The 'most electrifying move in sports entertainment' was never intended to be seen on TV.
That is something we were shocked to learn when Triple H joined BBC Radio 1 for a chat with Greg James, as he revealed that what would become one of the most famous wrestling maneuvers of all time and would help propel to super-stardom, was created purely to make the Undertaker laugh and break character.
The story goes that after a long time together on the road, some of the wrestlers had planned to try and find ways to make the Undertaker break character during a show, so The Rock came up with what he believed to be an utterly ridiculous move.
But the fans loved it. After trying it out at a number of non-televised shows, the move was very much still a joke until the legendary Mick Foley dared The Rock to do it on TV. From there, a legend was born.
— BBC Radio 1 (@BBCR1) June 21, 2017
There was a night where Foley, we were all working a tag on live TV, and Foley was like 'I dare you to do that elbow tonight!'
It's just, these things morph in those ways. They catch on, and trust me, we're quick to go 'Oooh they like that, I'm sticking with that'.
I loved working with The Rock, so this is in no way disparaging of him, but it is the hokiest move ever. You gotta wait for 20 minutes while he takes his elbow pad off and works the crowd, he runs back and forth, then he comes up, drops an elbow on you that looks like it barely touches you except alot of times the point of his elbow hits you right in the mouth and you come up bleeding.
The ridiculousness is part of the magic.
The move became an obsession all over the world, you'd even see Irish kids doing the arm motion walking around the place at the time, and it drove the crowd wild.
We just never knew it's sole purpose was to make the Undertaker laugh, rather than electrify the crowd.