In many respects, The Rock has become one of the most successful wrestlers of all time. Not only was he at the forefront of wrestling's biggest boom period, but he's since become the highest-paid actor in the world, one of the most powerful celebrities, and even People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive. Say what you will about Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and others... but they never had quite that much crossover appeal outside of the squared circle.
Of course, the ring is where Dwayne Johnson first created his fame and fortune and during his years as a wrestler, The Rock made tons of enemies along the way. Some were wrestlers, some were authority figures, and many he never even had an actual wrestling match with!
We're basing this on storyline rivalries The Rock had with wrestlers and non-wrestlers alike, not speculating on what may have happened backstage (although in some cases, these will fall under both categories).
In counting down the Top 50 The Rock Rivalries, Wrestling Merchandise and Memories looked at the following criteria:
How prominent was the rivarly?
What type of stage(s) did it play out on?
How memorable were the matches and/or segments?
How much did the rivalry do to advance either person's career?
If you'd like to be a part of this conversation, Tweet us at @canadianbulldog using the hashtag #Top50, or leave a comment below.
Ready? Here we go!
While Jonathan Coachman never actually went one on one with the great one (and some entries on this list have that in common), there was always a confrontational nature between the announcer and The Rock. He also kicked Coach off the interview set before his match at WrestleMania XVIII.
When The Rock made an unscheduled appearance on Raw in October 2014, it was a confrontation with the Bulgarian Brute Rusev and his manager Lana. The meeting ended with Rusev getting knocked out of the ring. The following year, Rock returned to Raw, and inferred that he had laid the SmackDown on Lana.
The Rock had only a few matches with WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero. In one segment, The Great One sang a version of "La Bamba" in the ring to infuriate Latino Heat. The two had a match that aired on Monday Night Raw in July 2002.
In early 1998, as a member of The Nation Of Domination, The Rock found himself often facing Steve Blackman, both in singles matches and tag team battles with Faarooq. Later, when Faarooq was kicked out of The Nation, he and Blackman teamed up against The Rock and The New Nation's Owen Hart.
Leading up to the 2000 Royal Rumble, The Rock joked Crash Holly (along with Headbanger Mosh) were the competitors he was most concerned about. Before that, Crash clashed with him several times. Most notably, he and cousin Hardcore Holly defeated The Rock & Sock Connection for the tag titles in 1999.
Leading up to WrestleMania XXVII, WWE Champion The Miz was caught in The Rock's crosshairs, even impersonating The Great One on Monday Night Raw. Later that year, as Rock was preparing for a WrestleMania XXVIII match with John Cena, he and Cena tagged at Survivor Series to battle The Miz and R-Truth.
The British Bulldog
As Rocky Maivia, one of The Rock's first major single victories was against The British Bulldog (no relation) on Monday Night Raw. Years later, the two renewed their rivalry after the Bulldog was Rock Bottom on a pile of manure in the lead up to their singles match at the No Mercy PPV in 1999, with The Rock victorious.
The Rock clashed with WWE Hall of Famer Edge several times during The Attitude Era, and mostly through tag team matches. In December 2000, The Rock teamed with The Undertaker to defeat Edge and Christian for the WWF World Tag Team Titles, dropping them to Edge and Christian one night later.
Christian battled The Rock in tag team matches throughout The Attitude Era and even defeated The Great One and The Undertaker for the tag team titles. But Christian also challenged The Rock for the WCW Championship in 2001, and after being unsuccessful, turned heel on Edge.
The Road Warriors
While in The Nation, The Rock often found himself on the opposing side of WWE Hall of Famer The Road Warriors. At the Bad Blood: In Your House PPV, Rock teamed with D'Lo Brown and Kama Mustafa against the LOD, and his faction battled a Road Warriors-led team at Survivor Series.
Big Boss Man
Although The Rock and WWE Hall of Famer Big Boss Man were once members of The Corporation together, there were times when The People's Champ was opposing him as well. This included the Survivor Series Deadly Games tournament in 1998, when Rock quickly defeated Boss Man in the first round.
Shortly after Ahmed Johnson was kicked out of The Nation Of Domination, The Rock took his place in the faction. From there, the former Rocky Maivia battled Johnson on Monday Night Raw, as well as in tag team competition at the Survivor Series 1997 and the No Way Out Of Texas: In Your House pay-per-view.
Kane challenged The Rock to a WWF Championship match on Raw in the summer of 2000, and earlier in the year Vince McMahon forced the two to have a No Holds Barred match. They often found themselves on opposite sides in singles, multi-person and tag team action
Jerry The King Lawler
As Flex Kavana in the USWA, The Rock challenged WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler for his USWA Title in a "Loser Leaves Town" match.... which of course Kavana lost, paving the way for a new career in the World Wrestling Federation.
