Posted in: Doctor's Orders Doctor's Orders: April 6, 2013 - The Script Gets Flipped on The Rock vs. Dolph Ziggler at the 2013 Hall of Fame Ceremony
By The Doc
Jan 30, 2013 - 7:40:09 PM
A surprising turn of events has taken place over the last seven weeks since it was announced that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would, on the night after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, challenge Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania XXIX. In the first television interaction between Ziggler and The Rock, the Chicago crowd for the February 18th edition of Monday Night Raw booed the challenger out of the building and treated the champion as if he were the hometown hero. It was not the last crowd to react that way. Despite his heelish actions, the Show Stealer could not shake the cheers; despite his usual schtick, The Great One continued to get jeered.
The following is a transcript of The Rock’s Hall of Fame speech…
April 6, 2012 – WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony
THE ROCK has come back to NEW-YORK-CITY!
(“Rocky” chant ensues for several minutes)
Thank you. Thank you.
You know, The Rock told all his friends that he was just gonna come up here and say 'thank you' and walk off.
I just can't. There's no way The Rock can do that. I just have too many people I gotta thank. In all the videos, you never just saw me; you saw Stone Cold Steve Austin. Every Championship I won. All of my accolades. Even still, I've had a lot of questions over the last several weeks since my induction was announced. Everybody's saying, “Why The Rock? Why now? Is The Rock going back to Hollywood only?” The Rock knows the answers. Maybe you guys don't know why, but The Rock knows.
I mean, you look around and we’re in Madison Square Garden!
Madison Square Garden. This is The Rock’s favorite place to electrify. You know they're charging $1,000 tickets for this? Just for tonight. It used to be two-hundred bucks. They put The Rock in and they bump the prices up to five times the norm. You know they made The Rock pay that for his friends and family? You know how big The Rock’s family is, right? But I paid it.
So, THANK YOU to the WWE for raising ticket prices, I guess.
What else can I say about my Mom?
You think The Rock has a lot going on? She's always on the go. And without her…Man, she's the real Rock - she's unbelievable. She’s an unbelievable woman. If I've got anybody that's nagging me each and every day to be the best, it is her. And she always keeps me focused on the good things about life - you know, how the public perceives you, how you respect them, what's good for you, to take a pause and think about the things that you do. She’s still parenting me today. And that's the good thing about that lady; I love her to death. The Rock loves her to death.
THANK YOU, Mom.
We go through our trials and tribulations in this business. You want to know why I asked Stone Cold to stand up here for me? To do my induction? Let The Rock tell you why…
Well, it starts at the University of Miami. Hell, The Rock knows that you know that. What is it about me that you guys don't know? My entire life is in the spotlight for you. There are so many things I didn't know about Mick Foley; that you didn’t know about Mick Foley because he’s not in the spotlight. For instance, I didn’t know that when I called him a walking, talking piece of a “trailer park” trash back in ’99 that it was actually true.
(elicits some “Boos”)
The Rock never jumped off a damn roof, that’s for sure.
(further mixed reaction)
So, anyway, The Rock is at the “U” doing his thing, winning a national championship. The competition on the practice field was greater than all the other games combined. Warren Sapp – future Hall of Famer - this dude fought me every single day. We’d even fight in the dorms, to the extent that my eventual wife used to come out and make us come in because we were fighting too much. I’m as competitive as they come.
You think about what The Rock has done for this business…you think about the television show, “Smackdown,” named after The Rock. You think about increasing the ratings for Raw when Stone Cold’s monkey ass was sitting at home drinking his cheap ass beer. You think about Austin and Triple H saying, “No, I don’t want to put Brock Lesnar over because it’ll hurt my feelings.” The Rock goes out and makes Lesnar a star. Look at Brock, now. Triple H isn’t half the star that Lesnar is. Who did Austin put over that became that kind of star?
And you guys sit there asking “Why is The Rock getting inducted in 2013?”
Well, The Rock says “Why in the blue hell hasn’t The Rock already been inducted?”
