It's very important to remember he once played a "Pendari champion"

By Alex Heigl
May 30, 2015 11:30 AM

As San Andreas hits theaters, there’s one very important fact that you need to keep in mind.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson guest-starred on a 2000 episode of Star Trek: Voyager called “Tsunkatse,” where he fought Jeri Ryan.

Per Wikipedia: “In this episode, Seven of Nine (Ryan) is abducted, along with Tuvok (Tim Russ), while on a survey mission and forced by her captors to fight in an arena for the entertainment of others.” On IMDb, Johnson‘s character is simply referred to as “The Champion,” though one of the characters mentions he’s a “Pendari.”

At the time, UPN was broadcasting both Voyager and the then-titled WWF Smackdown, so the crossover made perfect sense; it received the highest ratings of the season.

The scene’s choreography was praised by no less an authority than Black Belt magazine, which wrote glowingly of “the variety and realism of the martial arts techniques used in the bouts.”

More than all that, though, it’s a great showcase for the charisma that was at that point making Johnson one of the WWE’s biggest stars. (He even did his then-trademarked eyebrow raise, which we doubt meant the same thing in the Delta Quadrant as it does on Earth.) And even though he’s chewing on lines like “You’re no bigger than a Tarkanian field mouse,” it’s clear Johnson had dramatic chops beyond most, if not all, of his wrestling peers.

“To everybody’s surprise, he was wonderful,” executive producer Rick Berman said of Johnson’s time on the show. “We had never see him do any acting other than playing The Rock, and it was an episode that turned out very well I thought.”

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