Shane McMahon enlisted the help of Chris Benoit to go after The Rock during their prevously-mentioned rivalry. This led to a WWF Championship match in the main event of Fully Loaded in 2000. Benoit defeated Rock, although the decision was overturned and Rock won.
When The Rock returned to WWE for the 1000th episode of Raw, he was surprisingly attacked by WWE Champion CM Punk. After the pipe bomb-dropping Punk described his dismay for "Dwayne," it led to a pair of PPV matches the following year, with Rock ending Punk's lengthy championship run.
The Rock and Brock Lesnar have had only one match, but it was a rivalry that lasted much of the summer of 2002. For months, Lesnar interfered in Rock's matches, challenging The Great One for his Undisputed Title in the main event of SummerSlam. Lesnar pinned Rock, sending him out of the company.
The Rock returned to WWE in 2004 to aid his former tag team partner Mick Foley in a war against Evolution members Ric Flair, Randy Orton and Batista. The rivalry led to a handicap tag team match at WrestleMania XX, which Evolution won. Rock and Flair also battled on Raw.
In his first WrestleMania, Rocky Maivia defended the Intercontinental Title against The Sultan, a/k/a WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi. Years later, Rikishi revealed their bloodlines, saying he ran over Steve Austin for his cousin The Rock, leading to a feud between the two.
The Big Show
Although The Big Show debuted in 1999 as a member of The Corporation along with The Rock, they soon went their separate ways. The following year at the Royal Rumble, the two were the last men in the ring, and the controversial ending to led to two more PPV clashes that year, including WrestleMania XVI.
The Rock and Ken Shamrock spent a good portion of 1998 at each other's throats. At the Royal Rumble, Shamrock appeared to have defeated The Great One for the Intercontinental Title, only to have the decision reversed. They actually battled at eight PPVs that year, including WrestleMania.
The Rock and WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle clashed many times on pay-per-view, beginning with a Triple Threat match at SummerSlam 2000 where Triple H was also involved. At No Way Out in 2001, Angle outsmarted The People's Champ to win the WWF World Title in a no-disqualification match.
The Rock and Vince McMahon have constantly been at each other's throats, even while The Great One was part of McMahon's Corporation! Later, The Chairman screwed Rock at two straight WrestleManias; at WrestleMania XVI, McMahon supported Triple H, and a year later, he sided with Steve Austin.
Although best known for teaming together as The Rock and Sock Connection, The Rock and WWE Hall of Famer Mankind were initially rivals, especially after Rock turned heel at Survivor Series 1998. The two had a lengthy series of matches, trading the WWF World Championship back and forth several times.
Rocky Maivia's first championship win came at the hands of Hunter Hearst Helmsley -- and it was hardly the only time they battled it out. As leaders of their respective factions, The Rock and Triple H had a classic ladder match at SummerSlam 1998 and even had an in-ring confrontation at WrestleMania XXXI.
When Rocky Maivia made his Monday Night debut in 1996, his very first opponent was Salvatore Sincere, a stereotypical Italian character who was anything but Sincere. In fact, Maivia and Sincere clashed several times on television and at WWF house shows as the future Rock developed his craft.
The Rock and WWE Hall of Famer X-Pac had several matches during the late 1990s and early 2000s. When X-Pac was a member of D-Generation X, he met The Great One many times on television and house shows. And when he joined the refurbished nWo in 2002, X-Pac was again an enemy.
As General Manager of Raw, Vickie Guerrero had her share of run-ins with The Rock during his return in 2013. During the Monday Night Raw 20th Anniversary Show, The Great One held a "Rock Concert," belittling Guerrero with the Eric Clapton parody "You Look Horrible Tonight."
When Savio Vega joined The Nation Of Domination in 1997, he opposed a young Rocky Maivia. This included a match at Revenge Of The Taker: In Your House, where Vega defeated Intercontinental Champion Maivia by countout. When The Rock joined The Nation, they feuded with Vega's group Los Boricuas.
Much like his younger cousin Crash, Hardcore Holly was successful in defeating The Rock and Mankind to win the WWF Tag Team Championship in 1999. However, Hardcore (also known as Bob Holly) also took on a young Rocky Maivia during The People's Champ's early days as a WWF competitor.
Disciples of the Apocalypse
Right around the time that The Rock turned heel and joined The Nation Of Domination, the orginal NOD had split off into several sub-factions, including Disciples Of The Apocalypse. During that time, The Rock and various members of The Nation feuded with DOA, on television, house shows and PPV.
The Rock and WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry began as heels together in The Nation Of Domination. When that faction dissolved, one of The Rock's first opponents was The World's Strongest Man. At the Judgment Day: In Your House PPV in 1998, Henry actually pinned The Great One due to help from D'Lo Brown.
