Analyzing The Rock's Hollywood Heel Persona from 2003 in WWE

As everyone knows by now, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson just had his new movie Hercules, open in theaters this past Friday.

He has become a major film star over the years, starring in the last few The Fast and Furious movies as well as Gridiron Gang, The Rundown, and many others.

For those of you that may have forgot, when The Rock returned to the WWE in early 2003, he took on a Hollywood persona. It’s very similar to what The Miz is doing right now since he recently returned from filming the 200th installment of The Marine.

Rocky came back on the January 30th, 2003 edition of Smackdown. They still had his face theme music play at the end of the segment, but he was acting like a heel the whole time. Eventually, one of the best WWE Superstar theme songs of all-time (in my opinion) was created.

He would go onto use this theme until he took a sabbatical from wrestling after Backlash of ’03 to focus on acting again.

The Rock’s Hollywood persona was a masterpiece. The sunglasses, attire, and as mentioned above, the theme music, perfected this character of his. He couldn’t have played this character any better either.

Almost every appearance in this time-span involved Rocky taunting and belittling  fellow WWE superstars along with the crowd. He would do that by playing one his famous “Rock Concerts,” which was when he’d mock the host city for the episode of Raw. Even with that, it was hard for the WWE universe to boo him all of the time. The fans loved him too much.

As a young wrestling fan, I loved watching this character of The Rock’s. Plain and simple, it was just cool.

I was too young to witness the Attitude Era, where he was at his ultimate high. He was terrific as a heel during those years from archives I’ve watched. However, from watching videos online and old episodes of Raw and Smackdown (ions ago when it was a relevant show), this was Rock’s best period as a heel. One of the best moments was when him and Stone Cold Steve Austin had a segment off the air after Raw ended. He even broke character in the end and gave a fan a t-shirt.

His feud with Hulk Hogan was fun as well. It was a 2nd part to the feud between the two icons after they faced off at Wrestlemania in 2002.

The Rock’s Hollywood heel persona lasted for a very short time, but it was a lot of fun to watch. This version of The Rock, as I have read many people say before, was The Rock. He has not had this on-screen character in WWE since then. With all of the Hollywood success he is having at the moment, if he ever came back to WWE, I would pay a lot of money to see this character return to the company’s programming. It’s fun, different, and interesting. The Miz is trying to do it right now. It’s been decent so far, but it does not have the upside that The Rock’s had in 2003.

When I think of the heel version of Rock, I think of the short period where he was a movie star character. What do you think was his best version of his heel persona throughout his WWE career?




Tags: The Rock WWE

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