Dwayne Johnson


Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson

Johnson at the Tribeca Film Festival, April 25, 2009.
Ring name(s) Flex Kavana[1]
Rocky Maivia[1]
The Rock[1]
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson[2]
Billed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)[3]
Billed weight 260 lb (120 kg)[4]
Born May 2, 1972 (1972-05-02) (age 39)[5]
Hayward, California[5]
Resides Los Angeles, California
Billed from Miami, Florida[3]
Trained by Rocky Johnson[6]
Pat Patterson[6]
Debut 1996[6]

Dwayne Douglas Johnson[7] (born May 2, 1972),[5] also known by his ring name The Rock, is an American actor and professional wrestler who is signed to the WWE, featured on its Raw brand.[8][9] He is often credited as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.[3]

Johnson was a college football player. In 1991, he was part of the University of Miami's national championship team. He later played for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League, and was cut two months into the 1995 season.[10] This led to his decision to become a professional wrestler like his grandfather, Peter Maivia, and his father, Rocky Johnson. He gained mainstream fame as a wrestler in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), originally known as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), from 1996 to 2004, and was the first third-generation superstar in the company's history. Johnson was quickly given a push as a heroic character in the WWF, originally billed as "Rocky Maivia", and then as "The Rock". He would subsequently turn into a villain as a member of the Nation of Domination in 1997. Two years after he joined the WWF, Johnson won the WWF Championship, and became one of the most popular wrestlers within the company's history for his engaging interviews and promos.

Johnson won a total of 16 championships in WWF/E. This included nine World Heavyweight Championships (the WWF/E Championship seven times and the WCW/World Championship twice), two WWF Intercontinental Championships, and five times as co-holder of the WWF Tag Team Championships. He was the sixth WWF/E Triple Crown Champion, and the winner of the 2000 Royal Rumble.

Johnson's autobiography co-written with Joe Layden, The Rock Says..., was released in 2000. It debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Seller list, and remained on the list for several weeks. Johnson's first leading role as an actor was in The Scorpion King in 2002. For this film, he received the highest salary for an actor in his first starring role, earning $5.5 million.[11] He has since appeared in several blockbuster movies such as The Rundown, Be Cool, Walking Tall, Gridiron Gang, The Game Plan, Get Smart, Race to Witch Mountain, Planet 51, Tooth Fairy, Doom, Why Did I Get Married Too?, The Other Guys, Faster, and most recently Fast Five starring opposite Vin Diesel and Paul Walker.

Contents

Early life

Dwayne Johnson, the son of Ata Johnson (née Maivia) and African – Canadian professional wrestler "Soulman" Rocky Johnson, was born in Hayward, California.[5] His maternal grandfather, "High Chief" Peter Maivia, was also a professional wrestler. His maternal grandmother, Lia Maivia, ran Polynesian Pacific Pro Wrestling from 1982 until 1988 following her husband's death, becoming one of wrestling's few female professional promoters.[12][13] His father is of Black Nova Scotian (Canadian) origin and his mother is of Samoan heritage.[14][15] For a brief period, Johnson lived in Auckland, New Zealand, with his mother's family.[16] During this time his mother Ata ensured Johnson was exposed to one of the urban Polynesian cultural strongholds of the Southern Hemisphere.[16] Johnson attended Richmond Road Primary School before returning to the United States with his parents.[16]

He spent 10th grade at President William McKinley High School in Honolulu, 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 the highly competitive East Penn Conference.[15] In addition to playing football at Freedom High School, he also was a member of the high school's track and field and wrestling teams.[15]

On 17 April 2009, changes to Canadian nationality law came into effect, which now made all children born in the first generation abroad to Canadian-born parents automatically (and retroactively to date of birth) Canadian citizens. Since Johnson's father was born in Canada and Johnson was born in the first generation abroad, he automatically received Canadian citizenship.[17]

Dwayne Johnson greeting fans in 2006

Education

Johnson was heavily recruited by many Division I collegiate programs but ultimately accepted a full scholarship from the University of Miami to play defensive tackle. In 1991, he was part of the Miami Hurricanes' national championship team.[18] After an injury kept him sidelined, Johnson was replaced by fellow Hurricane and future National Football League (NFL) star Warren Sapp.[15]

While attending Miami, Johnson met his future wife, Dany Garcia. Garcia, who graduated from the university in 1992, is a member of its Board of Trustees,[19] 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 graduated from Miami in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminology and physiology. Johnson continued his football career in 1995, 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.[10][15] On November 10, 2007, he returned to the Orange Bowl in Miami to participate in the festivities surrounding the University of Miami's last home football game at the stadium. Johnson has two nephews who play football. Kaluka Maiava played football at USC and was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2009, while Kaluka's brother Kai Maiava currently plays at UCLA.

