WWE has placed The Rock first in several rankings including: WrestleMania's greatest rivalry (vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin), the greatest superstar in SmackDown history and the funniest superstar in history WWE. He won his first WWF Championship in 1998 and helped usher the WWF into the "Attitude Era", a boom period in the company's business in the latter 1990s and early 2000s which still hold professional wrestling records for television ratings.
In 2004, he left the WWE to pursue an acting career and went on a seven-year hiatus before returning in 2011 as a part-time performer until 2013, before wholly retiring in 2019. In a recent Q&A session, Rock recalled when Vince McMahon brought him back in the Nation of Domination: “I went out [on Raw], and I said it, ‘Rocky Maivia is a lot of things but sucks isn’t one of them.’ And this is on live TV, on Monday Night Raw.
I said, ‘It’s not a black thing. It’s not a white thing. It’s a me whopping your ass thing,’ something to that effect. And I just kept there, dropped the mic. Fans were kind of booing, kind of chanting ‘Rocky sucks,’ but they could feel something.
They could feel like a difference because I was just being me. The next PPV I had was in Chicago. The place that booed me out of the building. The Nation of Domination, our music hits — and The Nation of Domination was this badass music.
It had a thumping drive to it. ‘We are The Nation of Domination.’ We would walk out. And now I’m walking out. And in this syncopated beat, you start to hear 15,000 people, ‘Rocky sucks! Rocky sucks! Rocky sucks!’.
I mean hard, blowing the roof of the place. I got goosebumps now thinking about that, and I had goosebumps then walking to the ring. I get in the middle of the ring. I pause. I want to see what happens to this crowd. ‘Rocky sucks!’.
It got stronger. And all I did, I kind of turned around. I look, look this way. It got so strong. That place was f**king vibrating, that arena. I knew in that moment that I was in rarefied air. And that rarefied air in professional wrestling is me doing absolutely nothing and having the crowd [snaps] right there in the palm of my hand. Did nothing."