On Tuesday, Johnson began a new series on his YouTube channel called The Rock Reacts, and in the debut video, the Furious 7 star goes nearly 20 years back to break down his first-ever WWF match.
Johnson begins by setting the scene as he explains that he had the rare opportunity to make his debut on a huge stage as part of the pay-per-view Survivor Series in Madison Square Garden, where both his father and grandfather had wrestled.
Rocky Maivia, the stage name Johnson went by for his first two years in WWF, wasn’t the smooth man that the world knows today, though. Not only did he have “a f—ing Chia Pet” on his head, Johnson showed off to the wrong camera as he entered the ring, so only his back was seen on TV.
The night didn’t seem to be getting any better for Johnson as the eight-man match came down to him against two villains, Goldust and Crush, but that’s when things changed forever.
“Twenty-two thousand 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,” Johnson recalls fondly. “And that thing that they did was 22,000 people started chanting my name.”
As the crowd began to chant “Rocky” as if he were Sylvester Stallone in Philadelphia, Johnson pinned both veteran wrestlers and won the match. “It was a very, very special night and this night really kicked off my career, it really defined my career,” he shares.
Watch the (NSFW) video above.