21 years ago today The Rock and Hulk Hogan had the most electrifying WrestleMania match of all time
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It was one of the biggest spectacles in WrestleMania history.
On this day, The Rock and Hulk Hogan went one-on-one at WrestleMania 18 in one of the biggest matchups of all time.
Two icons of their respective generations, it was a dream match that many wrestling fans never thought they’d actually get to see.
That was until WWE purchased WCW, leading to the arrival of Hogan and many other wrestling stars.
With The Rock’s career in the WWE kickstarting after the Hulkster had moved to WCW, their paths had never crossed.
But 2002 changed all that, and although it wasn’t the championship main event of the card (that distinction belonged to Triple H and Chris Jericho), it was very much billed as the main attraction.
The company promoted the matchup as Icon vs Icon - and boy did it live up to every expectation.
The build-up to the match had left fans on the edge of their seat as the New World Order comprised of Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash targeted The Rock and Stone Cold.
And while everyone expected sparks to fly, the Toronto Crowd inside the SkyDome made this a match that no one will ever forget.
The veteran Hogan went into the match as the traditional bad guy having come from the invading NWO to the WWE.
But it was Hogan’s first Mania in nine years and the crowd couldn’t contain themselves.
The atmosphere was insane as the crowd were enthralled by every move, every facial expression, and every reaction.
And Hogan rolled back time to when he was the most popular superstar in the company, pulling out some signature moves.
Perhaps one of the biggest reactions of all time came when the now-69-year-old ‘Hulked Up’ for the first time since 1993.
Hogan vs Rock - WrestleMania 18— 2000's WWE (@2000s_WWE) January 12, 2023
One of the BIGGEST pops of all time! Just listen to the arena explode when Hogan Hulks Up! 🔊😮 pic.twitter.com/lejvNVbrDB
Dwayne Johnson had just hit the ‘Rock Bottom’, before Hogan quickly kicked out and pulled out one of his all-time comeback sequences as the crowd went nuts.
The crowd thought it was over when Hogan delivered that signature leg drop, but after the former WWE champion kicked out the roof almost blew off the SkyDome.
In the end, The Rock secured the victory with three ‘Rock Bottoms’ and a ‘People’s Elbow’ to end one of the most memorable Mania matches of all time.
Hogan cemented his turn to the ‘good’ side after helping the Brahma Bull fend off his now-former stable mates the NWO from an attack.
The two shook hands in yet another WrestleMania moment and all felt right in the world of wrestling.