Professional wrestling career

Training and Rocky Maivia (1995–96)

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 Manu, Yokozuna, Rikishi, Rosey, and Umaga.[16] 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.[15] 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 under his real name, Dwayne Johnson,[20] and lost the others to Chris Candido and Owen Hart.[16] Impressed by his talent and charisma, Johnson was signed to a contract after wrestling at Jerry Lawler's United States Wrestling Association, where he wrestled under the ring name "Flex Kavana".[6] While there, he won the USWA World Tag Team Championship twice with Bart Sawyer in the summer of 1996.

World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (1996–present)

Early WWF run (1996–97)

Johnson made his WWF 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.[13][21] In addition to taking on the nickname "The Blue Chipper," the WWF played up his connection to his father and grandfather, calling him the company's first third-generation wrestler.[3]

Johnson, who was first portrayed as a clean-cut face character (fan favorite), was pushed heavily from the start despite his lack of in-ring experience. He debuted at Survivor Series in November 1996 and was the sole survivor,[22] and he won the WWF Intercontinental Championship from Hunter Hearst Helmsley on Raw on February 13, 1997, after only three months in the company.[23][24] By March 1997, Maivia was being increasingly billed as "The Rock".[25] He scored a notable victory, albeit by disqualification, over Bret Hart in a title defense on the March 31 edition of Raw.[26] Fans, however, quickly grew sick of the one-dimensional good guy character, thanks in part to the increasing popularity of Stone Cold Steve Austin.[1] As a result, a regular occurrence during Johnson's matches was the fans' angry chants of "Die Rocky Die!" and "Rocky Sucks!"[1][6][13]

Nation of Domination and feuding with DX (1997–98)

After losing the Intercontinental Championship to Owen Hart on the April 28, 1997 edition of Raw is War,[27] and returning from an injury, The Rock turned into a heel character (villain). He joined the Nation of Domination with Faarooq (later member of the APA), D'Lo Brown, and Kama.[28] During that time, Johnson attacked and insulted the fans in his promos. In sharp contrast to the overly positive persona, he was now a charismatic bully, eventually driving out the group leader, Faarooq in March 1998.[28] He also referred to himself in the third person, starting many sentences with "The Rock says..."[28]

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 Championship.[29] The following night on Raw is War, Austin was ordered by Mr. McMahon to defend the Intercontinental Championship in a rematch, but Austin decided to forfeit it instead, and handed the championship over to The Rock before performing the Stone Cold Stunner on him.[30][31] Rock spent the end of 1997 and the beginning of 1998 feuding with both Austin and Ken Shamrock.[32][33]

The Rock next feuded with Faarooq, who was angry at The Rock for usurping his position. The two had a title match at Over the Edge, where Rock retained the Intercontinental Championship.[34] The Rock then moved into a feud with Triple H and D-Generation X. Nation members fought DX while The Rock fought Triple H over the Intercontinental Championship. They first had a two out of three falls match at Fully Loaded for Rock's title, where the Rock retained the title in controversial fashion.[35] This led to a ladder match at SummerSlam where Rock lost the belt.[36] At Breakdown, the Rock defeated Ken Shamrock and Mankind in a triple threat steel cage match to become the number one contender to the WWF Championship before feuding with fellow Nation member Mark Henry, effectively disbanding the Nation.[37][38]

The Corporation (1998–99)

Johnson's popularity as The Rock propelled him to the WWF Championship. The Rock began to conduct many entertaining interviews, and thus he got over with the fans. Fan reaction effectively turned him into a face character, and he began to feud with Mr. McMahon, who said he has a "problem with the people" and thus he should target the "People's Champion" (as The Rock claimed himself to be). A double turn occurred at Survivor Series, when The Rock defeated the then-villain Mankind in the finals of the "Deadly Game" tournament[39] for the vacant WWF Championship.[40] At the end of the match, The Rock applied a Sharpshooter on Mankind. As he did this, McMahon called for the bell to be rung and then ordered for The Rock to be declared the winner.[39][40] This was a parody of the Montreal Screwjob, which happened one year earlier at Survivor Series to Bret "The Hitman" Hart.

