The Rock initially wrestled as Flex Kavana in USWA before making his WWE debut. Jerry Jarrett spoke to The Hannibal TV on The Rock’s time spent in Memphis. Also how Road Dogg influenced him.
“We had a deal with WWE. And so he was here as Flex Kavana or some silly name. And I don’t think he became The Rock until he went back to Vince.
“The Rock’s mother is Hawaiian, and so I think he wanted to do the barefoot Flex Kavana (gimmick). And because he was a WWE wrestler when he was there, we did whatever they wanted him portraying as. And they finally saw that Flex Kavana wasn’t going to be box-office (hit) and The Rock was. I think The Rock was greatly influenced during his time in Memphis with Brian James (Road Dogg) because Road Dogg would get the microphone in the ring and do that little spiel, ‘For the thousands in attendance and millions watching’, and I think that was a real big influence on Dwayne.”
When he was asked if The Rock was the most successful wrestler in terms of finance, he would mention Gorgeous George and how much he drew.
“I don’t think there’s any question. Well, if you add in movies and everything else… when you do this, you can’t take dollars. Gorgeous George may, when you take the dollars in the fifties, then Gorgeous George drew and made… it may very well exceed what The Rock or Stone Cold made in ’90 and ’00 dollars.”
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h/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.