"Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?" is an iconic phrase that even non-wrestling fans are probably familiar with. But, as famous as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is today, there was a time when he wasn't sure he'd cut it in the WWE. In fact, he was on the fringe of being booted off the wrestling promotion if not for some timely advice from Hulk Hogan, who, at the time, had switched over to World Championship Wrestling.
In its third season, NBC's Young Rock has moved way past Johnson's teenage years and it's starting to dive deep into his time in the World Wrestling Federation. The second episode, Rocky Sucks, in particular, sheds light on The Rock's heel turn that would forever change his career and perhaps even wrestling entertainment.
For years, fans thought that it was Vince McMahon who convinced The Rock to embrace his inner self. But, as it turns out, it was Hulk Hogan.
As the episode reveals, McMahon had lost faith in Rocky Mavia in 1997, which subsequently led to him losing screentime and the Intercontinental Belt to Owen Hart. It also didn't help that Johnson was injured, which compounded the problem. McMahon's plan to cast The Rock as a face in the WWF just wasn't working and Johnson had a hard time.
Thankfully, things were going well for him outside of the ring as he married Dany Garcia the same year. Also, it wouldn't be long before Hogan's advise would have a major impact on the life and times of The Rock.
According to Young Rock, Hogan had reached out to the then-young wrestler, telling him that he should stop forcing the babyface angle and be himself on the mic.
Fueled by these words of encouragement, Johnson, which McMahon had now cast as a heel with the Nation of Domination as a last-ditch effort to keep him on the stable, used the two minutes of screen time he managed to squeeze out of McMahon after much begging. What happened next was one of the most epic moments in Monday Night Raw history as Johnson officially shed off Rocky Mavia and became The Rock.
Johnson later used the hype from this single event to propel his career and the rest, as they say, is history.
Things also came full circle a few years later after Hulk Hogan resigned from the WWE and wrestled with The Rock at WrestleMania 18 in what was effectively a passing of the torch kind of match.
Young Rock has been one of Peacock's more solid (pun intended) shows throughout its run. It'll be interesting to see where the dramatized biopic of The Rock's life will end as he's still busy writing it. After starring in Black Adam, The Rock is set to appear in sequels to Red Notice, Jumanji, Jungle Cruise, and so much more. The Rock is believed to wrestle at WrestleMania 39 against Roman Reigns.