Eventhough he calls himself the "Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment"...it's really hard to argue it as he's without a doubt the biggest crossover star in the history of the business as both The Rock in wrestling & Dwayne Johnson in Hollywood. Despite making a few cameo appearances here & there over the years, he's back to tell his story here as this is the first documentary that covers his career from beginning to the present time. You'll hear new comments from The Rock himself throughout the documentary along with others involved in his career including his parents Ata & Rocky Johnson, Vince McMahon, NFL player Warren Sapp, his ex-wife Dany Garcia, Pat Patterson, Jim Ross, Triple H, Mick Foley, Ron Simmons, Steve Austin, John Cena, C.M. Punk, Chris Jericho, Hulk Hogan, Cheri Oteri from 'Saturday Night Live', Carson Daly, Michael Clark Duncan, and Chuck Russell who was the director of "The Scorpion King."
The documentary starts off talking about Rock growing up in the business through Peter Maivia & Rocky Johnson with people sharing their memories of him at the events (including footage of him in the crowd at shows) before going into his football career from his days as an all-american to the University Of Miami (with comments from his fellow teammate Warren Sapp) to his year in the CLF. Him breaking into the business was discussed next from the story of how he got his dad to train him to the phone call leading up to his debut where everyone saw that he had the talent. The problems with Rocky Maivia was heavily discussed here with the "Rocky Sucks" chants & crowd starting to turn on him to the point where Foley points out that the biggest babyface reaction his Mankind character got at that point came in a match against Rocky while The Rock himself points out the frustrations with the character being something that everyone saw through. His time in the Nation Of Domination & how he was slowly starting to stand out above the rest of the group was talked about next to his feud with Triple H & what thought went into their ladder match back at SummerSlam 1998. Everything that went into The Rock becoming the Corporate Champion was discussed next including his feud with Mankind with details of how both men traded the traditional roles each other would have had just based off their looks along & raised the bar in regards to taking punishment to the point where Foley himself said the "I Quit" match was maybe too brutal. The documentary continued talking about the match against Steve Austin at WrestleMania XV with both men fighting for the #1 spot in the company to the point where an autograph Austin gave Rock heavily motivated him before going into the issues Rock was having staying a heel as the fans really started to connect with him through things like his catchphrases to the point where one of them is actually in the dictionary. His tag team with Mankind as the Rock N' Rock Connection was up next with how it helped showcase another side of Mick Foley with "the buffoon & the stud" being able to play off each other so well & how they still have the most watched segment in RAW history. His World Title feud with Triple H was discussed before going into his ability to become a crossover star in the media from his appearances to Saturday Night Live, the Republican National Convention, and his appearance in "The Mummy Returns." His WrestleMania X-7 match against Austin, his "Scorpion King" movie, his ability to entertain the crowd by saying things others wish they could say with Chris Jericho recalling the night him & Rock were murdering Stephanie McMahon on the microphone, and the "Icon vs. Icon" vs. Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X8 was discussed next with John Cena making a very important point about how important the crowd is to a match. One of the biggest parts of the presentation came next in regards to the crowd starting to turn against Rock because they took it personal that he was spending more time making moves than wrestling which allowed himself to reinvent himself in the arrogant heel which others brought up the point of "was he really a heel?" due to his ability to still entertain the crowd before talking about his final encounter with Austin at Mania. The focus then shifted to Rock's acting career with him stating why he left WWE for all those years while others gave their opinions on his various movie roles (including Doom...LOL) & talking about his various WWE returns like WrestleMania XX & inducting his family in the Hall Of Fame before ending the documentary talking about returning at the WrestleMania XXVII guest host, his issues with John Cena leading up to this year's WrestleMania, and his Happy Birthday celebration.
Blu-Ray extras include the challenge to John Cena for WrestleMania XXVIII, the opening & final segment of his birthday celebration on RAW, Rock talking about a promo he did, various highlights of memories of "The People's Elbow", Rock & Vince McMahon talking about the WWE being his "toy chest", and Rock talking to the NYC crowd after Survivor Series '11.
Elimination Match w/Marc Mero, Barry Windham, Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. Hunter Hearst-Helmsley, Goldust, Crush, Jerry Lawler - It should be noted that Sunny joined Jim Ross & Vince McMahon on commentary here that resulted in some bickering between her & Ross while Jake Roberts replaced an injured Mark Henry (the first of many injures in his career). The main story of this match was the debut of the man we now know as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson but here, he was Rocky Maivia & built as WWE's first 3rd generation athlete taking the combining the names of his grandfather & dad...and it's also ironic that there are 3 other generational wrestlers in this match as well. This was one of those matches that told various stories such as Hunter avoiding Mero throughout the contest & the issues between Jake Roberts & Jerry Lawler but this was ultimately a showcase for Rocky but a solid encounter overall.
