The WWE Attitude Era is the most remembered period in wrestling history. From extravagant scenes backstage to great storytelling along with high-risk content, the stars of that era will always be written about. But two of the era’s biggest stars formed a short-lived tag team, one of the most fondly remembered teams in wrestling history.
The Rock was having trouble with the WWE Tag Team Champions, The Undertaker, and Big Show. The Great One was put through the announcer’s table with a chokeslam from the Deadman, and with an uphill battle against the champions, The Rock reluctantly accepted help from his former enemy, Mankind. Thus begun the birth of The Rock and Sock Connection.
The Rock and Sock Connection
A WWE Tag Team Championship match was set for the main event of the August 30th, 1999, episode of Monday Night RAW. The Rock and Mankind beat The Undertaker and Big Show to win the WWE Tag Team Championships after both men hit people’s elbows on the Big Show.
With the former bitter enemies now tag team champions, on SmackDown, they made it known that they were neither friend nor enemies but two men with a simple goal, to become WWE Champion. Shane McMahon announced that both would have to face each other, and the winner becoming the number one contender for Triple H is world title.
As the special guest referee, Shane McMahon called the match a double disqualification. But later in the night, the newly formed champions picked up another win, beating the team of Triple H and McMahon.
The following week, The Undertaker and Big Show called their rematch for the championships and this time, in the main event of SmackDown, the match was contested under a buried alive match. The Undertaker and Big Show won back the tag team championships but lost them back to The Rock and Mankind just over a week later.
With The Undertaker suffering from injuries, The Rock and Mankind defeated The Big Show and the Deadman’s replacements in Mideon and Viscera. Three days later, the champions headed to Smackdown and were challenged by a reunited New Age Outlaws to a championship match. The New Age Outlaws defeated The Rock and Sock connection to win the WWE Tag Team Championships.The September 27th episode of Monday Night RAW had the highest-rated segment in Monday Night RAW history. The segment saw Mankind Present the Rock with his own version of ‘This is your life’. Mankind brought out The Rocks’ old teacher, high school football coach, and The Rocks’ high school sweetheart.
Mankind presented The Rock with matching jackets and the birth of ‘Rocko’ a sock, like Mankind’s ‘socko’ but with The Rock face. The Rock blew everything off and acted annoyed with Mankind, saying all his focus was on the WWE Championship and not Mankind.
The Rock told Mankind that he was getting tired of teaming with him and was done with The Rock and Sock connection. Foley pleaded with Rock to team with him once more; The Rock agreed to team with Mankind for one last time. Their match turned out to be a WWE Tag Team Championship match, where The Rock and Mankind beat The New Age Outlaws to win the championships for the third and final time.
As champions, Mankind gave a gift to his partner, a signed copy of his autobiography ‘Have a nice Day’. Later that evening, Mankind found the copy in the bin; distraught he confronted The Rock, who denied that he put it there. As The Rock and Sock connection teamed up to face The Holly cousins, Hardcore and Crash Holly. Foley acted despondently on the outside and refused to tag in, allowing the Holly cousins to win the WWE Tag Team Championships.
Even though they would stop teaming on the regular, The Rock and Mankind made peace after it was revealed that Mick Foley friend Al Snow was the one who put the book in the bin. The Rock and Sock connection would challenge for the WWE Tag Team Championships once more at Armageddon, but The New Age Outlaws would retain their titles.
In a continued battle against The McMahon-Helmsley regime, The Rock would defend his partner, who had been sacked by Triple H and Stephanie and gain his job back. The Rock would help Mankind, who started wrestling as his alter ego Cactus Jack in his feud against Triple H and his quest for the WWE Championship.
The Rock and Sock connection holds a special place in the heart of Mick Foley, he posted the following on how Facebook page regarding the team.
ROCK & SOCK: a true connection
I’m not sure words can do justice to how grateful I’m feeling after watching last night’s episode of #YoungRock While I’ve had some special wrestling moments in front of thousands, last night’s moment was just me, alone in my hotel, tears in my eyes, as I watched an actor portraying me (doing a fine job, too) teaching Dwayne Johnson’s character a lesson about the gift of Christmas giving.
It’s funny, because there was a time – many, many years ago – when I wondered if @TheRock appreciated me. Well, brother, he has answered that question in the affirmative so many times, in so many ways that I feel foolish for having ever wondered.
In turn, my respect and admiration for Dwayne Johnson has only grown over the years – as has my appreciation for the incredible moments we shared together – on the road, in the ring, and on the microphone.
Thank you Rock, for being so good to me. Your kind words – in person, on social media, in texts and VM’s, have meant so much to me. If I did in fact, teach you a lesson about giving, it is one you have paid forward a thousand times over.
With Mick Foley retiring and The Rock heading to Hollywood, WWE didn’t have The Rock and Sock connection for a while. That is until Foley got himself deep in a feud with Evolution. Randy Orton, Batista and Ric Flair had begun beating on Foley and he challenged them to a match at Wrestlemania XX. Announcing that he would have a partner, of course his partner would be his friend, The Rock.
At Wrestlemania XX, The Rock and Sock connection would team up once more but ultimately lose to Evolution when Orton pinned Foley. Mick Foley has spoken on his podcast; Foley is Good about teaming with The Rock at Wrestlemania XX.
“I would go on record as saying that no matter what the main event was declared, and admitting that there were a couple of incredible matches that our match did not approach in terms of being memorable, I thought Rock and I teaming up against Evolution was as important as anything else on that card – to the point where if you go back and watch the Raw where Shawn Michaels is in the ring, they’re actually chanting my name the week before Rock returns. When Rock returned in the venue outside of Atlanta, and he came to the rescue, it was like, the table has been set. This is a big-time thing.”
The Rock and Sock connection only teamed together for a very short few weeks, but the charisma between the pair was of the charts. With promos that saw Foley copy The Rock to winning the Tag Team Championships 3 times. The Rock and Mankind are many people’s favorite tag team of all time, and maybe deservedly so.