Tommy Dreamer details how WWE officials tried to patch things up between Vince McMahon and The Rock.
During a recent episode of GAW TV, Tommy Dreamer spoke about how The Rock and Vince McMahon had a falling out a few years ago. According to Dreamer, who was working in talent relations at the time, Vince and The Rock weren’t speaking. WWE took ownership rights of The Great One’s ring name, so he had to start using Dwayne Johnson in Hollywood.
This caused friction between the two sides, and it carried over to WrestleMania 21 in Los Angeles. The Rock showed up at the company’s WrestleMania party and the backstage atmosphere was quite chaotic.
“They haven’t spoken because remember WWE took ownership of the name ‘The Rock,’ and he had to go to Dwayne Johnson. It’s a big deal and there was animosity. They haven’t spoken. We get word — Johnny pulls me aside — that one Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is showing up at the WrestleMania party,” he explained. “We have to set up this secure area for Vince and The Rock to have their first conversation in a while.
“It’s like the secret service. It’s outside, people positioned everywhere. The Rock’s limo pulls up, Vince is sitting there. John’s going to be the first, then I’m going to meet them. We have security everywhere, but it’s on an outdoor patio and there’s these planters. As The Rock gets out of the limo,” Dreamer noted. “It’s almost like a movie of an assassination. Like everything is happening in slow motion and all of a sudden, the wrestler from Tough Enough, Hawk, and one SoCal Val walk into the area where Vince is getting ready to meet [Rock] and try to squash the beef.”
Not The Best Timing
Dreamer said Hawk thought he had a chance to speak with Vince alone, but he quickly jumped in and escorted him and Val out of the area.
“So we scoot them in and as I’m escorting them out, here comes The Rock. Vince is like, ‘Dwayne,’ he’s like, ‘Vince,’ and it’s all this tension. I’m like, ‘Who the hell? If I have to murder these people, I will,’ and that was one SoCal Val.”
SoCal Val explained her side of the story and said she was just there to meet Hawk and some other friends. Val was working as a ring girl for TNA Wrestling at the time, but now realized that it might have been an inopportune moment to approach either one of them.
“We just said, ‘Oh, we’re gonna hang out in the lobby, not in the party.’ We sit out in the lobby, whatever, meet our friends. And Hawk, as sweet as he was because that was one of my first indie shows, was just, let’s call it eccentric. Just all over the place, whatever. Yeah, I remember he was a very loud personality. Yeah, that was the weirdest… And I later actually, with Frankie and Hawk, went into the party. I probably should’ve be like, ‘No,’ but maybe it’s all friends, that’s fine. We got the wristbands, went in. I remember seeing The Rock down at the buffet table like, ‘Holy shit, that’s The Rock.’ But yeah, probably not the best time to have made our way over.”
If you use this transcription, credit GAW TV with a h/t to WrestleZone and link to this post.