The Rock and Brock Lesnar are responsible for capturing the energy and imagination of fans for decades. The two WWE legends even had their own historic match twenty years ago at SummerSlam in 2002, and that memory is still strong with fans and anyone who was involved.
One of pro wrestling’s best known commentators, Jim Ross, recently took to his podcast, “Grilling JR,” to reminisce about days gone by. In particularly, Ross spoke about SummerSlam 2002 and that unforgettable contest between The Great One and the Beast Incarnate, who was known as the Next Big Thing at the time.
SummerSlam 2002 was quite iconic, since it marked Lesnar’s first Championship win, which he had to face Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the ring to win.
We had Rock and knew if somebody was gonna be champion and win it from him, and Lesnar was gonna get anointed, getting anointed by The Rock was gold.
Ross also expressed the doubts that everyone had regarding Lesnar, since he was considered “a little green for that role.” That being said, Ross also revealed that “the consensus was, [they couldn’t] wait any longer,” and that Ross was in Lesnar’s corner.
So, on that night, Rock the babyface wasn’t there. The fans made him their villain because ‘you’re leaving us, and you hurt my feelings.’ They did a real good job of following the classic [Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels] that preceded them, and I thought that was gonna be a challenging situation.
Don’t think that Rock wasn’t aware. He may have been more aware of it than even Lesnar because of his experience, ‘We have our work cut out for us, we have to somehow get this crowd back into it.’ They had their work cut out for them, but they came through, which is certainly a credit to them.
It seems that everyone involved with the fight was aware how much of a challenge it would be, However, despite not having a lot of experience, Lesnar did manage to pull off a spectacular performance, and met the expectations of fans. Check out the following clip of the fight.
What are your thoughts on this iconic moment in wrestling history? Let us know in the comments!