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  #1  
Old 11-14-2015, 07:41 AM
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Default Was The Rock overrated on the mic?

First off I was in High School and College during Rock's prime, so I experienced him first hand and I did eat it up at the time. But now that I'm older and looking back on his promos from 99-02, I really don't find them that good.(relatively speaking) Sure he has a bunch of catch phrases that I loved at the time, but listening to them now I realized how sophomoric most of his jokes were.

I mean, could you imagine Cena making jokes about a shriveled up monkey penis? How bad would the IWC bash him if he did? Or talking about turning a ball sideways and shining it up. Makes no sense. Yet The Rock got a way with it.

Again this isn't to say that The Rock was bad on the mic, cause that obviously wasn't the case. He was "the most electrifying man in sports entertainment" but people put him on a pedestal above everybody else in terms of mic skills and I just don't see it.

To me Mick Foley and Chris Jericho were the best. They were so damn versatile, in Foley's case he would be psychotic or comedic, depending on the character. With Jericho, he could play the dorky heel(like in his late WCW days), or the cowardly heel, or the face, or the serious heel like he did in 08. The Rock never really showed that type of range.

So I ask, was The Rock overrated on the stick? He's obviously one of the best, but does he deserve to be praised as the best ever on it like he is?
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:52 AM
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Do you know how we judge a wrestler's mic ability? By crowd attention and involvement. BTW, when I say involvement, I'm not talking about sing alongs only (although that helps). I'm talking about how the crowd reacts to what the wrestler is saying. Do they boo or cheer, do they actually pay attention or is it they couldn't care less. That's what I mean. So when examining the Rock's mic ability we have to look at the crowd and the crowd was hanging on the Rock's every word, every motion, every action, etc. The Rock was so good at promos that he would make the crowd go crazy by something as arbitrary as putting up his hand, raising an eyebrow, taking off sunglasses, etc. The Rock held the audience in the palm of his hand and still does. When it comes to the Rock's promo ability, he garnered more attention and fan fair than any other wrestler ever. Doesn't that make him the best?

To the OP, just because you find his jokes sophomoric or immature and don't think they hold up doesn't mean that everyone does. That's your opinion. Also, if John Cena came out and made jokes like the Rock we would tear him apart, because the Rock already done it. If Cena was the first to do it, however, it would probably be different.
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  #3  
Old 11-14-2015, 09:33 AM
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Any wrestler that plans what they're going to say using the idea 'what will the IWC think'? I don't want to hear what that guy has to say.

Is the Rock overrated? It would be easy to say he is. After all, the guy set such a ridiculously high bar for himself that it's a standard that's almost impossible to live up to.

But he's the one that set that bar, and he did it by living up to that almost impossible standard.

No he's not overrated. What he says, no matter how sophomoric or ridiculous it sounds on paper, works because he's got a level of charisma that honestly very few people on the planet can match. People are drawn to the guy. What he says/does is infectious, and he can say things that people will eat up where others saying the exact same things would get laughed at.

Does he have the range of a Foley or Jericho? No, but then again, that's another very high bar to meet. Seriously, go watch Foley's Anti-Hardcore promo's. Those were some of the best ever done in the history of the business. Wrestlers would kill to ever have anything they've done be included in the same breath as those promo's.

But his range was a lot better than you're giving credit for. Corporate Rock was an arrogant heel with just the right touch of cowardice. Hollywood Rock was an amazing chickenshit heel. Babyface Rock was completely believable as a kick ass babyface. And the part most don't even realize when talking about him? He blended all the different versions of his character so seamlessly that no one ever complained or lost their suspension of disbelief over this guy who was a coward whenever he was a bad guy, and the bravest guy on TV when he was a good guy.

So no, not overrated. The best ever? That just depends on your personal taste, and is completely subjective. Included in that discussion? Absolutely.
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Old 11-14-2015, 09:53 AM
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Ha. Was the Rock overrated on the mic? I'm sure I can find a link to say the word "no" in 245 different languages but I'll save myself the time. As the above person said, just because you think he was put up on a pedestal doesn't mean he was overrated.