(“Boos” getting louder and more frequent)
My competitive nature has gone a long way from the first time I picked up a sport. Ray Lewis, Warren Sapp…the guys at the “U” started the fire in me. Later Triple H, Mick Foley, Undertaker…they added wood to that fire. Vince McMahon? What else can I say about him? He’s a legend. He poured lighter fluid on that fire.
And then there's Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Vince stands up here four years ago and talks about Steve Austin setting all the buyrate records. Well, did Steve Austin set the all-time buyrate record in 2012? No. Who did that? The Rock did that. Ten years ago, a little special aired called “The Mania of Wrestlemania.” Vince talked about how as “great as The Rock was, he was never quite Stone Cold Steve Austin.” The Rock heard that loud and clear, so The Rock took his ball and didn’t go home. No, The Rock didn’t go home; he went to Hollywood and he made more money in one picture than Dolph Ziggler can make in two years here in the WWE.
The Rock looked down at Ziggler and, off mic, said to him, “The Rock’s not kidding.”
The Rock came back and he reset those buyrate records.
THANK YOU, Vince.
Why did I ask Stone Cold to be up here inducting The Rock?
You know, I keep hearing how selfish The Rock is from guys like Dolph Ziggler. Well, champ, The Rock is just smarter than everyone else. Look back at Wrestlemania 18 in Toronto. Steve Austin could have worked with Hulk Hogan, but he didn’t want to lose. Didn’t even talk to Hogan first. It was all about Stone Cold. The Rock walked right up to Hulk Hogan and said, “Look, Hulk Hogan, The Rock wants to face you at Wrestlemania because it’ll electrify and The Rock respects your balding candy ass.” And you know what Hulk Hogan said? He said, “Rock, you’re the greatest of all-time, I’d love to lay my old ass down on the mat for you!” The Rock said, “You damn right you will, T-Rex, the museum is down the street!”
Bam. Deal done. History made.
And what did The Rock do? He went out and he had the greatest match in Wrestlemania history. Austin laid a turd in that very same ring that night.
You know, it's how you want to look at it.
What did The Rock always say? He wants to be the best that the industry has ever seen.
Well, what else does The Rock need to do? He had the best match. He had several of the best matches. He set the buyrate record. Can you really sit here and look at The Rock with a straight face and say that Austin was better?
THANK YOU, Stone Cold. You’re up here inducting The Rock into the Hall of Fame. Best moment he’s had in ten years. That’s a fact, Jack.
(Small “Austin chant” breaks out)
SHUT….your damn mouths…
(“Boos” rain down again)
And then The Rock had all those naysayers.
‘You’re not a good wrestler, Rock.’
‘You’re good, but you’re not the best.’
The Rock had to listen to all of this - and that put so much wood on that fire that it kept me - each and every day - trying to get better as a performer.
Then, The Rock heard that he abandoned his WWE family. I heard about that from the moment that I left for Hollywood. Best example of that? You know, I hate to do it to him because, genuinely, he’s a such a nice guy.
I come back to induct my father and grandfather into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008. I met John Cena that night. John will remember this. He came over to me and said, 'You know what, man, this business could really use your help. Why'd you quit? Why'd you quit? You know you and I could draw a ton of money together. You need to get back here. You need to get back in the wrestling trunks.'
(laughs) Remember this John?
Well, you know, The Rock says THANK YOU, John Cena. Thank you for copying The Rock’s road map for success, bad mouthing me behind my back for years, and giving me a reason to come back and make a lot of money for not much work. You’ve made it easy, John.
(“Rocky Sucks” chant booms throughout the arena for a solid minute)
And I'm going to thank a couple people that you guys probably wouldn't even think that I would thank.
Triple H. You and I, we go way back. I still remember here in New York for Wrestlemania XX. You remember this? I was coming in and you were “The Man” since The Rock left. You were in my suite at the hotel. They came and told you, ‘This is The Rock’s suite; get your candy ass out of The Rock’s suite.’
