To many people all over the world he’s known as Dwayne Johnson, but to wrestling fans he’ll always be The Rock. However, he didn’t start out as The Rock, as Dwayne originally made his WWE debut under the name Rocky Maivia, but his career reached a whole new level shortly after he made the switch.
On a recent episode of Something To Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, Bruce explained that it was Jim Ross who suggested that he just call himself The Rock.
“In the pitch to Rock, [Ross] said “God damn, boy. I saw Deion [Sanders] cut a promo, and he’s gonna have a good game. Why don’t you refer to yourself [like Sanders did] in the third-person. Call yourself The Rock, just shorten it.’”
Prichard went on to say that when the idea of a heel turn was initially pitched, The Great One didn’t want to do it.
“Russo had called Rocky and pitched it, but Rocky did not want to be a heel,” continued Bruce. “He didn’t want to do it. So, Jim Ross and I got on the phone with him, pitched it, and then he started going, ‘Okay, I could do that.’ At that time, nobody dreamed that he’d be a breakout star and take over the Nation like he did. When he did, I’ll never forget Vince [McMahon] going, ‘God damn, what’s wrong? You put a microphone in his hand and the crowd goes nuts. Give him a God damn microphone and let him talk!’ That’s what made The Rock.”