Back in the day, when the World Wrestling Entertainment used to be World Wrestling Federation, chair shots to the head were allowed, blading your skin for blood was considered to be a mundane part of 'entertainment' and 'hardcore matches' were huge crowd-pullers.
This time in the WWF was informally known as the 'Attitude Era' during which, the organisation boasted a studded main roster with in-ring performers like Triple H, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels making appearances on the franchise shows on a weekly basis.
Having said that, there were two wrestlers at the time who were considered to be on the topmost level altogether. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and 'Hollywood' Hulk Hogan were literally considered to be the icons of the era, not just in the wrestling world but the whole entertainment sector.
Hogan was a well-established star who had been the 'top guy' for the business for more than a decade and a half and had been selling out stadiums to capacity crowds wherever the WWF went.
However, having put out some of the most memorable matches in the sport's history with opponents like Andre 'The Giant' and Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Hogan's age began to get the better of him. He wasn't as energetic, his slams didn't look powerful enough and he was getting injured way too often to maintain the status of WWF's poster boy.
On the other hand, with a new found character as the electrifying People's Champion, The Rock was quickly gaining momentum in every city and town of the states and even across international borders. It was his time to shine and even the company had his back.
Thus took place the 'Icon Vs Icon' duel at Wrestlemania 18. The match was perfectly booked as a 'passing of the torch' gesture. There were no titles on the line, no pre-match conditions put up, just two great athletes of different generations entertaining an extremely fortunate audience in a massive transitional battle.View this post on Instagram
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Hogan, who was known to have a big ego, was not the one to go down to just 'anyone'. In the past, he has refused to get pinned by Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. But The Rock wasn't just 'another guy' and Hogan accepted his presence.
With his blessings and good wishes, Hogan got pinned at the hands of Johnson: “1… 2… 3...” and the rest is history.