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The W - Pro Wrestling - Rock: Wrestling's Pop Culture Icon?
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Since: 7.8.02
From: Boston, MA

Since last post: 2541 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.20
I'm not sure if you've seen/read that The Rock was voted #200 on VH1's "200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons". He was the only wrestler on the list, which makes it a somewhat dubious choice. I mean, Rock over Hulk Hogan? I dunno... I think even Freddie Blassie may have been a bigger pop culture icon than Rock. What about Ventura or Flair or even Lawler?

Do you agree with the choice? I know that the list has no merit, but it's an interesting debate either way.



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Since: 16.4.02
From: Green Bay, WI

Since last post: 225 days
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#2 Posted on
I'm surprised they made Rocky the curtain-jerker on that list...but to represent "our great sport" (TM Gorilla Monsoon), it'd have to be him or Hogan. No way the average non-mark mainstream schlub knows who Jerry Lawler or Ric Flair are...and Ventura's fading fast. I'd wager most folks didn't even know he was a wrestler until he won the Minnesota governorship, and every media outlet (mine included) couldn't utter "new governor" and "ex-WWF wrestler" in different sentences to save their arse.

And as for Blassie...as cool as he was, lots of people never heard of either The Hollywood Fashion Plate or the Dr. Dememto staple "Pencilneck Geek." Their loss. (Except Japan...they probably still remember his work.)

I didn't see the whole list, but I find it hard to believe there's no room for both Rocky and Hogan, when ABBA makes the cut. (Awesome disco goodness, sure...but pop culture icons? Naaah.)



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Since: 6.8.02
From: St. Louis

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#3 Posted on
I really think they didn't want to put a wrestler on there, but figured they had to. So they took the most popular wrestler right now mainstream wise, the Rock, and put him at the end of the list. Hard to believe Hogan was not on that list. There criteria was name recognition, and worldwide status. I'd wager 95 out of 100 people know who Hulk Hogan is.



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Since: 5.3.03
From: TORONTO

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#4 Posted on
It's like anything else on VH1; they're ranking it as to what people are thinking today, not historically. It's like listening to the "Top 100 Songs of All Time" on your favourite radio station, and then hearing several from the past two years making the top ten.

Obviously, if this was historical, Hogan would be ahead of Rock, and there may not be (gasp!) any mention at all of wrestling if there were just 200 people... Though if Rock makes a couple of big movies, who knows?



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Since: 22.8.02
From: Between thought and Reality, TZ

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#5 Posted on
I think any mention of anything wrestling (not negative mind you) is good. So rock onn Rock! Oooh, that was bad.
:y



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Since: 28.4.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#6 Posted on
Well, hell, Oprah was #1 (over the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Superman, among others), so this wasn't the most thought-out list of all time anyway.



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Since: 7.8.02
From: Boston, MA

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.20
I'm not questioning the validity of the list, but moreso the debate whether The Rock is the biggest popular culture icon in pro wrestling. I'm just using his selection to the VH1 list as a starting point.



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Since: 26.3.03
From: Glendale, Cali

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#8 Posted on
Well comparing the popularity of the Rock now with Hogan's peak back in the late 80's/early 90's, I could see why they picked Rock. I mean if you look at things, Rock has seemed to do a good job so far crossing over into the "Hollywood" spectrum. I don't know if "The Mummy Returns" did better than "Rocky III", but it did alright. Then add to that the success of "The Scorpion King" plus Rock's recognition in People's "Sexiest..." issue. The Rock seems to be fitting in with the Hollywood crowd well and that might be another reason why he was recognized over Hogan.

But i'm not trying to take away anything from Hogan though. He was one of the main men that brought the Rock n' Wrestling era to life and made it famous around the world.





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Since: 7.1.02
From: Birmingham, AL

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#9 Posted on
I think without question, historically Hulk Hogan is wrestling's biggest pop culture icon. But as others have stated, lists like VH-1 puts together tend to be biased toward current day events, people, songs, items, etc.



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Since: 11.5.03
From: Mount Pleasant, Pa.

