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  Jan 13, 2000



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

The Great One's bio ain't so great
By JOE HAGAN -- For SLAM! Wrestling

First off, let me start by telling the "millions...and millions", of the Rock's fans that I am also a fan. So please, hold off on the hate mail!

Although the book starts out promisingly enough, detailing young Duane's early memories of his father and grandfather, it dwindles into nothing more than a description of The Rock's last few years in the WWF. I suppose if he'd waited a while longer and had more interesting stories to tell, the book may have lived up to its expectations. But, quite frankly, after the stories of his youth ended, I lost interest quickly.

Don't get me wrong. I found the first to thirds of the book to be entertaining and somewhat educational. There are several stories he relates to the reader which I found interesting. But once he enters the world of professional wrestling and his alter-ego, (The Rock persona) does the writing, I started asking myself...Is it almost over?

Some of the stories, as I said, are interesting. Like the time his grandfather - High Chief Peter Maivia - was on his deathbed and his mother, Atta, visited. She was mistaken for a distraught fan and escorted out of the room.

Another story tells of how The Rock's grandfather had a great sense of humor. The Rock tells of a time when his grandfather was on the road eating dinner with several other wrestlers. One of the other guys started making fun of Maivia's eating with his hands, a Samoan custom. After finishing, Maivia took the offending wrestler outside and threw him through a plate-glass window. He bent over and asked "Are you okay?". The fellow replied he'd live and Maivia helped him up saying...Don't make fun of me anymore, alright?.

Something I didn't know before reading the book was that The Rock almost played for the Calgary Stampeders before deciding to follow his father into the world of wrestling. He tells of how, after finishing college, his dream was to play in the NFL. However, no team was interested so he accepted an offer to play in Calgary. Upon arriving for training camp, he was told that the CFL had a rule limiting the number of non-Canadian players. A spot on the team was already promised to an American so he was bumped to the bottom of the list. He lived in poverty for several months and even had to scrounge for a mattress in a motel's dumpster. Not quite the behavior one would expect of one of the WWF's most successful performers, is it?

There is a great difference between Mankind and The Rock's bio. The first major variation is the amount of material. The Rock's book is a mere 283 pages. Foley's a whopping 503! This, naturally is attributed to the fact that Foley simply has more stories to tell to the fans. But, it's more than that. Personally, I get more of a charge out of Foley's book because I feel it was written more to the reader than AT the reader, as the Rock's book seems to have been.

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