Have you ever listened to the crowd reactions when the Rock has a mic in his hand? They hang on to his every word. The backstage segments with Coach, Michael Cole, the "Rock Concerts" in the ring. The time he went around the city to different locations sh*tting on John Cena. All of it got an incredible reaction. So judging by that, I would say the Rock earned his pedestal and there aren't many people that look like they're going to dethrone him.

You could also make the same argument you're trying to make with the Rock about Jericho. Sure, he said something about shriveled up monkey penis once. But it got a reaction. You think just anyone could get away with calling Stephanie a slut and something about how her boobies hit the floor? What if Cena said that? Jericho was just "so sophomoric" talking about a 20-something's boobs and implying she sleeps around with the guys in the back. So that argument is void. You can say that about literally anybody. Jericho was versatile because his character was different in every one of those scenarios. So his mic work had to change with it. I totally agree that Jericho is one of the best of all time. But the Rock didn't HAVE to change his mic work. Why fix what isn't broken? All the Rock did was perform different actions that set himself up as a heel or face, kept the same style of mic work, and just kept playing an over the top version of himself.

The difference between Jericho and the Rock is that Jericho is one of the greatest wrestlers, workers, everything... of all time. But the Rock is one of the greatest characters of all time. He just never had to adjust anything. Can you imagine if Jericho was still the same heel he was back in '08 during the HBK feud? Serious, using those big words, nothing funny coming out of his mouth? You'd be bored to tears of him. Jericho would even agree with you. Which is why every time he would come back, he would re-invent himself a little. The Rock never had to. He never will. His work speaks for itself. The crowd reactions still speak for themselves. Just because the Rock never showed different characters doesn't make him overrated. Again... why try to fix what isn't broken?

As for being the best of all time? I honestly don't believe there are many people out there that can argue for that. I know I personally can't. I've never seen every single promo that Dusty Rhodes ever did. Or Flair. Or Hogan. Etc... There's great talkers I know I would forget about too. So I can't compare their work. But I can say if you lined up every superstar in WWE history, gave them a microphone, and told them to go 15 minutes and they would be judged at the end... you know damn well the Rock is likely going to be on that pedestal at the end of it all.
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  #5  
Old 11-14-2015, 10:04 AM
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Totally agree with the two previous posters...very well said. I'm not biased towards the Rock, I'm a fan of him because of who he is...he won me over with years of entertainment.

What I don't get is how you say you ate it up like everyone else, but now that you're older, you think it's stupid. Well, you did eat it up sooo yea, I guess he is that good. You have to take into account the times, they were different. Our perspectives change throughout the years. The same could be said about a lot of wrestlers. Hogan's vitamins and prayers would be laughed out of the building nowadays for instance.

As far as range...the other poster hit it perfectly on the head. Look at all his characters. Nation Rock was one of the best heels ever. Then he became face Rock which launched him to the top. Then Corporate Rock who main evented Mania, then a more evolved face Rock who was #1 in the business in 2000. Then Hollywood heel Rock. I mean this guy is insanely versatile and his range is far better than Jericho. His promos are legendary and they aren't all corny...he's kept up with the times too. Look at Rock now..his tag lines and phrases (Fruity Pebbles for example) still go over huge.

From his eyebrow, glasses, clothing style, sideburns, and even tattoos, the dude is a trend setter. Catchphrases and his ability to entertain with promos, acting or even sing along songs, the guy is the very best hands down.

Last edited by Rocky84 : 11-14-2015 at 10:06 AM.
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  #6  
Old 11-14-2015, 10:26 AM
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I'm not a mega fan of the Rock, I mean I like the guy and think he was highly entertaining but I never felt the sun rose or set on him. With that being said, the notion him being overrated on the mic is among the more ludicrous claims in wrestling. It's like saying that Hulk Hogan was never that big of a draw during his prime. When it came down to mic work, he ranks among the all time best because of the ease in which he handled the mic, his natural charisma and the fact that he had anywhere from 12,000 to 20,000 people on Raw or SmackDown in the palm of his hand and hanging on every single thing he did or said while he was conducting his promo.

