The Rock

The Rock (Dwayne Johnson)

Actor, Wrestling Legend and all round Hollywood movie star

WWE Legends of WrestleMania

Hulk Hogan VS The Rock

Dwayne Douglas Johnson (born May 2, 1972), better known by his former ring name The Rock, is an American actor and former professional wrestler. He gained mainstream fame as a standout in World Wrestling Entertainment from 1996 to 2004. Since 2001, he has focused on a thriving acting career, though he still makes occasional WWE appearances for promotional purposes.

Johnson was a nine-time world champion in his career, including a record-setting seven-time WWE Champion; his last reign was as WWE Undisputed Champion. He also was the winner of the 2000 Royal Rumble.


Early life

Dwayne Johnson, the son of Ata (née Maivia) and professional wrestler "Soulman" Rocky Johnson, was born in Hayward, California. His maternal grandfather, "High Chief" Peter Maivia, was also a professional wrestler. Johnson traveled around frequently with his parents and watched his father perform in the ring. He went to such schools as President William McKinley High School in Hawaii. As he entered 11th grade, Johnson's father's job required his relocation to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the state's Lehigh Valley region. He began playing football at Bethlehem's Freedom High School. In addition to playing football at Freedom High School, he also was a member of the high school's track and field team.

For a brief period, Johnson lived in Auckland, New Zealand, with his mother's family. During this time his mother Ata ensured Johnson was exposed to one of the urban Polynesian cultural strongholds of the Southern Hemisphere. His grandfather and father would end up wrestling extensively in Auckland with American promoter Steve Rickards. Rickards staged a successful television program during the late 1970s-early 1980s, called On The Mat. Many American wrestlers, such as Harley Race, and Johnson's grandfather and father, appeared. Johnson attended Richmond Road Primary School before returning to the U.S. with his parents.


Johnson received collegiate football scholarship offers from several universities and settled on the University of Miami. While the University of Miami football program did not openly recruit Johnson, he entered try-outs as a walk-on for the program and made the team, playing defensive tackle. In 1991, he was part of the Miami Hurricanes' National Championship team. After an injury kept him sidelined, Johnson was replaced by Warren Sapp.

Johnson met his future wife, Dany Garcia, who also was attending Miami at the time. Garcia, who graduated from the University of Miami in 1992, is a member of the University of Miami's Board of Trustees, and the founder of a Miami-based wealth management firm. The two have remained close to their alma mater, giving a $2 million donation in 2006 to build a living room at the university's alumni center. Johnson continued his football career by joining the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League after being passed over by the NFL, but he was cut two months into the season.

Johnson graduated from the University of Miami in 1995 with a degree in criminology.

Family life

Johnson married Dany Garcia on May 3, 1997, a day after his 25th birthday. His best man at the wedding was fellow wrestler and long-time family friend Tonga "Haku" Fifita. Johnson and his wife have a daughter, Simone Alexander, born August 14th 2001. On June 1, 2007, Johnson and Garcia announced that they would be splitting up after 10 years of marriage. They indicated that their parting was amicable and that they would spend the rest of their lives together as best friends.


In 2000, Johnson delivered a speech at the Republican National Convention. Because his mother, Ata Maivia, had royal blood, Samoan King Malietoa Tanumafili II bestowed Johnson with the noble title of Seiuli during his visit to Samoa in July 2004. He is a supporter of the Samoan national rugby team, as the team's website during the run-up to the 2007 Rugby World Cup showed him holding a personalized Manu Samoa jersey with "The Rock" emblazoned on the back.


In 2006, Johnson started up The Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation, which is known for its charitable work with at-risk and terminally ill children.

On October 2, 2007, Johnson and his wife donated an additional $1 million to the University of Miami to support the university's football facilities renovation; it was noted as the largest donation ever given to the university's athletics department by former students. Miami plans to rename the Hurricanes' locker room in Johnson's honor.

World Wrestling Entertainment

Along with his father and grandfather, several members of Johnson's family are current and former professional wrestlers, including his uncles, the Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika Anoa'i) and cousins, such as Rikishi, Rosey, and Umaga. When he declared his intention to join the family business, his father resisted, but agreed to train his son himself, warning him that he would not go easy on him. With help from veteran wrestler Pat Patterson, Johnson had several tryout matches with WWE in 1996; he defeated The Brooklyn Brawler at a house show, and lost the others to Chris Candido and Owen Hart. Impressed by his talent and charisma, Johnson was signed to a deal after a short stint for "seasoning" in Jerry Lawler's United States Wrestling Association, where he wrestled under the ring names of "Flex Cavana" and "Pidlaoan Rock."

Rocky Maivia (1996)

Johnson made his WWE debut as Rocky Maivia, which combined his father and grandfather's ring names; Johnson was initially reluctant to the idea, but was persuaded to go ahead with the name by Vince McMahon and Jim Ross. In addition to tacking on the nickname "The Blue Chipper," WWE played up his connection to his father and grandfather, calling him the company's first third-generation wrestler.

Johnson, who was first portrayed as a clean-cut babyface, was pushed heavily from the start despite his lack of in-ring experience. He debuted at Survivor Series 1996 and was the sole survivor, and he won the Intercontinental Championship from Hunter Hearst Helmsley on RAW on February 13, 1997, after only three months in the company. Fans, however, quickly grew sick of the one-dimensional good guy character, thanks in part to the exploded popularity of Stone Cold Steve Austin. As a result, a regular occurrence during Johnson's matches was the fans' angry chants of "Die Rocky Die!" and "Rocky Sucks!"

