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Ken Shamrock Shares His First Impressions Of the Rock, Recalls Feud and Match at WrestleMania 14

July 31, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Ken Shamrock The Rock Dwayne Johnson Image Credit: WWE

– Speaking with Jeffrey Harris for the 411 Wrestling Interviews podcast, Ken Shamrock looked back on his feud with the Rock and their match at WrestleMania 14. Shamrock began feuding with The Rock, who was then the head of the Nation of Domination, in early 1998 which led to a match at WrestleMania for Rock’s Intercontinental Championship. In that match, Shamrock got the victory but the result was reversed after Shamrock refused to let go of the ankle lock after the match, giving Rock the disqualification win. Highlights from the discussion are below:

On his first impressions of the Rock: “Well when I first started working with him, I knew he was trying to find his voice. And his skills in the ring, he hadn’t been able to kind of like, be himself, because I know he was put in with the Nation [of Domination]. And I thought it really, it almost pushed him downward because he wasn’t able to be who he was. And I think the minute they took him out of the Nation, the minute they gave him the mic, is when he started to blossom. And that was during the time me and him started to work these angles together. And I literally, while we were having matches, saw me and him literally rise to the top of this big world called the WWF. We were literally, our matches were second to nobody. I mean, we were right there with the Stone Colds and the Shawn Michaels, the Undertakers. And we had just started working together, and we started putting these great matches together. And I thought we, for both of us, I thought it really made our careers to be where we are today.”

On his match with Rock at WrestleMania 14: “Well for me, I thought if you looked at it from a fan’s standpoint, other than not getting the gold, I thought I looked more dominant. I thought I destroyed him. I thought that I was the better wrestler in that ring. And I think at the end of it, it showed that The Rock couldn’t hold a candle to me [in storyline] when it came to me destroying everything around me. I had already beat him, I’d destroyed everything around me, I took a chair to the face. I did everything, and took everything, and I was still the one that was aggressive. So for me, I loved the angle and how they were pushing it. Because I know where they were going with it. Rock was gonna move up, he was gonna challenge for the belt, they were gonna drop the strap to me, the Intercontinental strap to me, but they couldn’t let Rock lose to me. Because at least to my knowledge, I thought the angle was that I was going to go up after carrying the Intercontinental strap for a while, I would move up. And then I would have feuds with Stone Cold, Bret [Hart] and The Rock.”

In the full interview, Shamrock talks about his WWE run and memorable feuds with The Rock and Owen Hart, refereeing the Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart match at WrestleMania 13, a possible WWE Hall of Fame induction, why Brock Lesnar deserves to be in the UFC Hall of Fame, his relationship with Dana White, whether things are safer for MMA fighters today and more.

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Introduction (0:00)
On his experience at Starrcast II and if he’ll be at Starrcast III (0:44)
On AEW, the current wrestling landscape and if he’s excited as a wrestling fan (1:57)
On looking back at his time in WWE during the Attitude Era and Monday Night War (4:03)
On coming into WWE as an MMA fighter and who helped him make a smooth transition to wrestling (5:28)
On his being a referee for Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13 (8:06)
On his feud with The Rock his initial impressions of Rock and their match at WrestleMania 14 (9:51)
On his feud with Owen Hart and their Lion’s Den match at SummerSlam 1988 (13:13)
On the end of his run in WWE, if he felt he had hit a ceiling at the time and thinking the Screwjob was a factor (14:56)
On if he thinks Vince McMahon holds a grudge against him for leaving WWE in 1999 (17:16)
On a possible WWE Hall of Fame induction (18:56)
On his character feeling very real and believable as a dangerous guy (20:13)
On the changes in MMA over the years and whether they’ve made things safer for fighters (21:40)
On his relationship with Dana White today (29:39)
On his upcoming Tag Team Title defense at Battle Championship Wrestling in Australia in August (31:05)
On how he’s feeling physically and the importance of athletes letting their bodies have recovery time (31:36)
On why Brock Lesnar deserves a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame (33:26)
On what fighters and MMA fighters can learn from Lesnar (34:11)
On if he’d like to face Frank Mir at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport Wrestling (35:14)
Where to find him (36:44)

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