1. Nov. 17, 1996. Madison Square Garden. The Survivor Series.
A young man then known as Rocky Maivia made his WWE debut. As he made his way to the ring, broadcaster Jim Ross said, “Now there is gonna be the man, right there. That’s blue chip, right there.”
There were some growing pains in the early part of Maivia’s career; fans would often chant “Die, Rocky, Die.” But once he transformed into The Rock, he became “the man.”
Of course, The Rock is now movie star Dwayne Johnson, but since this is the anniversary of his WWE debut, we’re going to focus on some of the greatest moments The People’s Champion gave us during his run as a wrestler.
With the Brahma Bull, it was all about the promos. Nobody has ever worked the mic and the crowd better in the history of professional wrestling.
Exhibit A: The Rock imitates Kurt Angle, The Undertaker, HHH and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Exhibit B: The Rock keeps a hilarious promo with The Coach going despite dealing with a broken microphone..
Exhibit C: The Rock pushes the envelope as far as he can as he flirts with Lillian Garcia.
Another staple that made The Rock what he is today were his concerts. When he had a guitar in his hand, it was always magic.
Exhibit A: The Rock sings about John Cena:
Exhibit B: The Rock sings about Stone Cold:
Exhibit C: The Rock sings about Vickie Guerrero:
With The Rock leaving the WWE for Hollywood, his periodic returns have generated some of the biggest pops in wrestling history.
Exhibit A: 2004
Exhibit B: 2014
Exhibit C: 2019
We end this tribute to the Brahma Bull with what might be his greatest WWE segment ever: Ending Vince McMahon’s “Kiss My Ass Club.”
Happy 25th Anniversary to the man who will always be The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment.
2. ESPN2's ManningCast this past week for Rams at Niners generated its lowest viewership since its debut episode.
The overall ManningCast viewers for the season:
Week 1: 800,000
Week 2: 1.85 million
Week 3: 1.89 million
Week 7: 1.60 million
Week 8: 1.95 million
Week 10: 1.55 million
3. Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal played a very entertaining game, called The Big Shill, last night in which Smith and Barkley had to guess whether a product endorsed by Shaq was real or fake.
4. Heat star Jimmy Butler proves in this video that Ed Sheeran is the perfect artist to listen to when making a latte or cappuccino.
5. This would've been horrible. According to a new book, The Office came very, very close to having Roy interrupt Pam and Jim's wedding. Click the tweet below for full details on the terrible idea.
6. The latest SI Media Podcast features two guests.
First up is WWE superstar Becky Lynch, who talks about her real-life heat with her Survivor Series opponent, Charlotte Flair. Lynch also discussed her return to wrestling after having a baby, balancing work and motherhood, the positive and negative reaction she got during her SummerSlam return and much more.
Following Lynch, The Ringer's Kevin Clark joins the podcast to talk about a wide variety of NFL topics including Aaron Rodgers, the taunting rule, the ManningCast, Bill Belichick's genius, the Chiefs' struggles and much more.
The show closes with the weekly "Traina Thoughts" segment featuring WFAN and SNY's Sal Licata. You can get the full story behind my recent Instagram joke gone wrong, the latest episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, avoiding spoilers and much more.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Today is Danny DeVito's 77th birthday. If you've never watched Taxi, do yourself a favor and binge it. It's one of the most underrated sitcoms of all time, and DeVito was off-the-charts good in it.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.