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Dwayne Johnson celebrates his birthday on May 2, and regardless of the millions…and millions that he earns from his absurdly successful acting career, he will always be The Rock.

Of course, he didn’t start off as “The Rock.”

In the video below, Johnson looks back on his WWE debut that took place at Madison Square Garden on the Survivor Series pay-per-view event on November 17, 1996.  Then billed as Rocky Maivia, he was a long way from becoming “The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment,” but even The Rock had to start somewhere.

Seriously, that hair alone was ridiculous (which he acknowledges), never mind his gear.

Eventually, crowds everywhere would soon sour on the squeaky clean Maivia. As if almost by fate, a knee injury put Johnson on the shelf for four months, and when he returned in August 1997, The Rock was born.

The rest is history.

 

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.