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Best pre-Rock Rocky Maivia Match?

Hey Scott. I've been watching a lot of wrestling on Youtube lately and realized that I haven't really run across any pre- The Rock era Rocky Maivia matches. Would  you or any of the other readers recommend anything from Rocky Maivia or even the Flex Kavana days?


​No, he was pretty terrible in that era.  He was a guy who looked like a star and who was a project of the top people, but he didn't really develop into a good worker until the NOD era.  I'd call the HHH match where he won the IC title pretty decent and I recall the match where he lost the title to Owen Hart being not bad, but nothing else really stands out for him. ​

Comments

  1. Rocky vs crowd apathy was pretty dramatic.

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  2. He has a pretty good match with Mankind at a PPV. I feel the backlash he was facing back then is overstated now.

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  3. Fully Loaded 98 vs Triple H was the perfect Russo match. So much fun.

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  4. Rocky and Trips had pretty good chemistry together despite HHH not being that great around this time either, which goes to show that if you put two guys together that have good chemistry that it can turn both guys into stars.

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  5. The Maivia Hurricane signature move was bad ass though

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  6. That's because nothing compares to the babyface heat of Cena.

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  7. I can't understand why they haven't turned Reigns yet. He needs his own "Die Roman, Die" promo to get over the hump.

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  8. Was that his name for a rollup? That's how I recall him winning all his matches, in plucky underdog style.

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  9. Less of a match than a segment, but I really loved his deal with Bret. "You wanna boo me, I'll give you something to boo."

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  10. While Rocky had some fun matches as part of the Nation, it still took
    awhile for Rocky to improve as a worker. I think he only started to
    improve around KOTR98 when his popularity started getting pretty hot.

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  11. He was already in NOD phase at this point, but I thought his KOTR final with Ken Shamrock was a fun outing.

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  12. Do you know what apathy means?

    Hint: "Die Rocky Die!"is not apathy.

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  13. Because underneath Rocky Maivia was an awesome sleazebag, pompous asshole who we loved to hate, and then we just flat out loved. Reigns doesn't have that kind of charisma, I don't think. Even Rocky Maivia had good fire, it was just misdirected as a smiling babyface. Reigns is pretty cardboard no matter how you present him.

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  14. I thought that was his over-the-shoulder roundabout DDT deal.

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  15. The booking helped too. Both guys were protected from the Devil on high. You never see midcard guys treated with such care or special handling anymore.

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  16. I think a lot of people still had doubts about Rocky as a worker during his Nation days and I think Rock was able to shut a lot of his critics up after his ladder match with HHH.

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  17. Agreed. I'm pretty sure Rocky Maivia vs. Salvatore Sincere on RAW in 1996 was a sleeper hit though. ****1/2 easy. Maivia had a series with Dr. X on Superstars that rivaled Flair/Steamboat. People were just too jaded.

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  18. The booking didn't protect them that much, in 98 Rock was booked like a main event jobber and HHH lost the majority of the matches he had with the Rock, but both guys became stars anyway, in Rock's case it was his awesomeness and HHH took a little longer to get there, but eventually did through sheer determination and politicking.

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  19. Rock holding up the IC Title while being wheeled out on a stretcher at WM14 was a defining moment for him.

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  20. Joey Jo-Jo Junior ShabbadooJune 30, 2015 at 3:48 PM

    I'd argue that much like Dusty, Rock was a somewhat mediocre worker with out-of-this-world charisma, so it all balanced out. He was more athletic than, say, Cena, but his in-ring stuff was loosey-goosey and sometimes out right bad (the Sharpshooter, anyone?).

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  21. It was obvious while some in management thought that Rocky could be the next big thing, that others didn't see it that way and had no idea how to book him.

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  22. Yes, but Rock was always put in a position to get heat. He was treated like Honky Tonk Man for most of his IC Title run, but nonetheless he was always presented as a star. If that makes sense.

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  23. Rock used a shoulder breaker when he started but eventually lost that move because Rock's knees couldn't stand doing that move every night.

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  24. I'd go full nutjob and track down Flex Kavana stuff from Memphis.

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  25. Yeah. Rocky vs. Sultan at WM13 was particularly sad. I remember as an 11-year old mark thinking, "oh okay, I guess the IC Title is for the preliminary bums now." Preliminary bums was, for whatever reason, what my friends and I used to describe jobbers, or as we know them now, geeks.

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  26. Yeah he used the cross body as a finish for a while too

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  27. In terms of his matches, Rock wasn't booked that strongly, like you said, he was booked like Honky Tonk Man, but I think Russo booking actually helped Rock here because no matter how retarded Russo is, if something works, he'd milk that cow dry and then continue on milking the dead cow anyway, so Russo simply gave Rock a alot of screentime to go out there and cut a funny promo, something that wouldn't really happen in today's WWE.