Nation of Domination (1997-1998)

After losing the Intercontinental Championship to Owen Hart on April 28 edition of RAW is WAR, and returning from an injury, Johnson was allowed to turn heel. He joined the Nation of Domination, with the nickname "'The Rock' Rocky Maivia," which was eventually shortened to just "The Rock." During that time, Johnson attacked and insulted the fans in his promos. In sharp contrast to the overly positive persona of Rocky Maivia, The Rock was a charismatic bully, eventually driving out the group leader, Faarooq in February 1998. The Rock also referred to himself in the third person, starting many sentences with "The Rock says..."

Johnson was soon recognized for cutting arguably the best promos in the industry. In his 2000 autobiography, Johnson attributed this skill to his exceptional performance in speech communications classes at Miami, in which he earned "A" grades. At In Your House: D-Generation X, Austin defeated The Rock in less than six minutes to retain the Intercontinental title. The following night on RAW is WAR, Austin was ordered by Mr. McMahon to forfeit the WWF Intercontinental Championship, which Austin handed over to The Rock before hitting the Stone Cold Stunner on him. Rock spent the end of 1997 and the beginning of 1998 feuding with both Austin and Ken Shamrock.

Feuding with DX (1998)

Johnson next feuded with Faarooq, who was angry at the Rock for usurping his position. The two had a title match at Over the Edge 1998, where Rock retained the Intercontinental belt. The Rock then moved into a feud with Triple H and D-Generation X. Nation members would fight DX while the Rock would fight Triple H over the Intercontinental Championship. They first had a two out of three falls match at Fully Loaded 1998 for Rock's title, which would see Rock retain the belt in controversial fashion. This lead to a ladder match at SummerSlam 1998 where Rock would lose the belt. At Breakdown, Rock defeated Ken Shamrock and Mankind in a triple threat steel cage match to become the #1 contender to the WWF Championship before feuding with fellow Nation member Mark Henry, effectively disbanding the Nation.

Sporadic appearances (2004-present)

The Rock made occasional wrestling appearances up to 2004's WrestleMania XX, when the storyline revolving around Mick Foley had him brought back to help in his feud with Evolution (Ric Flair, Randy Orton and Batista). One humorous in-ring segment involved The Rock hosting his own version of "This is Your Life" for Foley on the March 8, 2004 edition of RAW.Rock reunited with Foley after five years, as Rock 'n' Sock Connection and the duo went on to lose to Orton, Flair and Batista at WrestleMania XX in a handicap match when Orton pinned Foley. This was Rock's last match.

He made sporadic appearances in WWE following WrestleMania, including standing up for Eugene, making a cameo appearance in his home-town of Miami and helping Foley turn back La Resistance. He hosted a "Pie-Eating Contest" during the Diva Search 2004 and ended the segment by giving Jonathan Coachman a Rock Bottom and a People's Elbow. After this appearance, Johnson reported in several interviews that he was no longer under contract with WWE. He also reported that the reason he was able to continue using the name "The Rock" was part of a dual ownership between him and WWE.

On March 12, 2007, The Rock made an appearance on WWE after a near three year absence, appearing on RAW via a pre-taped segment on the titantron. He correctly predicted that Bobby Lashley and Donald Trump would defeat Umaga and Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 23 in their "Battle of the Billionaires" match.

On February 25, 2008, WWE announced that The Rock would make an appearance at the 2008 WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony to induct his father, Rocky Johnson, and his grandfather, Peter Maivia.

Television and movie career

The overwhelming success of Johnson's in-ring character allowed him to cross over into mainstream popularity, and he appeared on Wyclef Jean's 2000 single "It Doesn't Matter" and the accompanying video. That same year, he co-hosted Saturday Night Live (along with Triple H, Mick Foley, and The Big Show). The episode was considered a major success and helped kick-start his acting career. According to Johnson, it was due to the success of that episode that he began receiving offers from Hollywood studios.

He filmed guest roles on Star Trek: Voyager and That '70s Show, and his motion picture debut was a brief appearance as The Scorpion King in the opening of The Mummy Returns. The film's financial success led to his first leading role starring in the follow-up, The Scorpion King. He was considered for the lead in a feature-length Johnny Bravo film, but it was canceled during production.

Since his last WWE match in 2004, he has quit wrestling and focused solely on acting. He also continued to make television appearances, including Disney Channel's hit show Cory in the House, in the episode entitled “Never The Dwayne Shall Meet.” Though Johnson is no longer active with WWE, the company continues to sell "The Rock" merchandise, and Johnson continues to be featured prominently in the opening montages of their television programming.

Johnson was featured in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records for having the highest salary as an actor in their first starring role. He appeared at the 80th Academy Awards on February 24, 2008 as a presenter for the Best Visual Effects award.

Johnson is also an actor, with his first leading role in 2001, in The Scorpion King. For this film, he received the highest salary for an actor in his first starring role, earning $5.5 million. He has since appeared in movies such as The Rundown, Be Cool, The Game Plan, Gridiron Gang, Doom, Race to Witch Mountain and Get Smart. (Credit: Wikipedia).



WWE Alumni Profile

Internet Movie Database - The Rock Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock


World Wrestling Entertainment



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