The Rock had risen to become one of the most popular faces in the history of professional wrestling during a golden age of the industry – the Monday Night Wars.
Hulk Hogan, on the other hand, is the man that put WrestleMania and, arguably, WWE on the map. Certainly on a global scale.
This was the clash of two generations and something fitting for a WrestleMania.
When WCW was bought by WWE and Hogan’s Time Warner contract expired, Vince McMahon approached The Rock with the idea of bringing Hogan back and facing him.
“I loved it,” said The Rock. “Immediately I saw the marquee, I saw the build up, I saw the promotion and I just saw the intrigue from the fans because this is a match you never thought you would see.
“It’s like Tyson vs Ali, you never thought you would see that.”
In a 12 minute Instagram video, The Rock breaks down exactly how things went before, during and after the iconic match with Hogan.
During the video, he comments on what Hogan said to him after the match: “When we got to the back, I gave Hogan the biggest, hardest hug I could and I said ‘thank you for passing the torch’.
“He said, ‘you deserve it, brother’, or something to that effect. ‘Carry it well, like I did when Andre passed me the torch’.”
During the match, the crowd made a seismic turn to support the returning Hogan.
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Yesterday was the 18th anniversary of the history making ICON vs ICON WrestleMania match between myself and the Immortal @HulkHogan. Here’s my answer to your questions about how I felt about our iconic match and some unique backstory to our build up and the importance of doing something that’s served me my whole life – always listen to my gut. Thanks for all your great questions and thank you, Terry for passing the torch. Truly, my honor. Stay health everyone and take care of one another — we will get thru this. #iconvsicon #goat #listentoyourgut
The 80s star had returned as a bad guy with the NWO, but Hulkamania just had to run wild once more.
The Rock also opened up on how the match was worked out and how much of that was split decisions.
“Cheer him, you can boo me, because the only thing that matters is we have a great match.”