Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Listen to The Rock do commentary on his first WWE match, 20 years ago

(Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0-YFZHY9Uo)

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has only been on YouTube for two months, but his channel is already host to a pretty eclectic batch of content. Some of it is on-message—a style guide from the guy who designs the costumes on Ballers, a foul-mouthed reality show about wrestling promos—but some of it is just bizarre. Witness, for example, the theme song for Pokérock, featuring vocals from the original Pokémon theme song’s Jason Paige:

A few days ago, though, the channel released some real content from the man himself: “Rock Reacts,” which shows Johnson reacting to and talking about various video clips. In this case, one that’s obviously pretty close to his heart: his own debut, as Rocky Maivia, at the then-WWF’s Survivor Series in 1996.

Johnson dishes up plenty of details about the match—including his affection for one of his opponents, Brian “Crush” Adams, who died in 2007, and the way it felt to hear 20,000 fans already chanting his name—and seems delighted to revisit the moments that set him on the path to being one of the highest-paid movie stars in the world. He also can’t resist taking a few potshots at his past self, commenting on his mis-aimed points to the arena’s cameras, and referring to his haircut as “a fucking Chia Pet on my head.” Meanwhile, it’s kind of amazing to see Johnson—then just 24—already exhibiting the onscreen charisma that’s made him one of the most potent forces in entertainment today.


Presumably, more Rock Reacts videos are on their way; it’s not clear if they’ll be entirely focused on his own wrestling career, or if they’ll cover other aspects of pop culture as well. Either way, they’re a welcome respite from listening to the Pokémon theme song with the word “jabroni” awkwardly slotted in.

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