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#10 Posted on
Hogan should of been on the list, but The Rock made it simply because of his present and possibly bright future in the film industry.



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tomvejada
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Since: 2.1.02

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#11 Posted on
I like the Rock but there's someone else who noone mentioned yet, who's a far better choice.

Steve Austin.



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fuelinjected
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Since: 12.10.02
From: Canada

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.15
Hulk Hogan was and is a mainstream punchline. The Rock is actually accepted as something more then a jacked up cartoon figure that gets mocked everytime his name would be brought up.
darkmatcher
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Since: 12.2.03
From: New York, USA

Since last post: 2712 days
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#13 Posted on
If any wrestler belongs on that list it would definitely be The Rock. Steve Austin? No, I absolutely disagree. We can't confuse biggest wrestling star with biggest wrestling pop icon. The Rock definitely has more mainstream credibility than Hulk Hogan, as pointed out by fuelinjected.



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tricknee
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Since: 14.1.02
From: Oceanside, CA

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#14 Posted on
Although not as 'famous' as others mentioned, I think Macho Man Randy Savage has achieved a significant cultural identity. Almost everyone my age, male and female, seems to at least know the name and "Oh Yeahhhh" even if they don't even know he was a wrestler. That is a testament to the character, which is well defined, visually distinct and perfectly suits the man who plays it.
Slim Jim ads don't hurt, I'm sure.

(edited by tricknee on 23.7.03 2134)
CANADIAN BULLDOG
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Since: 5.3.03
From: TORONTO

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#15 Posted on
For whatever it's worth, the modern-era wrestlers (ie over the last 20 years or so), which I think would be seen as the most well-known figures in pop culture:

(1) Hulk Hogan
(2) Andre the Giant
(3) Jesse Ventura
(4) The Rock
(5) Stone Cold Steve Austin
(6) Randy Savage
(7) Vince McMahon (I'm serious; the guy is pretty much a household name)
(8) Rowdy Roddy Piper

Honorable mention to Captain Lou, Chyna, King Kong Bundy and Sable for their various media/pornography exposure (and no, Bundy was never in Playgirl).



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Big Bad
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Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
Bulldog, I think you could add Jake Roberts to that list. Despite his never being a real main-event star, everybody has heard of Jake the Snake...the nickname along cinches it.



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Since: 10.1.03
From: Enter your city here

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#17 Posted on

    Originally posted by Big Bad
    Bulldog, I think you could add Jake Roberts to that list. Despite his never being a real main-event star, everybody has heard of Jake the Snake...the nickname along cinches it.


I'm not really up with my sports, but didn't there used to be a boxer like 10 odd so years back with the name Jake 'The Snake' Rodriguez?



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Since: 24.7.03

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#18 Posted on
Where is the rock, anyway? he seems to have disappeared again.



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Freeway
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Since: 3.1.02
From: Calgary

Since last post: 341 days
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.96

    Originally posted by tricknee
    Although not as 'famous' as others mentioned, I think Macho Man Randy Savage has achieved a significant cultural identity. Almost everyone my age, male and female, seems to at least know the name and "Oh Yeahhhh" even if they don't even know he was a wrestler. That is a testament to the character, which is well defined, visually distinct and perfectly suits the man who plays it.
    Slim Jim ads don't hurt, I'm sure.

    (edited by tricknee on 23.7.03 2134)



When he appeared in Spider-Man, half the theatre that I was in murmurred to each other "It's the Macho Man!"

He's an icon, all right.



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Since: 5.3.03
From: TORONTO

Since last post: 582 days
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#20 Posted on

    Originally posted by Big Bad
    Bulldog, I think you could add Jake Roberts to that list. Despite his never being a real main-event star, everybody has heard of Jake the Snake...the nickname along cinches it.


True enough -- I would have to say he's enough of a household name to warrant that. Forgot about him... thanks.



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So, DiBiase's son is a Second Generation Wrestler according to Good Ol' JR? Considering one of the things that always got pushed when Ted DiBiase was a face was his father dying in the ring, I'd think maybe he is a 3rd generation wrestler.
- redsoxnation, RAW #783 5/26/08 (2008)
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