The wrestling career of The Rock appears to be over after leaving the industry to become a full-time actor. Following the recent returns in matches at a few WrestleMania events, Rock has stopped committing to matches due to the acting lifestyle. Injuries could prevent Rock from filming movies, and he can’t risk losing such momentum as one of the most famous celebrities in the world.
The WWE run of Rock is almost overwhelmingly positive, but no one has a perfect history in the wrestling industry. Rock had his fair share of disappointing matches throughout his career. We will look back to find out just which ones stand out as the worst in an otherwise storybook run. Find out which opponents helped showcase even “The Great One” had flaws. These are the top ten worst matches of The Rock’s WWE career.
10 The Rock vs Faarooq (In Your House: Over the Edge 1998)
The storyline of The Rock joining the Nation of Domination would see him organically becoming the most popular member. Ron Simmons aka Faarooq didn’t expect to lose his spot when Rock joined the group, but it was the natural progression.
A singles match on the Over the Edge 1998 PPV as part of the In Your House series would see them face off in a lackluster outing. There was no real fire to the match since the fans still viewed Simmons as a heel due to his time in the Nation along with Rock now being a top villain as well.
9 The Rock vs Rikishi (Survivor Series 2000)
One of the most bizarre storyline reveals in WWE history came when Rikishi revealed he ran over Steve Austin with a car with the intent of helping The Rock become the face of the company. Rikishi received the biggest push of his career with hopes of him being a top heel.
The big match between Rikishi and Rock regarding Rock not wanting the help came at Survivor Series 2000. Rock won an eventless match that failed to leave an impact on the viewers. Rikishi saw his push end shortly after as he couldn’t step up for the matches against Rock and Steve Austin.
8 The Rock vs The Sultan (WrestleMania 13)
Another match between The Rock and Rikishi came in their prior names of Rocky Maivia and The Sultan. The WrestleMania 13 match saw them facing off in a disappointing match. Rikishi had the masked Sultan gimmick as WWE hoped he could become a top heel.
Rock was still struggling with the generic face character he was given during his early months in WWE. Fans had no interest in cheering such a clean-cut character with zero shades of grey. The variables all played a role in the WM match flopping.
7 The Rock vs John Cena (WrestleMania 29)
The matches between John Cena and The Rock both created strong financial success, but the overall story ended up missing the mark. Rock defeating Cena at WrestleMania 28 was a better match that was billed as a “once in a lifetime” attraction.
WWE ruined that label just one year later when having the rematch at WrestleMania 29. The match was a carbon copy of the first one without as much excitement or appeal since fans watched them work a year prior. Cena won the match, but it is rarely ever discussed as a special or memorable bout.
6 The Rock vs Triple H vs Big Show (Survivor Series 1999)
WWE fooled fans into expecting the dream match of all dream matches with an advertised main event of The Rock vs Triple H vs Steve Austin at Survivor Series 1999. Austin would be removed from the match when he was run over by a car earlier in the show to get written off television.
Big Show replaced Austin in the match after winning a match earlier in the card in dominating fashion. The abrupt addition to the match and the win would give Big Show his first WWE Championship run. It was a lackluster match even more disappointing since fans were sold a much better attraction.
5 The Rock vs Billy Gunn (Summerslam 1999)
Billy Gunn received the biggest singles push of his career in 1999 when winning the King of the Ring tournament. The next step for Gunn would see him join the main event picture. Summerslam 1999 featured a co-main event of Billy vs The Rock.
Fans would view this program as one-sided since Rock easily out-classed Gunn on the microphone most weeks. The match was even worse as there was no drama involved. Everyone knew Billy still wasn’t in Rock’s league leading to the pointless match on the second biggest show of the year.
4 The Rock vs Big Show (No Way Out 2000)
WWE overcomplicated the title picture for WrestleMania season in 2000. The Rock winning the Royal Rumble match and Triple H retaining the WWE Championship made it seem like the WM 16 main event. Despite both men having many matches, fans were excited for their rivalry to reach the WrestleMania stage.
Big Show, however, claimed he was ripped off in the Rumble match and wanted his title shot. A #1 contender’s match at No Way Out 2000 was one of the worst matches of the year. Big Show won thanks to interference from Shane McMahon setting up a fatal four-way for WM.
3 The Rock vs Goldberg (Backlash 2003)
The Rock tried his best to put over Goldberg in 2003 before leaving for Hollywood. Interesting timing would see Rock’s last match for a while also be Goldberg’s first match in WWE. The two faced off in a dream match at Backlash 2003.
WWE fans booed Goldberg as the longer match exposed his weaknesses against Rock. The slower-paced match was a horrible presentation of the dominant Goldberg character. Rock put him over clean, but Goldberg just never came off the same in WWE starting with this match.
2 The Rock vs Erick Rowan (WrestleMania 32)
The Rock wasted time at WrestleMania 32 when appearing for an unscheduled match. WWE rightfully wanted Rock to appear at the event with the biggest crowd in WWE history. However, the entire execution of Rock’s appearance was quite disappointing.
Rock showed up with a flame gun lighting a symbol of his name ablaze in an awkward fashion. The Wyatt Family interrupted him setting a singles match between Rock and Erick Rowan aka the least important member of the group. Rock won in seconds for the comedic moment that helped add to the negative legacy of the show.
1 The Rock vs Hulk Hogan (No Way Out 2003)
The chemistry between The Rock and Hulk Hogan was magical at WrestleMania 18 for a classic match. However, WWE would regret trying to relive the magic almost a year later at the No Way 2003 event in Rock’s first match back from Hollywood.
The new heel character of Rock was fun, but he couldn’t get another good match out of the older Hogan. No Way Out featured them having a stinker in the main event with an even worse ending. Vince McMahon tried to relive the Montreal Screwjob in a scripted manner to start his own feud with Hogan heading into WrestleMania 19.