This incredible match saw two of the all-time greats facing off during the peak of professional wrestling in a dream match for wrestlers and fans alike.
While you think you may know everything about this incredible bout, we are here to relay some of the most incredible facts you may not have known from The Rock vs Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X8.
Hulk Hogan’s match against The Rock went wrong almost immediately
Despite being one of the best matches of all time, Hulk Hogan vs The Rock actually went wrong pretty much straight away.
This was because the match was planned behind-the-scenes to showcase The Rock as the good guy, with Hollywood Hogan playing the role of the heel.
Obviously, the Canadian crowd immediately turned the plan on its head, cheering for Hogan as soon as he threw Rocky to the ground and flexed his 24-inch pythons in the ring.
The pair managed to get the match back on track and get the crowd on The Great One’s side, but it could have gone horrible wrong if they didn’t have two talented wrestlers to fix the match on the fly that night.
Chris Jericho thinks the match should have been the main event
While that match wasn’t the main event of WrestleMania X8, many people agree that it should have been.
This extends to one of the performers in the main event that night, as Chris Jericho thinks that Rock vs Hogan should have been the main event that night.
Instead, WWE Undisputed Champion Jericho lost his championship to Triple H, who returned from injury to win the Royal Rumble just months earlier.
Their match was a good main event to the show, but it struggled to live up to the match that preceded it.
Dave Meltzer only rated the match three stars
Yes, that is true. Despite this being one of the greatest wrestling matches of all time, Dave Meltzer rated Hogan vs Rock a measly three stars out of seven (yes, it goes up to seven stars now).
In that fateful edition of the Wrestling Observer in 2002, Meltzer defied logic by giving the match a middling score, akin to a fill match on Raw nowadays.
While you may think this seems a fair score, let us put it into context. He rates the clash between the icon and the Brahma Bull as the same as Mandy Rose vs Natalya on the Hell in a Cell kick off show.
I shall leave it at that.
It is Cody Rhodes favourite match ever
The American Nightmare took to social media to spill the beans on his favourite match ever in 2018.
Despite having been gone from the WWE for two years at that point, he could help but gush about the match, calling it “the best match ever”.
Considering Cody considers Triple H his favourite ever wrestler, his WWE bias is not surprising in the least.
Hulk Hogan tried to change the finish of the match the day of
Probably the least surprising thing you could possibly read today is that Hogan tried to politic his way into beating The Rock at WrestleMania.
Considering he refused to put over Randy Orton in his last WWE match, and used lies and deception to get a win over Shawn Michaels the year before, it is no surprise that the Hulkster wanted to go over Rocky in Toronto.
A former WWE writer revealed this fact during an interview with Bill Simmons, although nobody was shocked at Hogan’s intention.
Of course, it made no sense for Hogan to win. The Rock was in his early thirties, up against a 48-year-old Hogan, who had very little to give to the business at that point.
Thankfully Vince McMahon stood firm and we got the iconic match we know and love.
Hogan was younger than The Rock is today
If you’re hoping that Dwayne Johnson (that’s The Rock’s fake name he uses in Hollywood) returns at WrestleMania 40 to beat Roman Reigns, you may be a hypocrite.
Because, if you think that Hogan was too old to beat him 22 years ago (and I assume you are), then you definitely think Rocky is too old to beat Reigns.
That is because The Rock is even older today than Hogan was at WrestleMania X8!
The Brahma Bull is currently 51, a whopping three years older than the sprightly (yet still incredibly old looking) 48-year-old Hulkster back then.
Hogan told Rock to carry the torch “like Andre The Giant” did for him
After the People’s Champion pinned the Immortal One in the middle of the ring, the pair fought off the attacking NWO and embraced in the ring.
During this time, Hogan whispered something into The Rock’s ear, which has never been publicly made available until now.
In a 12 minute Instagram video, The Rock revealed what Hogan said to him, claiming he told him to carry the torch, like when Andre The Giant passed the torch to him at WrestleMania III.
“He said, ‘you deserve it, brother’, or something to that effect. ‘Carry it well, like I did when Andre passed me the torch’.”
The match was the first time Hogan practised a match beforehand
Wrestlers seem to fall into two schools – one side wants to improvise their matches, and others want to plan ahead.
Both have their perks. Improvising your matches allows the wrestler to gauge the crowd reaction, and change the action in the ring to suit the crowd.
Meanwhile, planning the match means that you can have more exciting action set pieces in the bout, but the match can fail if the crowd don’t react how the wrestlers think they will.
However, the crowd completely turned on The Rock and cheered Hogan in the match, meaning all the planning had to go out of the window anyway.
The rematch at No Way Out 2003 is one of the worst matches in their careers
Oddly enough, the rematch between Hogan and Rock is considered one of the worst matches between the two.
Users on Cagematch.net rate the No Way Out 2003 bout at 3.76 out of 10 – on par with some of Hogan’s worst matches in WCW.
The match itself isn’t actually that bad in my view, although it may just be bad in comparison to the all-time classic match at WrestleMania.
The fact it took place a year later, with both men in much different places in their career, may have had something to do with the disdain for the bout.
It is the best match of Hulk Hogan’s career
Yes, its true. Hulk Hogan vs The Rock is the best match of the Hulkster’s career, even though he was two decades past his physical prime.
If you watch the match with the sound off, it is terrible, with slow, plodding action and a face-heel switch that make no sense.
However, the pair command the raucous crowd like a conductor punching another conductor in the face while Hulking up, brother.
It beats out matches like Hogan vs The Ultimate Warrior (not the horrific WCW one), his famous clashes alongside the NWO, and a cross-promotion bout with AJPW legend Stan Hansen.
Check out the rest of Hogan’s incredible matches below!