star. This is why CM Punk and Paul Heyman are so deplorable—so someone can finally give CM Punk what for, and he will deserve the bajeez out of it. The problem, though, is that person is going to be The Rock.
Here’s the thing. I don’t like The Rock as the performer. I don’t know Dwayne Johnson personally, but he’s probably not a bad guy. The Rock, though, is a douchebag. And I don’t like the thought of douchebag vs. douchebag, when one douchebag is sort of right—and he’s not the douchebag who should be right. My gripe with The Rock has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he’s a part-timer, or whatever. I could really care less. I totally understand that The Rock brings viewers, and he’s good for business, and whatever—but he shouldn’t be. People should hate him for the garbage that he spews. I also get frustrated when people say that The Rock is a great wrestler, because when you watch his matches, he’s kinda not. I was supremely bored during his match with John Cena at WrestleMania, because after five minutes, he was breathing so hard that I could hear him from my seat behind the palm trees. The guy had an entire year to prepare for his match, and he was gassed a quarter of the way through it, forcing John Cena to literally do the heavy lifting. I don’t think a juiced-up Rocky is going to look much better against CM Punk later this month. I think Punk is going to look like a million bucks as a performer, and not in the way that Ric Flair helped make Barry Windham. In a perfect world, CM Punk will swat away Rock’s idiot douchephrases like “CM PUNK STANDS FOR CHOW MEIN PUSSY!” or whatever, and make him look like a tool, but I doubt that will happen. Instead, Punk will wrestle circles around The People’s Champion, and I’ll groan at my TV for a couple months until John Cena is champion again.
I fully expect a lot of people to react negatively to this. And you guys are fully entitled to your opinion. It’s just very likely that I will disagree with most of you. If you like The Rock, that’s great. I don’t really care. I just don’t think you should, because he’s kinda the worst. Maybe this will make you re-think some of the things he says when he calls Punk gay for not drinking or when he talks about his penis WAY too much or his affinity for cunniligus. Who knows? The bottom line, I guess, is that I’m not at all excited for The Rock’s return on Monday. The end.