You slid a note underneath my door - although you had to move and you did move - you slid a note, saying: 'I enjoy our competition. Congratulations. We will meet again.' I told you how much The Rock appreciated that because I think, in all honesty, you're just as competitive as I am. You challenged me the entire time that we were in the WWE together.
You tried to blackball me with the boys when I’d go off to make a movie, though. Did you think The Rock didn’t know that? You even had my former friends saying 'We can't go to lunch, we can't go to dinner.' So you know what The Rock really thought of your little note? The Rock took a piss on it and flushed it down the toilet. And you remember that movie role you didn’t get? The Rock called the producer and told him how much of a Jabroni you are.
THANK YOU, Triple H.
(“Rocky Sucks” again)
Jim Ross, to me, is an icon in this business. He was head of talent relations back then. He challenged me mentally, not just physically. You know, he understood wrestling. But he didn’t understand where I was taking wrestling. I remember coming back from the Saturday Night Live spot and I was on top of the world. He says to me, not ‘You did great’ or ‘Atta Boy.’ You know what he tells The Rock? He told me not to forget about the boys. He says to me, ‘Great One, you’re going to get a lot of Hollywood attention from SNL, so make sure to remember where you came from.’ And we're walking toward the locker room and he looks at me and says 'These guys are your team. And there's no 'I' in team.’
JR didn’t understand what The Rock making it to Hollywood could mean for wrestling. It meant that wrestling could be even bigger. We could expand the market. So, Jim Ross, there's not an ‘I’ in team, but there's an 'I' in win.'
Wrestlemania doesn’t get 1.3 million buys – doesn’t set any new records – without The Rock going to Hollywood.
THANK YOU, Jim Ross.
(Heavy “Boos” again)
I know you guys gotta go - I know I've been up here a lot longer than allowed. The Rock’s not sorry.
As I close, The Rock has one last ‘Thank You’ to give. It’s to the people. The Rock has been the People’s Champion for fifteen years.
I want thank the people…
I want thank the people for making The Rock a very rich man known all around the world. I’m sure you’d like to thank me, as well, and now would be an appropriate time.
I’ve made you laugh, I’ve made you cry, and I’ve made you everything else in between. Our relationship has been one that I take great pride in. From the bottom of your hearts, I’m sure that you have the greatest respect and love for The Rock. I can’t even imagine how much. I’ve provided you with a platform to live vicariously through my success. I hope that it's given the MILLIONS…
…And MILLIONS of The Rock’s fans that he’s touched the thrill of a lifetime.
Although you’ve been given this tremendous honor of being here to see The Rock tonight, I want you to know that I still THANK YOU.
So, as a continuation of something that I started a long time ago...
The Jabroni-beating, pie-eating, trail-blazing, eyebrow-raising…
(Thunderous “Boos” that shake the camera lens)
…Here at MSG getting that Hall of Fame STAMP, The Rock will forever and always be YOUR People’s CHAMP!
IF YA SMELL….what THE ROCK….is cookin’…
As The Rock’s music played and as The Rock was waving to a crowd who loudly pronounced their disappointment in his speech, noticeably absent from the front row of the “Superstars” section was Dolph Ziggler. Yet, suddenly, he appeared on the stage behind The Rock, quietly ushering Kaitlyn past the curtain and out of harm’s way. As the crowd quickly changed their tune, The Rock smiled from ear-to-ear, taking in what he thought was appreciation. Meanwhile, Dolph loaded up and, with all the confidence in the world, waited for The Rock to turn around. The crowd began chanting “Ziggler” and, only then, did Rock do an about face. At that moment, Ziggler drilled him with a super kick, causing The Rock to go careening off of the stage and into Triple H, who promptly pushed him to the floor. The Game then pointed to Ziggler and encouraged the crowd to place their attention back on him.
No doubt, the production team began furiously working on a highlight video to recap the events of the evening.
When Ziggler goes to steal the “Show of Shows,” he’ll likely have all of Wrestlemania’s attendees from around the world behind him.
(Doc’s Note – I want to thank Michael Jordan for giving the most arrogant, while still awesome speech in the history of Hall of Fames. He inspired this piece; much of it is paraphrased from that script)