The Rock had a special wrestling career that still is discussed when looking at his greatest moments. Despite becoming arguably the biggest acting star in the world, many fans still look back to the wrestling days as his most impressive body of work. Rock truly captivated the audience by making himself a standout performer with charismatic promos and highly entertaining matches.
We will look back at the best overall matches from The Rock throughout his wrestling career. Each bout featured here played a role in his legacy as an all-time great. The star power of Rock made him an equal to Steve Austin as the two faces of the Attitude Era. WWE may not be as successful as it is today without both men thriving at such an important time. These are the top ten matches of The Rock during his WWE career.
10 The Rock vs Steve Austin (Backlash 1999)
The rivalry between Steve Austin and The Rock truly became the hottest storyline for WWE in 1999. Rock was the leader of The Corporation with Vince and Shane McMahon trying to give him an advantage over their enemy Austin.
Following a solid WrestleMania 15 win, Austin defended the WWE Championship against Rock with Shane McMahon as the guest referee. This was the best version of an Attitude Era match with the weapons and interference adding to the story instead of taking away from it. Austin retained in grand fashion.
9 The Rock vs Mankind - I Quit match (Royal Rumble 1999)
One of the most brutal matches in WWE history featured The Rock and Mick Foley crossing the line from violent to uncomfortable. Mankind was the main rival of Rock during his first few WWE Championship reigns as they faced off quite often in early 1999.
The “I Quit” match at Royal Rumble 1999 is the one remembered most for better or worse. Foley was handcuffed as Rock hit him in the head with a steel chair 11 times. This match is remembered for the Beyond the Mat documentary showing Foley’s kids crying at ringside.
8 The Rock vs Triple H - Ladder match (Summerslam 1998)
The early years of The Rock feuding with Triple H saw them feuding over the Intercontinental Championship before they progressed to the world title. Rock was the leader of the Nation of Domination while Triple H led D-Generation X as both men wanted to get the top spot.
Summerslam 1998 would see Rock and Triple H steal the show with a Ladder match. Most matches with the stipulation featured beautiful aerial moves, but this one provided more violence with a street fight atmosphere. Triple H scored the biggest win of his career at that point to win the IC Title.
7 The Rock vs John Cena (WrestleMania 28)
The return of The Rock to WWE in 2011 set up a year-long build to his first singles match back against John Cena at WrestleMania 28. Rock cost Cena his title match against The Miz at WrestleMania 27 with both men agreeing to wrestle a year later.
The performance of Rock was quite impressive having a legitimate main event caliber match after a long break from the ring. WWE set box office records with the match bringing in strong interest. Rock delivered a great outing for his best of the return matches.
6 The Rock vs Chris Jericho (No Mercy 2001)
The most underrated rivalry of The Rock in WWE came against Chris Jericho. Both men were on the WWE side of things in the Invasion storyline against WCW and ECW. However, a personal issue developed when they feuded for the WCW Championship.
Jericho won his first world title at No Mercy 2001 defeating Rock in a classic match to become WCW Champion. The excitement of the match made fans forget that WCW no longer existed since the fight for the title sold it big time. Rock often listed Jericho as one of his favorite opponents and vice versa.
5 The Rock vs Hulk Hogan (WrestleMania 18)
Hulk Hogan coming back to WWE in 2002 after a nine-year absence would see him return with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash in the New World Order. The dream match of Hogan vs The Rock became the top selling-point for the WrestleMania 18 event.
No one had high expectations due to Hogan’s age and limitations in the ring, but both men created magic on this night. The red-hot crowd cheered on Hogan in surprising fashion as he and Rock worked with it. This instant classic still remains an all-time great WWE match.
4 The Rock vs Brock Lesnar (Summerslam 2002)
One of the most underrated things about The Rock’s WWE career was how often he would put over other talents. Unlike prior names at his level like Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan, Rock would often take clean losses to make his opponents look good.
Brock Lesnar was being built as the company’s next major superstar in 2002 receiving a WWE Championship against Rock just five months into his main roster career. The match at Summerslam was outstanding with Rock taking the loss to make Lesnar a credible champion and made man in WWE.
3 The Rock vs Triple H - Iron Man match (Judgment Day 2000)
The peak of the rivalry between The Rock and Triple H came in the form of an Iron Man match at Judgment Day 2000. Rock and Triple H carried WWE in the year after Steve Austin sat out for many months to recover from neck surgery.
This match gave their feud the ultimate honor of having an hour-long match. Rock and Triple H delivered impressive action for the entire sixty minutes with Shawn Michaels as the guest referee. The return of The Undertaker even added more fun to the mix with Triple H regaining the title.
2 The Rock vs The Undertaker vs Kurt Angle (Vengeance 2002)
An outstanding triple threat match would put The Rock back on top of WWE after a short break to film movies. Rock and Kurt Angle challenged The Undertaker for the WWE Championship at Vengeance 2002 in a must-see triple threat match.
All three men were at the top of their games here with a lot to prove. The past few months of PPV title defenses featured weak matches and that streak ended when they hit a home run here. Rock won the match to become WWE Champion and enter his dream match with Brock Lesnar a month later.
1 The Rock vs Steve Austin (WrestleMania 17)
The most impressive match of The Rock is arguably the most important in WWE history. WrestleMania 17 is regarded as the all-time best WWE show and it was the peak of the infamous Attitude Era with Steve Austin facing off with Rock in the main event.
Two legitimate icons facing off at the peak of their rivalry on a historic show in front of a massive crowd is almost impossible to plan. WWE lucked out with Rock and Austin delivering a classic that had the audience on their feet from start to finish. The shocking heel turn of Austin aligning with Vince McMahon ended the show in memorable fashion.