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10 Things Fans Should Know About The Rock’s Father, Rocky Johnson

10 Things Fans Should Know About The Rock’s Father, Rocky Johnson

Whereas The Rock is without doubt one of the best of all time, his father Rocky Johnson was a trailblazer too. Right here are some things followers ought to find out about him.

Arguably one of many largest stars on the planet, Hollywood celebrity Dwayne Johnson acquired his begin in WWE as Rocky Maivia, a vanilla babyface who shifted gears into the egomaniac braggart heel The Rock, probably the most fashionable wrestlers of the Angle Period. On high of that, he’s mainly professional wrestling royalty as part of the Anoa’i Samoan dynasty and the son of WWE wrestler Rocky Johnson.
A midcarder and tag group specialist, Rocky Johnson probably wouldn’t be as remembered as he’s if it weren’t for his well-known son. So let’s have a look at Johnson’s profession and what followers ought to find out about him.
Born Wayde Douglas Bowles in Canada, the long run Rocky Johnson skilled in boxing at a neighborhood middle however had sparring classes with boxing legends Muhummad Ali and George Foreman. Bowles realized the fundamentals of professional wrestling from a jobber who skilled on the neighborhood middle, and ended up pursuing formal coaching from Jack Wentworth, who skilled notables like Ivan Koloff.
Even his ring identify was influenced by boxing, because it was a mix of Rocky Marciano and Jack Johnson, two boxers he admired.

Mentored By Billy Watson
Wrestling in Toronto, Rocky Johnson acquired an amazing rub from fellow Canadian Billy Watson, the third-ever NWA World Heavyweight Champion. Johnson was introduced as Watson’s protege, a transfer that Johnson attributed to Watson’s political ambitions in that being related to a black Canadian wrestler would hopefully ingratiate Watson with black voters.
Consequently, Johnson acquired a formidable push that raised his profile as a performer, scoring him spectacular bookings in large venues and in different promotions.

8Feud With Jerry Lawler
With 1976 got here a a lot publicized “wrestler vs. boxer” match between Muhummad Ali and New Japan Professional-Wrestling founder Antonio Inoki, and Memphis-based wrestler/booker Jerry “The King” Lawler tapped Rocky Johnson to be the credible boxing expertise to tackle The King.
The angle made use of pictures of Johnson sparring with well-known boxers, and the 2 stars clashed a couple of occasions all through 1976 and 1977. At one level, the NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship was on the road, and Johnson managed to defeat Lawler for the belt.

7Decorated Champion
Whereas Rocky Johnson would solely maintain one championship in WWE (see beneath), he truly is a extremely adorned champion throughout the assorted territories affiliated with the Nationwide Wrestling Alliance. Along with myriad singles titles, Johnson and future WWE legend Pat Patterson scored 4 NWA tag title reigns within the California wrestling scene. Earlier than exhibiting up in WWE, he wrestled in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (which might later change into WCW) as Candy Ebony Diamond, having fun with two reigns with the NWA World Tv Title whereas feuding with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine.
6Soul Patrol

Rocky Johnson joined up with WWE in 1982, forming a tag group with Tony Atlas known as Soul Patrol. In 1983, they defeated the Wild Samoans to change into WWE World Tag Group Champions and have become credited as the primary black group to win a significant tag group title.
Johnson and Atlas would maintain the belts for 154 days, defending towards groups like Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper, Mr. Fuji and Tiger Chung Lee, and the Wild Samoans in a number of rematches.
5Didn’t Get Alongside With Tony Atlas
As Soul Patrol, Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas have been a suitable group within the ring, as Johnson was extra athletic and Atlas was a powerhouse wrestler. Nonetheless, their relationship exterior the ring wasn’t precisely clean, and sometimes fraught with drama.
Behind the scenes, Tony Atlas reportedly had a drug drawback that interfered along with his work, and such an unreliability induced stress along with his tag group associate. There are even rumors that the 2 got here to blows backstage.
4Trained The Rock
After a disappointing singles run post-Soul Patrol and stints in varied remaining territories, Rocky Johnson retired in 1991. Round this time, his school soccer star son Dwayne Johnson was contemporary out of the College of Miami, and concerned about pursuing a professional wrestling profession.
Johnson agreed to coach younger Dwayne with help from former tag associate Pat Patterson, and helped his son get the eye of WWE. Initially, Rocky Johnson appeared on WWE tv to assist his babyface son — now “Rocky Maivia” — recover from, however this finally petered out when it was clear that Dwayne was not an efficient hero
Developmental Coach And Corridor Of Famer
Rocky Johnson’s involvement with WWE didn’t finish along with his son’s arrival and ascent into superstardom. Within the early 2000s, the elder Rocky acquired a job in developmental, coaching up-and-comers in Ohio Valley Wrestling, however that stint proved to be short-lived.
Later that decade, Johnson was inducted by his son into the WWE Corridor of Fame in 2008 — the identical yr as The Rock’s grandfather on his mom’s facet, Peter Maivia.
A Character On Two TV Reveals
With 2021 got here the premiere of the Rock-produced NBC comedy sequence Younger Rock, following the experiences of Dwayne Johnson as a baby rising up across the wrestling enterprise in addition to a school soccer participant on the cusp of coming into the biz himself. The present additionally options his relationship along with his father, performed by Joseph Lee Anderson, in addition to appearances from different WWE characters.
That is truly not the primary fictional look of Rocky Johnson in a sitcom. Within the first season of That ‘70s Present in 1999, The Rock truly performed his father in a wrestling themed episode, appropriately titled “That Wrestling Present.”
His E-book And The Ensuing Controversy
In 2019, previous to his loss of life in 2020, Johnson printed a biography with prolific wrestling author Scott Teal known as Soulman: The Rocky Johnson Story. Whereas praised for its career-spanning content material, the guide turned the topic of some controversy resulting from cost points between Johnson and Teal — particularly that Teal wasn’t paid in full and was lower out of the publishing deal.
Sadly, this dispute arose after the guide was printed by Canadian writer ECW Press, who have been pressured to cease promoting Soulman and pulled all copies from bookstores.

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