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and winning the USWA World Tag Team Championship twice with Bart Sawyer in the summer of 1996, Johnson signed a WWF contract.
Later that night, The Rock would also overthrow Faarooq as leader of the Nation of Domination to spark a feud between the two and successfully defended the Intercontinental title against Faarooq at Over the Edge: In Your House on May 31, 1998.The Rock and The Nation then feuded with Triple H and D-Generation X (DX), with the two stable leaders first meeting in the quarter-final of the 1998 King of the Ring tournament, which The Rock won.At King of the Ring, The Rock defeated Dan Severn in the semi-final match and lost to rival Ken Shamrock in the final.On April 20 at In Your House 14: Revenge of the 'Taker, he lost to Savio Vega by countout, retaining the title for the final time. During this time, he refused to acknowledge the Rocky Maivia name, instead referring to himself in the third person as The Rock, though he would still be billed as Rocky "The Rock" Maivia until 1998.Audiences became increasingly hostile toward Maivia, with chants of "Die, Rocky, die! As The Rock, he insulted the audience in his promos as well as WWF television interviewers, once calling Kevin Kelly an "ugly hermaphrodite".