Like Father, Like Son. ‘The Beast’ That Built Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is one of the most commercially successful men of the modern era. The pro wrestler, actor, and businessman is one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood yet still manages to come across humble and gracious for what he has in his life. The Rock started out playing American Football in college, but being cut from the Canadian Football league prevented him from a pro-level berth. So he turned to wrestling. But he wasn’t the first man in his family to do so.
Rocky’s and his father were also pro wrestlers before him, his father being Rocky Johnson, who also gave Dwayne his ring name. His maternal grandmother was also one of the first female wrestling promoters. But it was his father that really guided and made Dwayne the wrestler he was, giving him a dream start to a long career.
Rocky and Tony Atlas formed ‘The Soul Patrol’ in the 80s and were the first black tag team to win the 1983 WWF championship. Before this he was a top contender in the World Wrestling Alliance, gaining fame during the 60s and 70s.
When his football career looked to be over, Dwayne sought out a career in wrestling, inspired by his father. It isn’t often that sons live up to the path that their fathers trod before them, but in Dwayne’s case, he worked so hard that he was able to surpass his father in terms of fame and success.
Under the tutelage of his father and Pat Patterson, Dwayne was able to get his first WWF development contract in the mid-90s. His father was initially resistant to the idea of his son following in his footsteps on account of the difficulties pro wrestlers faced, but he could not have predicted the success that ‘The Rock’ was going to have.
Despite his success, Dwayne Johnson is always quick to sing his father’s praises, often calling him out in social media accounts. Being the fifth-most-followed account, there a lot of people who now know just how much Rocky means to Dwayne.
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Bought my dad a Christmas gift and surprised him. He's had a hard life. This one felt good. My dad, Rocky Johnson is a minimalist. Always has been. Never asks me for much and over the years his needs are always the barest. Crazy story, my dad's dad died when he was 13yrs old. That Christmas, my dad's mom had her new boyfriend over for Christmas dinner. Her boyfriend got drunk and pissed on the turkey. My dad went outside, got a shovel, drew a line in the snow and said if you cross that line I'll kill you. The drunk crossed it and my dad laid him out cold as a block of ice. Cops were called. They told my dad's mom that when her boyfriend regains consciousness, he's gonna kill your son so one of them has got to go. In front of the entire family, my dad's mom looked at him and said get out. He was 13yrs old and now homeless. That f*cked up true story happened in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1954. He needed the bare minimum then, just like does now. Over the years, I've moved him into a big home, got him trucks to drive – which he'll literally drive into the ground until I get him something else. Hell, I'll get him anything he wants, but the SOB just won't ask;). Every Christmas, I always think about that story and my dad having every odd stacked against him at 13, but he fought thru it and still made something of himself. Makes me appreciate his struggle and hard work. Also, makes me appreciate the fun times he would beat my ass in the gym so bad when I was 13 and say "If you're gonna throw up, go outside.. and if you're gonna cry, then go home to your mother". I hated it then, but I embrace it now. Made a man outta me. Without pissing on my turkey. 😂👍🏾. Just a small way of saying thank you dad and Merry Christmas! #DwantaClaus🎅🏾
Check out some footage of Rocky’s trailblazing wrestling on the player below.