Views from the Hawke's Nest: The Rock: The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment Disc 3
Posted by TJ Hawke on 11.04.2013
It is time to trust the people of Gotham with the truth and it is time for me to resign.
March 17, 2002
The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan
I'm very excited to watch this. It's the first time I've seen it on a television set in good video quality.
Both men get cheered during their entrances. They soaked it all in for a few moments. Hogan started marking out for the fans loving him. Hogan was on fire. Rock hit his leaping clothesline, and the majority of the fans were DISPLEASED. Rock hit a shitty spear. Hulk hit a back suplex. Hulk locked in the ABDOMINAL STRETCH~! Hogan was doing all of his heel spots that he always did as a babyface. Obviously, the crowd ate it up. They brawled on the floor. They got back into the ring, and there was a ref bump. Rock got the sharpshooter. Hogan got the ropes, but Rock refused to break. Hogan tapped, but the ref was still out. Low blow from Hogan. ROCK BOTTOM FROM HOGAN: 1...2...NO!!! Hogan started whipping Rock with his belt. Rock came back with a DDT. Rock Bottom: 1...2...NO!!!! HULK UP! HULK UP! YOU! BIG BOOT! This is the best. LEGDROP OF DOOM: 1...2...NO!!! Hogan went for a second one, but Rock avoided it and hit the Rock Bottom. Rock Bottom again. People's Elbow: 1...2...3.
Hogan, looking like the match took a decade off his life, shook Rock's hand after the match. Hogan made sure the crowd know who the better man was. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall attacked Hogan after the match. Rock made the save. Rock and Hogan stood tall, together. Rock and Hogan milked the crowd some more. These two should have been a tag team for the next six months.
This was one of those once in a lifetime matchups (I never have and never will watch their second one) that I can watch over and over again. This was an amazing environment with a ton of fun action. When Hogan was great, he was really fucking great. Rock showed why he was probably a better tweener than babyface, but he so rarely had an opponent that was more over than him as a face to this degree (Austin obviously being the only other one). This was great. One of my favorite Wrestlemania matches ever. Match Rating: ****
July 21, 2002
The Undertaker(c) vs. The Rock vs. Kurt Angle [WWF Undisputed Championship]
2002 was a DARK fucking year for the WWF.
Undertaker was in his biker gimmick here. It sucked. We all pretend that it didn't happen. Also, when you think of WWE triple threat formula, you should think of this match. Two men in, one man out to start. They started using each other's finishers. There was a Chyna cos player in the front row. More two men in, one man out stuff. Angle got busted open. Rock and Taker avoided each other's finishers. Angle cracked Taker in the head with a chair and then gave Rock a Drunk Slam. Sharpshooter on Angle. Taker made the save. Last Ride to Rock. Drunk Lock from Angle on Taker. Taker rolled through. Angle got a triangle choke, and the crowd was completely lost. Rock made the save, but Angle got him in the Drunk Lock. Rock escaped and gave Taker a Rock Bottom: 1...2...NO! Drunk Slam to Taker. Rock Bottom to Angle: 1...2...3!
This match was a mess, but the last ten minutes were fun enough, The crowd going completely silent for Angle's triangle choke was by far the highlight of the match. Match Rating: ***1/4
July 22, 2002
The Rock vs. Eddie Guerrero
Rock was the Undisputed WWE Champion at the time, but this was a non-title match. The stipulation was that Eddie would get a title shot if he won this match.
Rock was mostly in control early until Eddie was able to cut him off with a back suplex. Eddie worked him over after that. Eddie was in control for a while. Rock eventually came back with some punches and a DDT: 1...2...NO! Rock went for a Rock Bottom, but Eddie reversed it into a pinning combination: 1...2...NO! One of the best reversals of all time. The crowd was stunned into silence by that reversal. Eddie went for a frog splash, but Rock avoided it. Rock then hit the spinebuster and the People's Elbow: 1...2...3!
Brock Lesnar showed up after the match and picked up the Undisputed Championship. These two were meeting at the next PPV (Summerslam 2002). Brock eventually threw the title at the feet of the Rock. Rock had a super serial facial expression for this. Paul Heyman made a brief cameo as Brock walked to the back.
Two of the most entertaining men in WWE history. Watch this match right now. It's super basic for these two, but it's incredibly cool to watch because of how unique it was. I wish these two had a PPV match at some point. Match Rating: ***
March 30, 2003
The Rock vs. Steve Austin
This was a great story. Rock had lost to Austin twice at Wrestlemania before, but he was determined to defeat him once. Austin had just come back after "taking his ball and going home" in 2002. This would turn out to be Austin's last match ever. Austin legit almost died the night before and had to go the emergency room.
Rock's shoulder tattoo was starting to form by now. This quickly turned into a brawl. Rock got control of the match and started working over Austin. The crowd was not especially hot. I hate stadiums. Rock was going after one of Austin's knees. Rock started wearing Austin's vest, which immediately caused Austin to make a comeback. Austin was noticeably sluggish by this point. Thesz Press and punches from Austin. Rock Bottom from Austin got a nearfall. Rock came back with a Stunner! Punches from Rock, but Austin hit a Stunner: 1...2...NO! Rock's last comically awesome bump for a stunner, ever? Rock hit a low blow, but Austin avoided the People's Elbow. Spinebuster/People's Elbow: 1...2...NO! Rock Bottom from Rock: 1...2...NO! Austin managed to avoided another Rock Bottom attempt, but he then walked into another anyway: 1...2...NO! Rock was first upset, but he then realized that he had the match won. One last Rock Bottom: 1...2...3
This match was far more emotional than I remember. It's not quite as emotional as Shawn Michaels's last match, but it has a similar vibe. The old gunslinger is past his prime, and he's just a step slower than his equally legendary rival. Unfortunately, the focus of the match was more on Rock than it should have. If the story revolved more around Austin surviving and trying to stay alive, it probably would have affected me emotionally even more. Match Rating: ****
Disc 3 also contains a lot of famous Rock promos. They are as entertaining as you would expect even if someone feel very dated.
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The 411: As far as "match collection" DVDs go, this is a pretty darn good set. It does not have every great Rock match from his prime, but it has enough of them to warrant a purchase. The Rock was one of my favorite performers ever, and I was very glad to get a chance to take a close look at this set. I feel like there were dozens of television matches with super-hot crowds that could have made this whole set truly fantastic, but overall, there is no denying the value of this collection.