Johnson made his WWF debut as Rocky Maivia, a combination of his father and grandfather's ring names, although his real name was acknowledged by the announcers.  He was initially reluctant to take this ring name but was persuaded by Vince McMahon and Jim Ross.  He was given the nickname "The Blue Chipper" and his lineage was played to on TV, where he was hyped as the WWF's first third-generation wrestler. Maivia, a clean-cut face character, was pushed heavily from the start despite his wrestling inexperience. He debuted on Monday Night Raw as a member of Marc Mero's entourage on November 4, 1996 and had his first match at Survivor Series on November 17, in an eight-man elimination tag match; he was the sole survivor by single-handedly eliminating Crush and Goldust.  WWF fans generally rejected him because of his cheesy character.  On February 13, 1997, he won the Intercontinental Championship from Hunter Hearst Helmsley on Monday Night Raw.  Maivia successfully defended the title at In Your House 13: Final Four against Hunter Hearst Helmsley and at WrestleMania 13 against The Sultan. He defeated Bret Hart by disqualification in a title defense on March 31 episode of Raw is War.  Hart mentored Johnson for his first year in WWF and refused to take the title from him due to fear that it would negatively impact Johnson's career.  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. Audiences became increasingly hostile toward Maivia, with chants of "Die, Rocky, die!" and "Rocky sucks!" being heard during his matches.