With the plan coming to fruition, The Rock turned into a villain again and sided with Vince and Shane McMahon as the crown jewel of The Corporation stable.[39] This was also a start of a double turn, as Mankind became a fan favorite.[41] Later, The Rock had his own pay-per view, Rock Bottom: In Your House, where he had a rematch against Mankind for the WWF Championship. Mankind won the match by knocking the Rock out with Mr. Socko and the mandible claw, but Mr. McMahon said that The Rock did not tap out and therefore The Rock would retain his title.[41][42] The Rock began a feud with Mankind over the WWF Championship, during which the title changed hands back and forth between the two, first during the main event of the January 4, 1999 edition of Raw is War, when Mankind defeated The Rock with the help of Stone Cold Steve Austin.[43] The Rock captured his second WWF Championship in an "I Quit" match at Royal Rumble on January 24, 1999,[44][45] when a pre-recorded sample of Mankind saying "I quit" from an interview segment was played over the sound system. This second reign did not last long, however. In a match that counter-programmed the Super Bowl halftime show on January 31, 1999, Mankind pinned The Rock using a forklift truck in an Empty Arena Match where the competitors used everything from bags of popcorn to garbage to punish each other.[46] This feud continued until the February 15 edition of Raw is War, when The Rock won his third WWF Championship in a ladder match after newly debuted The Big Show chokeslammed Mankind off a ladder.[47][48]

With Mankind out of the way, The Rock had to defend his WWF Championship at WrestleMania XV, but lost the belt to Austin.[49] The Rock lost the title rematch to Austin at Backlash: In Your House.[50] Despite him being a villain, WWF fans had begun to cheer The Rock due to his comedic interviews, promos, and segments, which mocked wrestlers and announcers. The Rock transitioned into a face character again after being betrayed by Shane McMahon, and established a feud with Triple H, The Undertaker, and the Corporate Ministry. During this feud, he sometimes found himself fighting alongside Steve Austin. The Rock defeated Triple H at Over the Edge, and then lost to WWF Champion The Undertaker at King of the Ring.[51][52] During mid-1999 he continued his rivalry with Triple H, losing to him in a number one contender's match at Fully Loaded following interference from Mr. Ass.[53] Due to this, as well as feuding with Triple H, The Rock commenced a feud with Mr. Ass, including defeating him in a "Kiss My Ass" match at SummerSlam.[54]

The Rock 'n' Sock Connection (1999)

Towards the latter part of 1999 The Rock found himself in several singles and tag team championship opportunities. He teamed with former enemy Mankind to create the Rock 'n' Sock Connection, after The Rock challenged the team of The Undertaker and The Big Show, which led to Mankind offering his help.[55] The Rock accepted, and they went on to win the WWF Tag Team Championship three times.[56][57][58] Aside from the championships, the team was regarded as one of the most entertaining teams in history, as Mankind imitated The Rock, who ignored Mankind, with both wrestlers having support from the crowd. The team was also involved in a segment which occurred on Raw is War called "This Is Your Life", in which Mankind brought out people from The Rock's past, such as his high school girlfriend and gym teacher. The segment earned an 8.4 Nielsen rating and is, to this day, one of the single highest rated segments in terms of viewership in Raw history.[56][59]

Feuds for the WWF Championship (2000–01)

The Rock as WWF Champion

At Royal Rumble in early 2000, The Rock entered in the Royal Rumble match and lasted until he and The Big Show were the final two men. In the final moment of the match, The Big Show was seemingly going to throw The Rock over the top rope in a running powerslam-like position, but when they got to the apron The Rock reversed the throw, sending The Big Show to the outside floor and then came back up.[60] The Rock's feet, however, hit the floor first, although those watching the event did not see that. The Big Show attempted to prove that The Rock's feet, not his, touched the ground first. He provided video footage showing that he was the rightful winner. Despite that, the decision that The Rock had won the Rumble match could not be reversed, so a number one contender's match for the WWF Championship at No Way Out was held, which saw The Big Show come out on top after Shane McMahon interfered, knocking The Rock in the head with a steel chair as he attempted to finish off his opponent with a People's Elbow.[61] The Rock later defeated The Big Show on March 13, 2000 edition of Raw is War to regain the right to face the WWF Champion, Triple H, at WrestleMania 2000/ Wrestlemania 16/ WrestleMania XVI in a Fatal Four-Way Elimination match where The Big Show and Mick Foley competed, as well.[62][63] Each competitor had a McMahon in their corner; for Triple H, his on-screen wife and then off-screen girlfriend Stephanie McMahon; for Mick Foley, the matriarch Linda McMahon; for The Rock, Vince McMahon; and in Big Show's corner, Shane McMahon.[63][64] Triple H retained the title when Vince betrayed The Rock, hitting him with a chair, allowing Triple H to pin The Rock for the three-count.[64][65]

