Before Dwayne Johnson became a Hollywood superstar, he was smashing records in the ring and was better known as WWE champ The Rock. And this Saturday, the 45-year-old actor was all about his wrestling roots, as he posted an emotional tribute to fellow legend Hulk Hogan, recalling one of their most memorable matches sixteen years back.
"16yrs ago today, at WRESTLEMANIA, I had the honor of making history and breaking records with this man: The Immortal @HulkHogan," the wrestler-turned-actor began his touching Instagram post, marking the 16th anniversary of WrestleMania XVIII.
As fans would remember, the match was one of the iconic ones in the WWE history and witnessed a packed audience at Toronto's Skydome in the year 2002.
Recalling the event and how 72-year-old WWE executive Vince McMahon made the dream come true match a reality at the time, Johnson shared: "About a year prior to this match, Vince McMahon came to me and asked how I felt about bringing Hogan back to the @wwe and creating the main event at WrestleMania. I loved the idea and immediately saw the massive business opportunity for us but more importantly, giving the fans a once in a lifetime match to enjoy."
What followed next was a WWE gala of epic proportions that sold tickets and repeated history — meaning, Hogan passed on the baton to then-champion The Rock, just like WWE star Andre the Giant, had done a decade and a half earlier.
"Hogan did “the honors” (me winning) that night and passed the torch to me, as Andre the Giant had done for him 15yrs earlier at WrestleMania III," the Baywatch actor shared, adding, "To this day, this crowd of 65,000 strong was the most electric and on fire I’ve ever had the privilege of performing in front of."
Unsurprisingly, Johnson's candid post resonated with his millions of fans and WWE loyalists; who in turn bombarded the comments section with raving messages.
"Suddenly I feel 16 again!! Good times ❤️," shared one.
AS added another: "Ahaan! Back then. It was the best time for us, where we enjoyed every match at night. Always loved to see you on TV. Also, #ShawnMichaels, Eddie Guerrero, Edge, Bill Goldberg, Lesnar, and your favorite #Hurricane! #thosetimes".
If you have any views or stories that you would like to share with us, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org