Ex-WWE Star Had To Convince The Rock To Win First-Ever Match

The Rock on WWE SmackDown

One of wrestling’s unsung heroes has recalled working with The Rock.

After a football career that didn’t quite pan out, The Rock decided to try his hand at the family business and began training to be a wrestler. After all, he’s the son of Rocky Johnson and a proud member of the AnoaŹ»i family wrestling dynasty.

In his first-ever match, the would-be megastar defeated the Brooklyn Brawler on a WWF Superstars taping at the Memorial Coliseum in Corpus Christi, on March 10th, 1996.

Just seven months later — now named Rocky Maivia, the star made his WWF debut proper at Survivor Series, and the rest, as they say, is history.

In a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet, Steve Lombardi, better known as the Brooklyn Brawler, looked back at his first interaction with the young star.

“I’m The Rock’s first match ever in front of 15,000 people and when I talk to Rock he says, ‘Well, you had my dad’s first match in WWF too,'” he recalled. “I said, ‘Rock, how many matches did you have?’ He goes, ‘Steve this is my first match.’ I said, ‘Your first match at WWF?’ Because it was F at the time and he says, ‘No, my first match ever in my life in front of an audience…’

He goes, ‘How’s the Brooklyn Brawler going to beat me?’ and I said, I turned to him and I says, ‘Vince did not bring you all the way here to lose, you are going over.’ And then Rock says, ‘Going over? That is unheard of for a person’s first match.'”

The Rock’s New Project Branded A “Hatchet Job”

From having to be convinced to win his first match, The Rock has gone on to become one of the biggest movie stars in the world, with his own production company. Seven Bucks Promotions’ latest offering is a new deep dive into the history of WCW called “Who Killed WCW?”

Despite an insistence that the documentary will tell the real story, former WCW announcer Tony Schiavone said he won’t be watching after he called the series a “hatchet job.”

H/t to Wrestling Inc