PHILADELPHIA — I am quite proud of myself. I interviewed ‘The Rock’ Rocky Maivia and actually got him to use the word ‘humble.’
The young, newcomer to the WWF that I first met in January 1997 at a SkyDome press conference announcing the signing of Tiger Ali Singh is still in Duane Johnson somewhere. You just have to ask the right questions.
Rock, other than your match, what’s the best part of WrestleMania?
“Obviously the hoopla of it. [The] grandiose attraction of WrestleMania,” he said in the media room at the Rage party.
In your wildest dreams, did you ever think that you would be headlining a WrestleMania?
“I wouldn’t have doubted it if somebody had told me, someone who could look in the future. But nonetheless, it’s still humbling. Nonetheless, I’ve worked hard for what I’ve got too.”
A Philadelphia-based music mag chipped in with a question on The King for The Champ.
Rock, are you an Elvis fan?
“Big time. Not just because of the sideburns,” he said before continuing. “The sideburns weren’t really meant to have anything to do with Elvis.”
What kind of music do you listen to?
“I listen to Elvis. I love Sam Cooke. I love the blues, R&B. I sing the hell out of Dwight Yoakam.”
The Rock listens to rap when working out, and is more into the west coast rap than the east coast. Plus, “Busta Rhymes is getting ready to write my music.”
What do you think of the video game versions of The Rock?
Warzone WWF game “was nice, [with] good fluid motion,” but he’s looking forward to the next generation of WWF game, set for release in the upcoming months.
“This one coming up will be good,” said Maivia. “It’s got the People’s Elbow, the tattoo. No more of the hokey babyface trunks and boots I had on then. So it will be good. Guaranteed it will be real good.”
Your uncle, Ricky Johnson, is promoting the occasional show in Toronto, and wants to have you on a show. Think it will happen?
“I can’t see no reason why I wouldn’t come up,” the WWF champ said. “It’s hard, but if the schedule permits, then yeah, sure. Plus in Toronto, man, they don’t get no harder for The Rock than in Toronto.”
Damn, thought I could go a whole interview without him dropping into character. Maybe next time.