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  28. The original plan was Rocky vs Mero with both guys fighting over Sable presumably, which could have been a decent midcard feud as Rocky could have learned from Mero and Mero could have make him look good in the ring, but instead Rock gets lumbered with guys that totally exposed how bad he was as a worker.

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  29. That is what made me a fan. That and his promo for the ladder match at Summerslam ("I'll climb this ladder rung by damn rung by damn rung.")

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  30. I remember an old Observer podcast reviewing Survivor Series 2011 where Alvarez hit the nail on the head. During the tag match, both Cena and Rock did the exact same spots with the story being that both guys were tring to one-up each other, but Rock carried himself like an athlete and Cena looked like an indy geek copying what he saw on tv by comparison.


    I think that's one of the issues with WWE today that doesn't get mentioned. No-one carries themselves as an athlete (except for Brock and Daniel Bryan) that could be a star in wrestling today and conceivably choose a different sport tomorrow to be great in.

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  32. He was killing it between summer of 98 and fall of 98. Once the catchphrases got over he never deviated from them.

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  33. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogJune 30, 2015 at 4:16 PM

    Nice tits, Lillie May!

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  34. Once Rock's pops started rivaling Austin's, that became a great time to be a fan.

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  35. Knee injury was the best thing to happen to his career. He cut down dramatically on his moveset and concentrated more on working a crowd.

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  36. That will probably be the only time in history that a gigantic babyface is being challenged by someone that was going to be just as huge. Without Rock Austin probably stays on top until he feels like walking away.

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  37. Rocky vs. Owen is the best based on Davey Boy's celebration alone.

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  38. That was the worst finisher...I hated him for that stupid finish, the goofy hair and the awful outfits.

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  39. I remember that. I loved Owen and the title change was so unexpected that marked out in the same way as Bulldog. It's sad that titles don't mean anything anymore where winning a midcard title was a big deal.

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  40. That match also has a funny exchange between Vince and Lawler on commentary that I love....


    Vince: Owen Hart of course dedicating this match to....ahem....his "loving" brother Bret


    Lawler: Now why do you say it like THAT McMahon? You know, every week this punk kid....luckiest kid in the world Rocky Maivia comes out here dedicating matches to his father Rocky Johnson...and you just think that's great!


    Vince: Yes, I do


    Lawler: WELL THEN WHY ISN'T IT GREAT WHEN OWEN DOES IT!?!?!?!

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  41. My dad and I called them "nobodies"

    It's like how every group in the Walking Dead has a different name for the zombies

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  42. MaffewOfBotchamaniaJune 30, 2015 at 6:38 PM

    That is a great point.

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  43. Good persona as Flex, closer to the Rock than blue chipper was that is for sure, but that match with Lawler could have been a dead body and it would have been the same match.

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  44. The brass knucks reversal for me at Royal Rumble 98 made me love the guy.

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  46. He's the only guy I knew that could job a million times but was allowed to talk everyone down that he ever lost his heat.

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  47. Hogan had a five-star squash with Chick Donovan in 1978.

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  48. Surprisingly, I didn't hate Triple H during his miscard babyface run in 98. I guess I thought he had no power with Shawn gone. HA! How wrong in hindsight that turned out.

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  49. Ceasaro definitely carries himself like an athlete. I could watch him move all day and I am at least 75% straight!

    *glances at Ceasaro match*

    and I am at least 74% straight!

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  50. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighJune 30, 2015 at 11:09 PM

    Liked the finish to his match vs Mankind at IYH Cold day in Hell

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  51. Well not everyone obsessed over what happened because Shawn said so back then.

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  52. Was watching a December 97 raw recently where he challenged shamrock at RR and he's cutting the promo and a audience member touches his arm (benefit of sometimes having smaller venues) and without deviating from the promo quickly quips "don't ever put your hands on the rock" and goes right back to his promo.

    For a company that jerks itself off with attitude era nostalgia I can't understand how/why they meticulously script everyone's promos

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  53. Is there a better example of someone who improved over time? Talentless hack becomes phenomenal athlete in the space of two years.

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  55. Not really. Kurt Angle started good, and DDP morphed into a B+, not on Rock's level.

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  56. DDP was a particularly impressive turnaround as he was absolutely abysmal in the ring - and approaching retirement age when he started. Obviously he never ended up on Rock's level but it was mighty impressive all the same.

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  57. Yeah, I was actually going to suggest DDP until I realized that no, Rock peaked higher, so he had to be the greatest example possible.

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  58. Although, Rock was still a great athlete when he started, he just couldn't work for dick and was pushed way beyond his abilities. When he managed to put it all together, he became one of the best ever, of course.

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  59. It was Owens first title I was so happy for him and felt he deserved it

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  60. Reigns tries to act cool but fails so badly

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