Shawn Stasiak Reflects on His Encounter with The Rock After the 9/11 Attacks, Shane Douglas Commends Lance Storm

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On a recent edition of the “Haus of Wrestling” podcast, Shawn Stasiak reflected on his match with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on the post-9/11 episode of WWE SmackDown.

Stasiak lost to the then-WCW World Heavyweight Champion on the episode, which aired just two days after the 9/11 attacks. He said,


“I got to work with Dwayne Johnson, The Rock, that night. I was the Wile E. Coyote of the WWE, at the time, you know, the laughingstock and comical relief. It was just fun that I got to rub shoulders with Rock a little bit; I wish I would have had an opportunity to actually work a real program and, you know, develop, but the rest is history. It is what it is. It was bittersweet, you’re, on one end, you’re representing freedom and America, really. A very patriotic night, but it was depressing and sad.

Again, lots of fear and anxiety going on, but to work with Dwayne was really special for me, too. Again, I wish we had more time or more of an opportunity of working together, but just to have that moment. I was glad to be part of it. It was a stupid, goofy character, but at least it made people laugh, and it put smiles on faces, and it eased up some of the tension that we all felt. So I was I was happy to be part of that.”

On a recent edition of his “Franchise University” podcast, Shane Douglas recalled how Lance Storm managed to get over in ECW without an over-the-top gimmick.

Douglas discussed Storm’s match with Rob Van Dam at ECW Barely Legal 1997 and expressed his admiration for Storm’s ability to win over the crowd purely based on his wrestling talent. RVD defeated Storm at the event. He said,

“Huge respect for Lance. And I’ll tell you why. Lance, as you know when you watch him, he is pretty vanilla in character. There’s not a whole lot going on there in character … I’ve always said I am so thankful I was in [on] the ground floor of ECW because that would have been a really tough crowd to win over once they had gotten chugging.

“And Lance came in there, albeit without that over-the-top ‘Franchise’ personality or the Candido delivery or whatever, and he won them over, hold to hold to hold. Not an easy thing to do.”

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The Rock’s Memorable Match on WWE SmackDown After 9/11 Attacks

In the wake of the tragic 9/11 attacks, the world was in a state of shock and mourning. The entertainment industry, including professional wrestling, was faced with the challenge of providing some relief and distraction to a grieving nation. One particular episode of WWE SmackDown, which aired just two days after the attacks, featured a match that has remained etched in the memories of fans and wrestlers alike. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, then the WCW World Heavyweight Champion, faced off against Shawn Stasiak in a match that carried significant emotional weight.

Shawn Stasiak, who was known as the “Wile E. Coyote” of WWE at the time, reflected on his experience working with The Rock on a recent edition of the “Haus of Wrestling” podcast. Stasiak expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to rub shoulders with The Rock, even if it was in a comical relief role. He mentioned that while he wished for a chance to develop a more substantial program with The Rock, he was glad to be part of a moment that brought some laughter and eased the tension felt by everyone during that time.

The match itself may not have been a technical masterpiece, but it held immense significance due to the timing and context in which it took place. The episode was a patriotic night, representing freedom and America. It provided an opportunity for people to come together and find solace in the world of professional wrestling. The Rock’s presence in the ring symbolized resilience and strength, serving as a beacon of hope during a dark period.

The impact of this match extended beyond the wrestling ring. It showcased the power of entertainment to uplift spirits and provide a temporary escape from real-world troubles. The Rock’s charisma and larger-than-life persona brought smiles to faces and reminded people that there is still joy to be found even in the midst of tragedy.

Another wrestler, Shane Douglas, recently discussed the ability of Lance Storm to win over the crowd in ECW without an over-the-top gimmick. Douglas praised Storm’s wrestling talent and his ability to captivate the audience through his in-ring skills alone. This further emphasizes the importance of skill and talent in winning over fans, even without flashy gimmicks or characters.

In times of adversity, the world turns to entertainment for solace and distraction. The wrestling industry, with its unique blend of athleticism and storytelling, has often risen to the occasion. The match between The Rock and Shawn Stasiak on WWE SmackDown after the 9/11 attacks stands as a testament to the power of professional wrestling to provide a brief respite from the hardships of reality.

As fans, we can continue to appreciate and support the wrestling industry, knowing that it has the ability to bring people together and offer moments of joy even in the darkest of times. Whether it’s through memorable matches or the captivating performances of talented wrestlers, professional wrestling has a unique way of touching our lives and reminding us of the strength and resilience of the human spirit.