wrestling / TV Reports

411’s WWE Ruthless Aggression Report: ‘Hollywood Rock’

November 22, 2021 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WWE Ruthless Aggression Season 2

-Arrived in Florida just before Survivor Series started and with days and days of trips to Disney Parks coming up, all these reviews/reports I have will likely be very late or in the early morning. Ruthless aggression returns for a second season and we start with an episode all about The Rock. I mean, it’s The Rock, so why not start with him? Let’s get to it!

-Run Time: 43:48
-Air Date: 11.21.21

-Pat McAfee is our narrator.

-Bruce Prichard talks about the impact The Rock had in the early 2000s and Brian Gewirtz calls him their top babyface at the time. Kofi mentions SmackDown was created in honor of The Rock as he was the focus of that show. John Cena calls him a global phenomenon and Prichard says Rock was out growing his position in the company. No kidding!

-We see Rock in commercials as Gargano mentions very few people can cross over like that. Rock had it and while people can’t define what it, is, you knew the Rock had it.

-In early 2002 the n.W.o gets brought to the WWE and that means Hulk Hogan is back for the first time in nine years. Woo, we are going to touch on Mania X-8! Hogan comes out on RAW and claims to be the biggest star of all time and The Rock interrupts. Hogan tells us that Vince asked him to wrestle Rock at Mania and Hogan was all in on the idea. I bet he was! The Rock throws out the challenge and it is still glorious as the crowd is losing it. THE STARE DOWN! Rock (old footage) says it came at a time when he had accomplished pretty much everything he wanted in wrestling and then the match with Hogan came along. Hogan accepts and Rock plants him with a Rock Bottom and IT’S ON!

-WrestleMania X-8: Kevin Owens lets us know that he was in the crowd that night. He puts over how electric the crowd was for Rock/Hogan before the show even started. Now I want KO and Hogan to be Tag Champions like Edge and Hogan became. Prichard watched from the crowd and he talks about how on that day the crowd was there for Hogan. “This guy they think is going to replace Hulk Hogan, you will never replace Hulk Hogan.” THE LEGDROP AND THE CROWD REACTION! I LOVE THIS MATCH AND IT DESERVES ALL THE STARS! Rock gets the win clean in the middle of the ring and says he is grateful to Hulk for that night. Gewirtz says the fans booed the Rock and it planted a seed that night.

-A month later, Rock is off promoting Scorpion King and does a ton of press coverage. He returns to the WWE three months later (I believe right after Austin took his ball and went home).

-Vengeance 2002: Undertaker defends the Undisputed Title against Rock and Angle and it’s a forgotten classic that set the template for triple threat matches in WWE. Go back and watch, you won’t be disappointed. Rock gets the win to become WWE Champion, again! “

-King of The Ring 2002: Brock Lesnar debuted a few months earlier and immediately had the rocket strapped to him as he steamrolled the field in the King of The Ring and was the top challenger for The Rock. Gewirtz says Rock knew Brock was the future and was big on doing the honors.

-SummerSlam 2002: The Rock puts Brock over clean as a sheet much to the delight of the fans in attendance that night. It showed that the fans were souring on Rock as that was 2 major shows where he was booed out of the building. The Rock tries to entertain the crowd after the show and gets booed out of the building again. You could see the smile on his face as he knows he can turn things on the crowd, but we have to wait for that.

-The Rock goes off to shoot ‘The Rundown’ (I still find that movie quite enjoyable). The Rock does a pre-taped interview for RAW X at WWE NY. He gets booed once again as the fans are turning on the fact he is leaving the WWE for Hollywood.

-The Rock returns for a rematch with Hogan and now we get the greatness that is Hollywood Rock. This stuff is just great as he finally gets to let loose on the fans after a year of them booing him. He takes credit for making Hogan popular again.

-Next up is the epic nature of his new theme music with the slow build to the opening with shots of LA and “Is Cooking.” So amazing! Gargano marks out over the music and calls it the best Rock theme of all time. He’s not lying!

-No Way Out 2003: The rematch and Rock just lets loose as he mocks Hogan and this time feeds off the crowd and turns in back on them. He gets the win again though not clean like it was 11 months earlier.

-We see Rock let crowds know they lost their sing a long privilege. He acts like someone on drugs as he is wound so tight during this period, but it’s awesome as he craps all over every city. “Yeah, he said Toronto. That’s where we live.” How can you not love this man? Gerwitz says yes, it’s cheap heat, but when done right it works so well.

-Next challenge for Rock is to finally get a win over Steve Austin at WrestleMania. Austin says they always got along ever since they first met each other. Before they get to Mania though The Rock has a short feud with The Hurricane.

-Rock: “Who in the green hell are you?” Helms mentions it was to be only one promo, but it got over so well they let them continue it week after week. Hurricane telling Rock he can beat up The Scorpion King and Rock’s reaction are priceless! Again, The Rock was just on fire during this period and he was all in when he could have just opted to SQUASH Helms like a bug. Austin causes The Rock to lose to Hurricane and sure, it wasn’t clean, but THE ROCK LET HURRICANE HELMS PIN HIM!

-Rock Concert in Sacramento: YES! “The best part about being in Sacramento, is in about an hour and a half, The Rock is going to leave Sacramento.” He then sings about leaving Sacramento and he will be back when The Lakers beat The Kings in May. MAJOR HEAT FOR THAT and it makes Rock legit bust out laughing. The only thing with more heat than that was KO and Elias crippling Seattle about The Sonics leaving.

-WrestleMania XIX: Austin’s last match ever which is still pretty shocking to think about. He goes out like a pro and puts over Rock clean as a sheet. Austin tells us they took a few moments together in the ring to tell the other “I love you.” Rock says it was the rivalry with Austin that helped make The Rock.

-Off Camera: The Rock lets down his guard after shows and lets kids finish his catch phrases to help put smiles on their faces. Again, how can you not love this man?

-Next? GOLDBERG! “Don’t think you are cool just because you know The Rock’s accountant, Ira Goldberg.” Too funny and apparently true according to Gewirtz. I never knew that! The Rock cuts his victory promo after Mania and that brings out Goldberg in his WWE debut. Over 18 years later and Goldberg is the that still shows up a few times a year for matches. Go figure!

-Goldberg says coming to WWE from WCW had to make a splash and be with the right person. Goldberg spears the tattoos off Rock as he sells like he was hit by a tank. The build includes Rock bringing back Gillberg and Goldberg says he hated Gillberg and legit wanted to rip his face off. He admits that means it worked though.

-Backlash 2003: Rock vs Goldberg! Rock is going off to Hollywood and does what he always does, puts someone else over clean.

-Prichard says that in the audience’s mind, Rock was gone for good. Gerwitz says the audience got Hollywood Rock and just wanted to go along for the ride.

-The Rock teases a return and it happens on the road to WrestleMania XX as he is Mick Foley’s backup against Evolution at WrestleMania XX. Great set-up as the teased Mick was just going to call Rock, and instead he is there live to send the crowd into fits of joy. Rock seemed so jack to be able to have any kind of match involving Ric Flair.

-WrestleMania XX: Rock N Sock vs Evolution! Another fantastic match that for some reason Foley always felt disappointed in. Rock was just jacked to be out there and he and Flair had a ball.

-The Rock goes back to Hollywood and becomes the biggest star in the world who pops in from time to time because he loves WWE so much. He says WWE will always be his family and he can’t get the energy from WWE anywhere else.

-Next episode: Innovations: Elimination Chamber, Money in The Bank, Byte This, RAW Roulette!