The Rock deserves praise for lifting WWE back to its “Attitude Era” heights

Hunter Haas
The Rock’s recent WWE return has the company at its highest peak since the Attitude Era

The Rock’s exciting return to the WWE has fans reminiscing over the fabled “Attitude Era.”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson sent shockwaves around the WWE Universe after brutally assaulting Cody Rhodes on Monday Night Raw.

Since his surprising homecoming to WWE programming, The Rock has been engaged in a heated storyline with Rhodes.

All that turmoil came to a head on Monday as The Rock initiated a backstage beatdown that found its way onto the rainy streets of Chicago.

“The American Nightmare” was battered and bloodied, lying in the street. The Rock picked him up and cut an expletive-laden promo as the rain dropped.

In a move straight out of the Attitude Era, The Rock wiped Rhodes’ blood off his face and onto a belt labeled “Mama Rhodes.”

Following his box office success in the film industry, it seemed unlikely that The Rock would ever take on a full-time WWE role again.

But “The Great One” has appeared in numerous shows over the past few months. He will even partner with Roman Reigns against Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins at Wrestlemania XL.

The assault on Raw received rave reviews from fans, as The Rock brought an old-school feel to the Monday broadcast. It is arguably the most exciting moment in the WWE since the Attitude Era ended.

Rock’s WWE prime coincided with the legendary Attitude Era — a time period from 1997 to 2002 that gave wrestling fans engaging storylines that blurred the lines between reality and kayfabe.

The Rock is embodying that era of the WWE after his most recent backstage beatdown of Rhodes. Fans believe he is returning the promotion to its previous heights.

Even as the antagonist of Rhodes’ story, the WWE Universe can’t help but rally around The Rock and his infectious personality.

His willingness to go full-blown heel is another surprise to fans, as the image-conscience actor has carefully built a pristine image during his time in Hollywood.

The WWE has witnessed a rebirth of sorts in popularity over the past few years. The boom coincides with Vince McMahon’s death grip over creative control loosening.

Now, The Rock has the company soaring again. As a board member of the TKO Group, which owns the WWE, it doesn’t appear he’s going anywhere soon.

That is terrible news not only for Rhodes, but it could spell trouble for The Rock’s family member — Roman Reigns — after the two were initially supposed to headline Wrestlemania XL against one another.

As The Rock continues leaning into his heel era, Reigns — and everyone on the WWE roster — should have eyes in the back of their heads.

His presence in the WWE brings newfound unpredictability and an edginess that fans have been clamoring for since the early 2000s.