Critics of Dwayne Johnson as a wrestler miss the point entirely. We get it - you can rattle off a phone book full of grapplers that are better at the finer points of wrestling technique than "The People's Champ", but that hardly matters. More germane to the heart of professional wrestling is that The Rock is most magnetic and enthralling personality that has ever graced the squared circle. Oh, and he's a much better wrestler than you'll give him credit for.
The Rock turns 48 years old on Saturday, which is quite the stomach punch for those of us who remember him as the next big thing in the industry (hairs turn grey just writing that). With the biggest wrestler-turned-crossover film star celebrating another year on this planet, now's a good a time as any to look back upon Mr. Johnson doing what he does best - verbally flaying rivals with nothing but his biting wit and emphatic delivery.
The Rock has doled out scores of verbal beatdowns over the decades. Here are his five best.
5. Big Show's Impressive Taunt (1999)
This one's pretty simple, but it just demonstrates how The Rock can mock somebody's core identifiers in a manner that few could ever astutely equal. Case in point, The Big Show and his trademark "raise the arm and growl menacingly" taunt.
While dressing down Big Show with his usual bombastic fervour, Rock called attention to "the most impressive thing" that he'd ever seen Big Show do, and then proceeded to mock the gesture with a rather ghastly take on the growl. If you saw it, you know the noise he made.