Nearly two decades ago, Dwayne Johnson -- who we now know and love as "The Rock" -- was in his first WrestleMania as "Rocky Maivia." At 24 years old, he had a clean-cut look and smiled often, which frankly, sounds adorable to me but didn't work so well for the crowd.
Apparently, wrestling fans could not stand young Rocky. As he explained to Oprah recently in an episode of “Oprah's Master Class,”
Soon after that humiliating match, Johnson suffered a knee injury, which forced him to sit out the rest of the summer. During that time off from wrestling, he had a revelation, saying,
By the time he was ready to go back in the ring in August of 1997, Johnson had completely overhauled his persona, becoming a wrestling super-villain.
He had a minute to speak with the fans before the match, and amid boos and shouts, he said,
Johnson says of that pivotal event,
There you have it, kids -- the story of how "Rocky" became "The Rock" and eventually dominated loud, action-packed movies with laughably bad dialogue.
You can watch Johnson return to WrestleMania this Saturday.