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WWE's most unlikely alliances
John Cena & The Rock aren’t the first rivals to unite against a common enemy. In anticipation of the debut of the most charismatic tag team of all time at Survivor Series, WWE.com looks back at some of the most unexpected alliances in WWE history.
Rock 'N' Sock Connection
The Rock may not be overly excited about teaming up with the leader of the “Fruit Loop Troop” at Survivor Series, but he was even less enthused about joining forces with the bizarre Mankind in 1999. An unabashed admirer of The Great One, Mankind spent nearly a year trying to convince The People’s Champion to tag with him before The Rock finally relented. Forced to find a partner after constant attacks from The Unholy Alliance of The Undertaker and Big Show, The Brahma Bull called on the bizarre Superstar to watch his back. Surprisingly, the odd couple clicked and went on to win the World Tag Team Championship on three occasions.
John Cena & Shawn Michaels
Like The Rock, John Cena is no stranger to holding the tag titles with a guy he would dread sitting next to on a cross-country flight. Barreling toward an incendiary WrestleMania 23 WWE Title Match with HBK in 2007, the Cenation leader unexpectedly found himself teaming with his opponent when Mr. McMahon orchestrated a Raw tag bout between the adversaries and World Tag Team Champions Randy Orton & Edge. With no choice but to work together or be destroyed, Cena & HBK beat Rated-RKO to win the titles. The duo still carried these championships when they met in the main event of The Show of Shows, but their partnership crumbled the following night on Raw when a bitter HBK intentionally cost himself and Cena the titles.
At Survivor Series in 2001, The Great One once again found himself in tandem with Superstars he did not like, but had to trust. Defending WWE against the invading WCW/ECW Alliance, The Rock linked up with The Undertaker, Kane, Big Show and Chris Jericho to fight off "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, Booker T, and Shane McMahon. Proving that shaky coalitions rarely last, Team WWE nearly failed when a bitter Jericho waffled The People’s Champion during the bout, but The Brahma Bull persevered to win the important match thanks to some help from Angle, who was only pretending to be in cahoots with The Alliance.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin & Mr. McMahon
Perhaps no rivalry in WWE history was as personal as the one that raged between beer swilling antihero “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and megalomaniacal billionaire Mr. McMahon in the late '90s. Still, the world’s most insubordinate employee was able to put aside his loathing for the power-hungry honcho when WWE was threatened by the sinister Undertaker and his vicious Ministry in 1999. Looking to convert Stephanie McMahon to the dark side, The Demon from Death Valley nearly forced Mr. McMahon’s daughter into marrying him before The Texas Rattlesnake stopped the twisted ceremony. Saving The Chairman’s child united Austin and McMahon for a moment - at least, until Mr. McMahon revealed himself to be the “Higher Power” pulling the strings of The Deadman’s demonic faction. Go figure.