The Rock still acknowledges WWE’s Attitude Era.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has recently been on a tour to promote his upcoming “Black Adam” movie, which is scheduled to come out on Friday, October 21, 2022, and one of his latest stops was an interview with The New York Times.
During the interview, he was asked by NYT:
“As a heel, did you have to learn to accept that you were there so that the audience could boo you?”
The Rock responded:
“Before I became a great bad guy, I came in as the babyface [the good guy]. I was told, “You can’t smile enough.” Vince McMahon told me that. “You have to go out there and be grateful to be here.” I was booed in every arena across the country. So I did have to withstand that kind of vitriol. By the time I did turn heel, I couldn’t have opened my arms wider to get them boos, to come in and embrace them.”
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was also asked about the WWE‘s Attitude Era:
“You were a heel — a deliberate bad guy — during your time as a professional wrestler, in an era when the league was embracing ruthless men, sexed-up women and obscene language. Did that help at all with your “Black Adam” performance?”
The 10-time champion answered:
“It really did, yeah. Even in the wild, unpredictable world of professional wrestling, there was a great benefit in playing a heel. I became, at that time, the best and greatest heel the company had going. That Attitude Era, I call it a very special time in the world of pro wrestling. The company wasn’t publicly traded, so we flew under the radar. And some of the things — many of the things — that we were able to get away with, we’d be in big trouble these days. But that time as a heel really did teach me that you could do anything — as long as your reason why is relatable.”