I can get that some fans don't like the Rock because no wrestler is liked by all fans and he'll have his detractors just like Hogan, Flair, Savage, Austin, Taker, Triple H, HBK, Foley, Batista, Cena, Lesnar, Punk, Bryan, Jericho, etc. However, not being a fan of the guy isn't nearly enough to suggest that he's overrated on mic because whether you're a fan of the Rock or not, the man could and can flat out blow the roof off whenever he gets on the mic whether it's having the fans hang on whatever he's doing, saying or popping one liners like Skittles.
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  #7  
Old 11-14-2015, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by I Am Phenom View Post
Do you know how we judge a wrestler's mic ability? By crowd attention and involvement. BTW, when I say involvement, I'm not talking about sing alongs only (although that helps). I'm talking about how the crowd reacts to what the wrestler is saying. Do they boo or cheer, do they actually pay attention or is it they couldn't care less.
By that standard, Rock couldn't be called overrated. The crowd hangs on his every word.....and how could anyone doubt the effectiveness of those words?

No, 'overrated' isn't the term we're looking for. Rock exemplifies the changing face of pro wrestling in the past 15-20 years. Before that, we booed the bad guys and cheered the good guys. That's the way it was done. But the new era brought the day of the anti-hero, the 'tweener......and made us appreciate the villains. Sure, they still trash talk and cheat but we've come to appreciate those 'qualities' and looked more at the total package of what was being presented to us. We booed the bad guy but liked him, anyway.

Then, along comes Rock. If you were new to watching wrestling and didn't know what the man stood for, there's no way you'd see him as a face. He verbally put down both good & bad guys, he reacted to a tribute from former tag partner Mick Foley by giving him a Rock Bottom, he 'promoted' his mega-match with a respectful John Cena by telling Cena he's going to beat his 'candy ass' while tossing Cena merchandise into Boston Harbor.

That's a good guy? Yet, the fans loved him for it because he's delivering the cruelest of verbal messages with a twinkle in his eye; we know he's on the side of justice even though he rarely shows it. That persona didn't come to Rock overnight; he worked years to perfect it......and more, to sell us on it.

So, 'overrated' isn't the term we should apply to Rock since he can bring his message with the best who've ever held a mic in the center of the ring. The discrepancy lies more in the direction of his mixed messages; that we're responding favorably to negative talk and cheering a performer who is essentially a villain.....and he makes us love it.

Now, that's unique.
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  #8  
Old 11-14-2015, 12:42 PM
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To come to my defense I wasn't trying to say he wasn't good, that's why I hate the word "overrated" cause it sounds so negative but I couldn't think of another term to use. I clearly think he is top 5 ever on the mic but I think many people put him as the consensus best mic worker where as I think that is up for debate.

And I'm not saying my opinion is all that matters, that's why I put a question mark in the title, I was simply asking. I wasn't saying it as a fact.
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Old 11-14-2015, 01:22 PM
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I can agree that the content of his promos wasn't always as serious or sophisticated, for lack of a better word, as guys like Foley or Jericho. But, all that matters in the end is how the crowd reacts. If they love it, it's good. You said it yourself, at the time you ate it up when the Rock talked. So at the time, he was doing what he needed to do. I'm sure that if the crowds of the Attitude era wanted serious, strong promos, then the Rock would have given serious, strong promos. But instead, the crowd loved sophomoric jokes and catchphrases. So, the Rock gave them sophomoric jokes and catchphrases. And... It worked. As long as the crowd is entertained, that's all that matters.
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Old 11-14-2015, 02:09 PM
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Man hell no. The Rock is the greatest of all time in that regard. I'm the opposite of you I HAD FORGOTTEN HOW GOOD THE ROCK WAS DURING HIS PRIME. I thought Cena smoked him more often than not so that changed my opinion of Rocky for a while but thank God for the wwe network because I've been watching through the attitude era...I actually finished the last RAW of 1998 last night and honestly the highlight of the show was The Rock on color commentary. His jokes and rebuttals were timely and on point and funny. As soon as The Rock got on I was entertained and I remained so the whole time he was out there...
And that was when he was just becoming a top guy.

Can't really ask for much more than that...well I guess you could ask for someone to draw money with his promos but looking at tbe numbers I think its fair to say Rock did that. Also Foley and Jericho played a variety of characters. The Rock didn't need so much range. His character was that of a flashy shit talker and he did that so well he got ultra over and didnt have to do anything else.
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