UNCW baseball gets a special shoutout from The Rock

Noah Thomas | Sports Editor

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UNC Wilmington athletics made its way into pop culture last week in a way many never would have expected.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson—one of the most successful professional wrestlers of all-time, but known more recently for his ventures on the big screen—gave the UNCW baseball team a shoutout on Twitter in a surprise response to StarNews Online’s Eric Detweiler, who tagged Johnson in a tweet.

The tweet in question featured a video of UNCW’s Joe Bertone, a senior outfielder who has helped the Seahawks along in 2016 in a role that has primarily been one that involves periodic playing time.

Bertone, a professional wrestling fan, could be seen in the video (shot last year during a rain delay at the Baton Rogue regional) body-slamming teammate Steven Linkous to the ground, standing over him, then removing his wristband, throwing it to the crowd, and elbow-dropping Linkous.

The moves—the “Rock Bottom” and the “People’s Elbow,” respectively—are both signature maneuvers Johnson used during his wrestling career.

Detweiler’s tweet tagged Johnson, who responded with the following:

“During a rain delay for their ball game, Bertone hits the People’s Elbow. Good to see the boys have some fun!”

Bertone was quoted later and said he wanted to “electrify the millions.” The phrase is one that—you guessed it—was regularly used by The Rock.