Rocky Johnson, WWE Hall of Famer and dad of Dwayne Johnson, dies at 75

Dwayne The Rock’s WWE Hall of Fame father, Rocky Johnson dies at 75

  • Johnson began wrestling professionally in the mid-1960s 
  • He joined the WWE in 1983 
  • Paying tribute, the WWE described Johnson as ‘physically imposing and wildly charismatic’ 
  • Partnered with Tony Atlas as the ‘Soul Patrol’, the duo became the first African-American World Tag Team Champions in WWE history
  • His second wife Ata was from a famous Samoan wrestling family 
  • Johnson helped train his son Dwayne to be a pro wrestler
  • A slew of WWE’s stars took to social media to honor Johnson’s legacy 

Rocky Johnson, WWE Hall of Famer and father of Hollywood star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has passed away.

The WWE confirmed Wednesday that Johnson, known as the ‘Soul Man’ had died at age 75.

Further details are unknown.

R.I.P.: WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson, the father of pro wrestler and Hollywood star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, has died at age 75, the WWE announced Wednesday

Johnson – born Wayde Douglas Bowles – began his wrestling career in the mid-1960s, according to THR.com, but only found fame a couple of decades later when he joined the WWE in 1983.

He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his famous son in 2008.

In a statement, the WWE said the organization was ‘saddened’ to hear of his passing and that ‘WWE extends its condolences to Johnson’s family, friends and fans’. 

A host of pro wrestling stars took to social media to pay tribute to Johnson, calling it ‘a sad day for wrestling’.

Tribute: The WWE, in a statement, described Johnson, known as the ‘Soul Man’, as ‘physically imposing and wildly charismatic’ and said they were ‘saddened’ at news of his passing

‘He found his greatest success when he teamed up with Tony Atlas as The Soul Patrol. The two men became the first African-American World Tag Team Champions in WWE history’

Six-time world heavyweight champion Booker T described Johnson as ‘one of the men I looked up to’ as he paid his condolences on Twitter

WWE stars Mick Foley, Kalisto and Brian Myers all expressed sadness at the news of Johnson’s death

Dana Brooke said her ‘heart goes out’ to The Rock and his family

The organization recapped Johnson’s career, describing him in his heyday as ‘physically imposing and wildly charismatic’.

‘He had several memorable rivalries with the likes of Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Don Muraco and Adrian Adonis,’ the statement continued.

‘He found his greatest success when he teamed up with Tony Atlas as The Soul Patrol. The two men became the first African-American World Tag Team Champions in WWE history when they defeated The Wild Samoans on Dec. 10, 1983.’

Johnson is survived by his son Dwayne, his two children Curtis and Wanda from his first marriage and his widow Dana Martin whom he married in 2004. 

Johnson retired from wrestling in 1991. He’s pictured with The Rock and his ex-wife and The Rock’s mom Ata at the Hollywood star’s hand and footprint ceremony in Hollywood in 2015

Johnson, who was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, retired from wrestling in 1991. He then helped train his son Dwayne who followed him into the sport

Dwayne made his WWF debut in 1996, achieving huge success before turning his sights on Hollywood where he has established himself as one of the industry’s biggest stars

The Rock’s first acting gig was playing his father in an episode of That 70s Show during its first season in 1991; pictured with Topher Grace and Laura Prepon

Johnson, who was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, retired from wrestling in 1991.

In 1970, he married his second wife Ava Matia, a member of a famous Samoan wrestling family. Their son Dwayne was born in 1972.  

Dwayne followed his father into the sport, achieving huge success before turning his sights on Hollywood where he has established himself as one of the industry’s biggest stars.

Johnson helped train Dwayne to be a pro wrestler and was a well-known sight at his son’s bouts. 

The Rock initially debuted in the WWF as Rocky Maivia in 1996, taking the ring names of his father and grandfather. However, in 1997 he started referring to himself in the third person as The Rock and the name stuck from 1998 onwards.  


On March 29, 2008, Dwayne had the honor of inducting his dad into the WWE Hall Of Fame in Orlando, Florida

The Rock, pictured in December, initially debuted in the WWF as Rocky Maivia in 1996, taking the ring names of his father and grandfather. However, in 1997 he started referring to himself in the third person as The Rock and the name stuck from 1998 onwards

In March last year, The Rock shared a long post to his Instagram in which he spoke about his relationship with his father.

Revealing he had bought his dad a new house, he wrote: ‘Great chat with my old man. Felt good to my cold (heart) to hear him express his love.’

He explained: ‘He’s a weathered soul and like all weathered souls, there’s often a harsh storied path that got them there.

‘Well for my pops that path started at 13yrs old when his mom kicked him out of his house on Christmas day and forced him to live on the streets (very true and f****d up story) so his reality of compassion and love was forged thru pain and toughness.’

The Rock added: ‘He raised me with that tough physical love and used to beat my a** in the gyms and on wrestling mats. I hated it then as a little boy, but grateful for it today as a man.’ 

The Rock, who has been on an eight-day tour across the U.S. promoting his new Teremana tequila brand, has yet to comment publicly on his father’s passing. 

The Rock, who has been on a tour across the U.S. promoting his new Teremana tequila brand, has yet to comment publicly on his father’s passing. He posted this pic early Wednesday

 

Source: Read Full Article