Survivor Series '96
Intercontinental Championship/Ladder Match vs. Triple H - Just a couple of notes before the match but the DX band played Triple H & Chyna to the ring, The Rock debuted a new version of his "Nation" theme while Mark Henry was in Rock's corner, and Triple H was coming into the match with a bad leg based off an attack earlier in the night. Both men started out in the ring before the brawl continued into the isleway with Triple H being thrown into the ladder leaning against the ring. Triple H swinging it into Rock followed by driving it into his ribs before Rock recovered & went right to work on that bad leg with stomps & elbow drops before using the ladder to wedge the leg & stomp on it along with using a chair to hammer the ladder into Triple H's leg. Rock was ruthless by dropping Triple H onto the ladder leg first before Triple H was catapulted & backdropped onto it various times before Rock eventually dropped a People's Elbow with Triple H on the ladder. The Rock & Triple H just have that natural chemistry that carries over into each match & this was no different in a classic quality match that told a great story.
[The Ladder Match]
Steel Cage Match vs. Mankind vs. Ken Shamrock - The setup behind this match was very different as neither man had anything in common with the other except they had common enemies in the previous weeks in both Undertaker & Kane leading to these three put into this match to determine the new #1 contender for the WWE Championship. Rock & Shamrock renewed their rivalry from the first half of the year by trading punches while Mankind tried to sneak out the door right away. We saw some unique moves involving all three men like a double abdominal stretch & double People's Elbow while every man had an alliance with one superstar to work over the other at one point in the match. It was a good triple threat match with one highlight being Mankind once again attempting his "Superfly Jimmy Snunka" moment.
"I Quit" Match vs. WWE Champion Mankind - Throughout all of the battles between Rock vs. Mankind, this is the most infamous one of them all. Both men attempted to make the other quick early with each man's answer being such a smart-ass response that it was almost comedic at times. The brawl went from the ring to the outside with various weapons used from the microphone itself to the steel steps to a steel chair with Rock even joining in on commentary at one point. They continued to fight through the crowd to the stage area with Rock dishing out punishment from a powerslam over the barrier to using the ring bell before continuing to the stage area where Foley took such a beating that the electrical equipment was damaged & even Shane McMahon was trying to tell Rock to back off. Right around here was the incident that this match is most remembered for as Mankind was handcuffed & continued to fight before The Rock used a chair including nine (YES, NINE) unprotected chair shots to Mankind's head that was still cringe worthy to watch back then a decade before the research of hits to the head & the long term effects of it was made public knowledge...to the point where Mankind's (Mick Foley) wife stopped watching & his children were crying at ringside before leaving backstage. This was a very physical match but definitely very violent towards the end.
Royal Rumble '99
No Holds Barred Match vs. WWE Champion Steve Austin - This was the rematch from WrestleMania XV with The Rock with Austin on a mission to get back his personalized "Smoking Skull" title which The Rock was wearing. Both men traded fist right from the bell with Shane distracting Austin for Rock to gain an advantage followed by both men trading momentum before both men brawled to the stage area as both men were thrown into the set at one point with various weapons used like the cable cord, fire extinguisher, guardrail, and anvil case. The fight went back to ringside with Rock being able to put Austin through the spanish table & even showed he was diverse at being able to not only do commentary but also be a camera man. Shane continued to show his bias as a referee by constantly taking causing distractions, making threats, and even taking weapons away from Austin & giving them to The Rock but it would eventually backfire in Austin's favor before Austin would receive some help from the last man he would ever expect it from. This match definitely topped their Mania match from the previous month & one of the best matches in their epic feud.
(Special Referee - Shane McMahon)
[Legacy Of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin]
WWE Championship Match vs. Kurt Angle vs. Triple H - Eventhough this is a match from the WWE Championship, that was more of an afterthought in the minds of the challengers as Triple H came to the ring looking for revenge against Kurt Angle to kissing his wife Stephanie to the point where Triple H brawled with Kurt & ended up delivering a pedigree on the spanish table that gave away causing Kurt to land on his head knocking him out & had him taken to the back before The Rock even made his entrance to start the match. The Rock finally made his way to the ring brawling with Triple H back to the stage area (with Triple H continuing to beat on Angle despite being on a stretcher) before fighting back to the ring with Stephanie coming out (despite Triple H earlier telling her to stay backstage) only to accidentally hit her husband with the title belt. Triple H resorted to using the sledgehammer to gain an advantage by working over the midsection of The Rock while Stephanie was able to drag Kurt Angle back down to ringside to help Triple H only for Angle to break up his pin & throw Triple H into the steps. Angle went for revenge against Triple H by trying to use the sledgehammer himself but Stephanie stopped him only for Triple H to accidentally end up hitting Stephanie before Angle went ahead & used the hammer allowing Rock to take advantage of the entire situation. Triple H has gone on record saying how this is the most unusual match he's ever been in & quite frankly, I can't disagree as it was in reality The Rock vs. Triple H featuring Kurt Angle but was definitely entertaining.
