The Rock is one of the biggest names on the planet in terms of entertainment. He started out in WWE where he used that platform to land a couple movie roles. That is all it took for Hollywood to realize the star potential he had.
During Grilling JR, Jim Ross was asked when he realized that The Rock would leave WWE for Hollywood. It didn’t take very long at all, and Vince McMahon came to that realization at the same time as Ross.
“About 10 minutes after seeing the Scorpion King. I sat next to Vince McMahon [at the theatre]. Not one word was uttered, we gained eye contact in the movie theatre at the premier and we kind of looked at each other like, ‘I see something special here.’ He jumped off the screen, man. It wasn’t like doing a promo or making his pie jokes, which were entertaining as sh*t. But he jumped off the screen.”
“When he was on screen, he was the only person you were really looking at. We knew then that there was something extraordinary about this cat. To say that I knew he was going to be where he is now, producing television shows, hits around the world, etc., making 90 million last year? No. I’m not going to bullsh*t you.”
There was no avoiding the fact that Dwayne Johnson was going to be a big Hollywood star. Vince McMahon and Jim Ross both knew at that time that one of their biggest draws was going to have a lot of opportunities elsewhere very soon.
“We did know that there was something special about this guy when he appeared on that silver screen, and others, obviously much more refined about that type of thing, are seeing it also,” Ross said. “Offers were going to be piling in for a whole lot more money than we could pay, and bump free money. Rock has been a brilliant businessman. He’s even got me drinking his tequila, and I don’t even like tequila. And I wouldn’t have tried it had it not been for him. Nobody could perceive how great he would be in that world.”
The Rock is not coming back for WrestleMania 37. Ringside News exclusively reported all the reasons why, but WrestleMania 38 isn’t out of the picture. That 2022 event is still a long way off, and anything can happen in the meantime.
We’ll wait patiently for The Rock’s in-ring return, if it does happen. In the meantime, Dwayne Johnson is never hard to find.
Thanks to Wrestling Inc for the quote