Exploring the Origins of The Rock Iconic 'People Champion' Moniker in WWE



by NOMAN RASOOL

Exploring the Origins of The Rock Iconic 'People Champion' Moniker in WWE
© WWE/Youtube

In a recent candid interview on "The Joe Rogan Experience," Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the esteemed actor and WWE legend, opened up about the intriguing backstory of his famed moniker, "The People's Champion." Johnson disclosed that the inspiration behind this iconic nickname stemmed from none other than the legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali.

Reflecting on his days in the WWE, Johnson recounted the evolution of his wrestling persona, particularly during his pivotal heel phase with the Nation of Domination. Adopting "The People's Champion" as a title was a strategic move to rile up the audience.

Johnson explained, "When I started the Nation turn, the heel Rock that you saw earlier... I started calling myself 'The People's Champion' just to piss people off. Like, 'I'm your champion, I'm the People's Champion, and The Rock is the People's Champion.'

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Ali's Endorsement Revealed

A significant moment in the journey of this nickname occurred in Louisville, Kentucky, where Ali's family, including his wife, attended a wrestling event. Post-match, Johnson had a poignant interaction with Ali's family.

He expressed his respect and homage to Ali's legacy, offering to relinquish the moniker if it didn't sit well with the boxing icon. To his relief and honor, Ali's wife conveyed that Ali himself had endorsed Johnson's use of the title.

This heartfelt endorsement was more than mere approval for Johnson. It was a passing of the torch, symbolizing respect and admiration between two great athletes from different eras and sports. "I got emotional after hearing the message that Ali's wife delivered to me," Johnson admitted.

Johnson's time with the Nation of Domination and the subsequent adoption of "The People's Champ" title marked a turning point in his wrestling career. It was a role that contributed significantly to his popularity and controversial status in the WWE Universe.

This period paved the way for Johnson's transformation into one of the most charismatic and beloved figures in the world of professional wrestling. "The Great One's" revelation about the origin of his nickname not only offers a glimpse into his strategic prowess and respect for his predecessors but also highlights the interconnectedness of sports legends across different realms.

It's a testament to the enduring legacy of Muhammad Ali and the impactful persona of The Rock in the annals of sports entertainment.

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