The Rock made his WWE in-ring debut as Rocky Maivia on this day at 1996's Survivor Series


November 17 is a significant day in WWE history as two icons of the company made their debuts, Hulk Hogan and The Rock.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's wrestling story was unique at the time, as he was billed as the first third-generation superstar in WWE history after his father and grandfather.

He made his WWF in-ring debut at 1996's Survivor Series as Rocky Maivia, a combination of his father's and grandfather's ring names.

Maivia teamed up with Jake Roberts, Marc Mero, and The Stalker against Crush, Goldust, Jerry Lawler, and Hunter Hearst Helmsley.

WWE pushed Rocky heavily from the start despite his wrestling inexperience, and this booking direction was clear as day during his first match at Survivor Series.

Rocky showed his athleticism throughout the match, most notably getting up quickly after a shoulder tackle from Lawler, as well as jumping over The King twice.

He would also lock up with Helmsley several times in the bout, who would of course later be known as the legendary Triple H.

This was a sign of things to come between the two, as Rocky would feud and beat Helmsley in February 1997 for the Intercontinental Championship.

The first elimination of the match came after 10 minutes when Lawler was eliminated by Roberts, but the teams were even again at three apiece just over two minutes later when Goldust eliminated The Stalker.

It stayed this way for just over seven minutes when three superstars were eliminated in the space of a minute and a half, as Mero eliminated Helmsley, but then he and Roberts were eliminated by Crush.

Against all the odds, with him being the only man left on his team against Crush and Goldust, Rocky managed to overcome the extra man advantage the opposing team had and win the match.


Being held back by Goldust, Maivia would duck out of the way of an incoming punch from Crush, who would end up connecting with his teammate.

Using the error by Crush to his advantage, Rocky would hit Crush with a Diving Crossbody, and pin him to eliminate him from the match.

One on one with Goldust, Maivia would hit his Running Shoulderbreaker finisher and pin his opponent to win his debut match in WWF as a sole survivor.


While the Rocky Maivia name never caught on with WWE fans, he would use this to his advantage when he turned heel less than a year later, adapting The Rock name instead as he insulted the fans.

The Rock would go on to have a Hall of Fame-worthy career following his 1996 Survivor Series in-ring debut, becoming one of the most iconic superstars in WWE history.

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