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Put a "Sock" in it, Rock
One man exuded confidence, poise and charisma, conveying more with a single cocked eyebrow than an entire troupe of classically trained thespians in full-throated emote. The other reeked of humility, naïveté and mischievousness, shielding his face with a mask so that he might hide away from both his surroundings and himself.
Yet, in 1999, The Rock and Mankind, the most unlikely of allies, forged an uneasy bond and would ultimately be heralded as one of the most popular -- and successful -- tag teams in WWE history, earning them the No. 1 spot on WWE.com's list of "Heated Pursuits in WWE History."
That partnership, however, would not arise without struggle. In January of that year, The People's Champion defeated his masked adversary in a grueling "I Quit" Match at Royal Rumble. Perhaps Mankind had taken one -- or three -- too many chair blasts to the cranium during the bout. How else to explain his dogged determination to forge an alliance with his tormentor?
Seven months after Mankind's campaign to team with The Rock began, WWE Tag Team Champions The Undertaker & Big Show attacked The Brahma Bull on Raw and were prepared to destroy the cocky Superstar. Out of desperation, Rock finally agreed to team with his deranged devotee. The pair went on to defeat Undertaker & Show, shocking the WWE Universe, capturing the titles and giving birth to what would be forever known as The Rock ‘N' Sock Connection.
With determination, no small amount of compromise and a little help from "Mr. Socko" -- Mankind's dirty and deadly sock puppet -- the duo would go on to secure the WWE Tag Team Titles twice more. They would also, thanks to comedic chemistry, create one of the highest rated segments in the history of Raw when Mankind hosted a "This Is Your Life" presentation for his partner, featuring people from Rock's past paraded out to the ring.
Although their shaky bond would barely survive the year, The Rock and Mankind nonetheless made a tremendous impact, both in and out of the ring, and left the WWE Universe with the welcome smell of humor, resolve and camaraderie that The Rock ‘N' Sock Connection was cooking.