The Rock Invented the People’s Elbow to Make The Undertaker Laugh
Over the years, The Rock has been one of the most prominent superstar wrestlers that the WWE has had in its long history. Dwayne Johnson helped create and personify the “Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment” that remains a fan favorite to this day. A part of his image was his finishing moves, one of which was the use of the “People’s Elbow” that epitomized the tremendous atmosphere and connection that wrestling fans had toward him. With that, Triple H recently voiced that he believes he knows why the Undertaker started using that move, and it involved The Undertaker.
The Rock’s wrestling career before the People’s Elbow
When The Rock first arrived at the WWE, his character was in honor of his father, Rocky Johnson, under the name Rocky Maivia.
It was a combination between his father’s first name and his mother’s last name that he held for the first couple of years of his career. That saw him transition to “The Rock” persona that saw him become a brash and confident character that often referred to himself in the third person.
The Rock began his rise to the top as one of the most beloved wrestlers in the business, which his first finishing move was the Running Shoulder Breaker as it was a move that a history of breaking shoulders of opponents. He had become a main attraction in the business despite being a heel as his phrases “If ya smell what the Rock is Cookin!” and “Know your role and shut your mouth!” became mainstays in the business.
At the time of his ascension to the top, it also saw him embrace the use of a new finishing move.
The Rock made the People’s Elbow to humor The Undertaker
The Rock’s transition over to one of the company’s faces also saw him adopt a new finisher dubbed “The People’s Elbow.”
Although he stated a few years ago, Triple H recently rehashed the story during an interview with TMZ Sports, voicing that The Rock may have introduced the move during a six-man tag match in an attempt to make The Undertaker break character.
“I believe the first The Rock did the first People’s Elbow was in a match where were trying to make Taker crack. It absolutely (started as a joke) but everybody went with it. We would do whatever you could do silly spots or using the claw to just try to make him laugh and whatever it took to try and get to him.”
It was well-known that the Undertaker never broke character, which he was quite stern in staying within that persona while he was in the ring or during a show. He was always in tune with the character that even Booker T couldn’t even get him to do the spinaroonie after Raw went off-air one night.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise that The Rock went to that extent to get The Undertaker to laugh, and it wound up creating a career-changing move.
The People’s Elbow is part of The Rock’s legacy
Regardless of how the move started, The People’s Elbow is a part of the persona that The Rock created.
It is in no way viewed as a devastating move, but he created a significant amount of buzz and excitement each time he did. As soon he kicked his opponent’s shoulder in on the ground, followed by him throwing one of his elbow pads in the crowd, the energy level in the arena went to the next level.
There will never be another move like it, and The Rock has made it into one of the most iconic finishers in WWE history.