The Rock has revealed that former on-screen WWE personality Harvey Wippleman was the one who came up with the ‘SmackDown’ name.
For over two decades, WWE’s blue brand has grown to become the most-watched wrestling programme week in and week out in the United States after its billion-dollar move to FOX.
SmackDown has been home to many iconic WWE Superstars including The Rock, The Undertaker, John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Eddie Guerrero, Kurt Angle, and now is ruled by The Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns.
With this impressive litany of stars to SmackDown’s name, the WWE on FOX social media account asked fans who came to mind when looking at the brand’s original logo from 1999. The Rock responded, and said, that for him, it instantly reminds him of one man – Downtown Bruno, also known as Harvey Wippleman:
“Easy answer. C’mon @WWE. The superstar who this show was named after. The superstar responsible for “Smackdown” officially becoming a word in the @MerriamWebsterdictionary. And that superstar is… Harvey Whippleman aka Downtown Bruno!#ifyasmell”
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 15, 2022
Downtown Bruno is widely credited as a pivotal character in The Rock’s legendary career. A veteran of professional wrestling, Wippleman has worked both onscreen and backstage for multiple organisations, most notably the World Wrestling Federation.
The Rock has often praised Harvey Wippleman for his mentorship and guidance throughout his life. In 2020, ‘The Brahma Bull’ named Wippleman as the greatest of all time in the wrestling world. The same year, The People’s Champ purchased a brand new car for his mentor as a token of appreciation for his lifelong support.