In 2000, European Champion William Regal was trying to give Americans an etiquette lesson on SmackDown when The Rock interrupted and threatened to do something sinister with a turkey drumstick to Regal. This led to a match between the two of them. They also battled for the WCW Championship in 2001.
When Stephanie McMahon showed her true colors as The Billion Dollar Princess in the early 2000s, she constantly crossed paths with The Rock, a phenomenon that continued throughout The Alliance vs. WWF rivalry. In 2001, The Rock even sang Happy Birthday to McMahon, insulting her all the way.
Kevin Nash & Scott Hall
When WWE Hall of Famers Kevin Nash and Scott Hall returned to WWE in 2002 as part of the nWo, The Rock was amongst their biggest detractors. After running them down at the No Way Out pay-per-view, The Rock ended up helping Hulk Hogan turn against the pair following their WrestleMania match.
The Rock didn't intend to feud with Al Snow, but indirectly did so after Snow accused Rock of throwing Mankind's autobiography in the trash. For weeks on Raw and SmackDown, The Rock battled Snow, including in a "Brahma Bullrope" match, before Mankind realized Snow was just being jealous.
WWE Hall of Famer Road Dogg often found himself running afoul of The Rock when D-Generation X and The Nation Of Domination were feuding. Shortly after he returned from injury in 1999, Road Dogg challenged The Great One to his WWF World Championship on Raw.
In early 1997, Owen Hart challenged Rocky Maivia for his Intercontinental Title, dedicating the win to his brother Bret Hart. The two battled over the next year, with Hart facing The Rock after he joined The Nation Of Domination. Eventually, he and The King Of Harts joined forces, co-leading The New Nation.
Shane McMahon spent time in the ring with The Rock while part of his father's Corporation faction. At one point, Rock faced Shane O'Mac in a steel cage match on Raw, marred by the interference of Triple H. During the WCW/ECW InVasion, McMahon teamed up with Booker T to try to take Rock's WCW Title.
When The Rock returned to WWE as a heel in 2003, he was often confronted in the locker room by The Hurricane, whom The People's Champ jokingly referred to as "Hamburglar". But the joke was on The Rock; during their match on Raw in March, Hurricane pinned him. Wassupwidat?
WWE Hall of Famer Chyna was part of D-Generation X's feud with The Nation Of Domination. In one incident, with the other DX members locked in a dressing room, The Rock forced his Nation members to hold her down and "put her down on her knees where she belongs."
When Rocky Maivia turned heel in the summer of 1997, it was under the tutelage of Nation Of Domination leader and WWE Hall of Famer Faarooq. The Rock soon began asserting his dominance in the group, and just as Faarooq was about to get rid of The Rock, The Nation accepted him as their leader instead.
In 1999, WWE Hall of Famer Billy Gunn was establishing himself as a singles wrestler (Mr. Ass) and even won that year's King of the Ring. Gunn's rivalry with The Rock led to a match at SummerSlam, in what was billed as a "Kiss My Ass" match. But instead of puckering up to The People's Rear, Rock used a heavyset wringer.
After The Rock defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIX, he claimed there was no one left worthy to face. Enter WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg, who was debuting for WWE the night after WrestleMania in 2003. The two began a dream match rivalry that culminated in Goldberg pinning Rock at Backlash.
The Rock and The Undertaker have battled many times over the years. Their first major encounter was in the semifinals of the Survivor Series 1998 tournament, but they also battled for the WWF Title at King Of The Ring 1999 and in two separate WWE Championship matches on pay-per-view in 2002.
When The Rock returned to the WWF in 2001, he immediately found himself in a feud with WWE Hall of Famer Booker T, who at the time was part of The Alliance and was WCW World Champion. The Rock defeated Booker for the championship at SummerSlam, and had a two-on-one program at Unforgiven.
The Rock and WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan made history at WrestleMania XVIII when they battled in an Icon vs. Icon match that turned Hogan face. Although the two legends reconciled their differences, they faced off in a rematch at No Way Out 2003, with the roles reversed and Rock playing the heel.
Literally from the moment Chris Jericho debuted in the WWF, it was in opposition to The Rock. The two had several matches during Jericho's early WWF run and after briefly teaming, Jericho began feuding with The People's Champ by late 2001, including that year's No Mercy and Vengeance PPVs.
From 2011 to 2013, The Rock's biggest rival was John Cena, the man who had openly criticized Rock for abandoning his WWE fans. After screwing Cena out of the WWE Championship at WrestlMania XXVII, the two had their "Once In A Lifetime" match at WrestleMania XXVIII - and then another at WrestleMania XXIX.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
One of the greatest rivalries in wrestling was The Rock against WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin. From battling over the Intercontinental Championship to the main event, the two headlined pay-per-views and competed for the WWF/E Championship. In fact, they're the only two men to compete against each other at three WrestleManias - WrestleMania XV, WrestleMania XVII and WrestleMania XIX.