The Feud Between Hulk Hogan and The Rock (Dwayne Johnson)

The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan
The Rock battles Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X-8. Rock vs. Hogan: George Pimentel/Getty Images


In the 1980's, Hulk Hogan's popularity turned the WWE from a regional territory into the number one wrestling promotion in the world. In the 90's, he brought his magic to the WCW and made them the number one promotion for a short time as a hated villain and the leader of the new World order. However, WWE fought back and with the 1-2 punch of The Rock & Steve Austin they took over the lead in this wrestling war.

  While this WWE vs. WCW feud was going on, The Rock followed the path that Hulk paved for other wrestlers and took his wrestling fame to Hollywood.  After the AOL-Time Warner merger, WCW was sold to the WWE and the fans salivated in anticipation of many potential match-ups. The one everybody wanted to see was Hulk Hogan vs The Rock.

The nWo Invades WWE

Hollywood Hogan and his new World order buddies Kevin Nash & Scott Hall entered WWE at No Way Out 2002 which took place on February 17, 2002.  The following night on Monday Night RAW, Hulk Hogan and The Rock shared the same ring in a magical moment.  Both men talked smack at one other for a while and decided to fight each other at WrestleMania.  After shaking Rock's hand, Hogan and his nWo buddies attacked The Rock.  When the ambulance came to take him to the hospital, the nWo commandeered the ambulance and trapped the Rock inside. They then smashed an 18-wheeler truck into the ambulance.

WrestleMania X8

On March 17, 2002, over 60,000 fans jammed the Skydome in Toronto to see this epic battle.  Even though Hulk was a bad guy, the fans of the WWE still remembered their hero and the crowd was mixed as to the who they were going to support.  Every time they touched each other the crowd went crazy and the flashbulbs were blinding.

  However, something strange happened during the match. The fans started to really get behind Hogan and were booing The Rock unmercifully whenever he hit Hogan.  After the Rock won, he and Hogan shook hands much to the fans delight.

The Aftermath

The good guy Hulk Hogan was back and the fans were giving him ovations the likes that had never been seen in the business. He ditched the black and white colors of Hollywood Hogan and replaced them with the yellow and red outfit that WWE fans grew up loving. Both men would leave the company shortly afterwards for a brief period to pursue other career opportunities. While this feud was very short, the memories and feelings the fans experienced make it unforgettable.

Part 2 - Easily Forgettable

As is the case in wrestling, when something works once, the promoters try to recreate the magic. They met once again at No Way Out 2003 on February 23. This time, The Rock was a bad guy working for the evil Mr. McMahon.  The Rock cheated to win this match that was used as a lead-up to a match between Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon at WrestleMania XIX.