As a side note, the pedigree through the table on Kurt Angle was so impactful that WWE continued to show that clip for years during the commercials asking people to "Please Don't Try This At Home."
[Triple H: That Damn Good; History Of The WWE Championship]
w/Undertaker vs. World Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian - A forgotten match here as this was mostly The Rock & Undertaker (in his "American Bad Ass" gimmick) doing completely dominate throughout the match causing Edge & Christian resorting to double teaming to try to get an advantage but this was pretty short & sweet but entertaining.
"RAW" Dec. '00
vs. Ric Flair - Another rare match here as Rock challenged Flair to this match in "Flair Country" with Rock having a more serious attitude than his usually does. Both men tried to show each other up early & even traded shops in the corner. At one point, they had a series where Flair was able to counter the People's Elbow into a figure four which was turned into a sharpshooter while the sharpshooter was turned into a figure four later in the match. Flair gained confidence & even did Rock's own punches & spit combo but was too confident as Rock was able to get that opening to catch Flair off guard. Good match for RAW with the special rare treat of seeing mutual respect shown after the match.
"RAW" July '02
WWE Undisputed Championship Match vs. Brock Lesnar - This was one of the most intense buildups to a match that WWE did around this time based off the video packages & idea that both men didn't touch leading up to this match. Rock gave an idea of exactly where this match is going with Rock sprinting to the ring with Brock throwing across the ring with a belly to belly suplex. Brock continued to show his superior strength by clothesling Rock over the barrier & pressing him above the barrier before dropping Rock on it ribs first before Brock completely focused on his ribs with shoulderblocks & waistlock bearhugs. Rock had to resort to some dirty tactics & catching Brock off guard to get some offense in taking it to the outside & slingshotting Brock in the post before taking care of Paul Heyman. With both men continuing to counter & kick out of each others signature holds, this match delivered on what it was setup to be...a highly intense match.
[Brock Lesnar: Here Comes The Pain]
vs. Hulk Hogan - The Rock just recently returned to WWE but the crowd had completely turned on him for "selling out" leading to him being a heel. Rock tried to avoid Hogan early to the point where Hogan went outside to get him before Rock caught Hogan coming into the ring with Hogan recovering & knocking Rock back out the ring. Rock was able to get an advantage & started wearing Hogan's bandana & whipping Hogan with his own belt but he got too arrogant to the point where he was caught & given a taste of his own medicine. Both men traded momentum including a chair getting involved before the lights were turned out & as Michael Cole said, "The Rock just shook hands with the devil."
No Way Out '03
(Blu-Ray) w/John Cena vs. R-Truth & The Miz - The Rock makes his in-ring return to WWE for the first time since 2004 at WrestleMania XX at the same event he debuted 15 years earlier...with both occasions happening in the same building of Madison Square Garden. John Cena was heavily booed from the moment you heard the first note in his song while you clearly saw the tension between him & Rock as The Rock completely ignored Cena from the time he made his way to the ring to the start of the match. Rock was in control early to the point where the crowd was chanting "You Still Got It!" but problems once again arouse between Cena & Rock with Cena accidentally distracting the referee from Rock's pin followed by the "tag" between both men. "You can't wrestle" was yelled to Cena who responded by out-wrestling the Miz only to get the reaction of "You Still Suck!" Cena turned his attention for a moment to Rock that allowed Miz & Truth to take advantage with Miz hitting an impactful DDT while both kept Cena away from being able to make a tag including Truth & Rock getting into it on the outside while causing Rock to get into the ring allowing double teaming behind the referee's back at various points. The hot tag was built to Rock who continued to dominate & "lay the smackdown" to victory but the bigger story was after the match when him & Cena had their face to face confrontation. This was a old school type of tag team match that featured the heels doing various double teams behind the referees back while Cena would be the one taking a majority of the offense & building up to the eventual hot tag allowing Rock to look strong here.
Survivor Series '11
I really enjoyed the documentary as it really highlighted The Rock's "journey" getting to the point where he is at now in his life. Normally on these releases, I have issues with the match selection in terms of the DVD repeats however what I loved is that WWE didn't use any matches that were on Rock's previous anthology of matches (unlike Austin's last one) leaving room for some matches that have been unreleased until now like his debut & the infamous "I Quit" match with Mankind along with rare matches (I forgot all about the tag title match with Undertaker & his match against Ric Flair) while the repeats weren't on any projects in recent years. In the end, this was the most pleased I've been with a superstar documentary in a long time from the documentary to the match selection so this is a project I would go out of my way to get...if you smell what I'm cookin'!