Here’s one little known fact – before he became prominent as The Rock, the former wrestler Dwayne Johnson actually had another WWE on-screen persona, Rocky Maivia, a nice guy, and nobody liked him.
Dwayne Johnson is one of the most popular former WWE wrestlers of our time and even before he focused on his career as an actor fans from all over the world loved his on-screen persona, The Rock. However, when he first started wrestling, nobody liked him and his then-persona. He debuted on the ring in the distant 1996 as Rocky Maivia. He played a nice guy (a.k.a. face) and he was introduced as the very first third-generation wrestler in the WWE. Even though he did score quite the successful matches and had a number of important wins with his nice guy persona, the audience hated him to such a point that they would scream “Die, Rocky, die!” at his matches.
Johnson suffered a knee injury and lost a few matches in 1997 before returning to the ring with a new attitude, a new character and a new name. He was no longer Rocky Maivia as WWE had re-signed him with a new bad buy persona. Johnson refused to even acknowledge his previous persona’s name and kept talking about himself in third person using the name “The Rock”. He was insulting the audience, his opponents, and even the staff members of the WWE. Inevitably, the audience grew fond of his new bad guy attitude and took a liking towards him. It wasn’t long before everybody forgot about Rocky Maivia and started idolizing The Rock.
Up until now Johnson is ten times world champion and is a prominent actor with more than 90 titles in his filmography.