“That could have ended a lot of other careers” – Vince Russo on WWE fans’ reaction to The Rock
Vince Russo believes other WWE Superstars’ careers could have ended if they received the same negative reactions as The Rock’s Rocky Maivia character.
In November 1996, The Rock made his WWE debut as Rocky Maivia at Survivor Series. The rookie Superstar instantly received a mega push as a babyface, which ultimately led to fans turning against him.
Russo, WWE’s head writer in the late 1990s, spoke to Dr. Chris Featherstone on SK Wrestling’s Off the SKript. He gave The Rock credit for reinventing himself after 18,000 fans chanted “Rocky sucks! Rocky sucks!” at WrestleMania 13.
“Bro, that could have ended a lot of other careers. A lot of people, bro, would have been shattered by that. But, man, the fact that he overcame all that, that speaks a lot for him.”
Watch the video above to find out more of Vince Russo’s thoughts on The Rock and Ahmed Johnson.
How did Rocky Maivia become The Rock?
The Rock’s Rocky Maivia character defeated The Sultan (aka Rikishi) at WrestleMania 13 to retain the Intercontinental Championship. He lost the title one month later to Owen Hart before he was removed from television in the summer of 1997.
When he returned, Maivia became a heel Superstar and a member of The Nation of Domination. It was during his time as a Nation of Domination member that he transitioned from Maivia into The Rock.