The Rock taunts Rob Van Dam at ringside

Over the next couple of months The Rock feuded with Triple H over the WWF Championship. A month after the match at WrestleMania 2000, The Rock had a rematch with Triple H at Backlash in which The Rock won his fourth WWF Championship, after Stone Cold Steve Austin made a brief return and intervened on The Rock's behalf.[66][67][68] Later, at Judgment Day, the two had an Iron Man match with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee, that saw The Undertaker return.[69] The Rock got disqualified and lost the title, as a result of The Undertaker attacking Triple H.[69] The following night on Raw is War, The Rock got his revenge, taking out the entire McMahon-Helmsley Faction with the help of The Undertaker.[70] He later won his fifth WWF Championship at King of the Ring in a tag team match, which saw him team up with Kane and The Undertaker to fight Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon and Triple H.[71][72] He successfully defended the championship against superstars such as Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, Triple H, Kane, The Undertaker, and Shane McMahon.[67][73][74]

The Rock later lost the WWF Championship to Angle at No Mercy in October.[67][75] During this time, he feuded with Rikishi and defeated him at Survivor Series.[67][76] He also participated in a six-man Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon for the WWF Championship, in which Kurt Angle retained the title.[67][77] Around that same time, Rock held the WWF Tag Team Championship with The Undertaker and the duo exchanged the titles with Edge and Christian.[67][78]

In 2001, The Rock continued his feud with Angle over the WWF Championship, which they eventually settled at No Way Out. After a battle that saw both wrestlers kick out of each other's finishers, The Rock finally came out on top and won the WWF Championship for the sixth time.[67][79][80] Afterwards, he feuded with the Royal Rumble winner, Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Rock went into WrestleMania X-Seven as the WWF Champion, but he was defeated after Austin used Mr. McMahon to win the title.[67][81] During a Steel Cage match with Austin in a rematch for the WWF Championship on the following night's Raw is War, Triple H came down to the ring with a sledgehammer. Many thought he was coming to aid The Rock, due to the hatred between Austin and Triple H (and an argument with Vince earlier in the night), but it transpired that he had joined the Austin/McMahon partnership by hitting The Rock instead.[82] Austin and Triple H became a tag team called "The Two-Man Power Trip",[83] while according to the storyline The Rock was indefinitely suspended, during which time he acted in the movie "The Mummy Returns".[6]

The Invasion, Undisputed WWF Championship and final storylines (2001–03)

He returned in late July 2001 and had to decide if he wanted to join the WWF or The Alliance (a combination of WCW and ECW) during The Invasion, eventually siding with the WWF.[67] At SummerSlam, The Rock defeated Booker T to win the WCW Championship.[67][84][85] He lost the WCW Championship to Chris Jericho, with whom he won the WWF Tag Team Championship around the same time, at No Mercy.[86][87]

Johnson at a WWE event, 2002

The Rock defeated Jericho on November 5 edition of Raw for his second WCW Championship.[88] Continuing with the WWF's battle against The Alliance, The Rock was involved in a "Winner Takes All" match at Survivor Series, which saw him end up one on one with Steve Austin who had joined The Alliance. The Rock seemed to be superior to Austin, until Chris Jericho, who was also a member of team WWF and was eliminated a few minutes before that point, came inside the ring and attacked The Rock. Austin took advantage of that and tried to defeat The Rock, but Kurt Angle, a supposed Alliance teammate of Austin, proved to be a mole planted by Vince McMahon and hit Austin in the head with a title belt. This allowed The Rock to eliminate him, and destroyed The Alliance once and for all.[67][89] The Rock closed out the year losing the WCW Championship to Chris Jericho at Vengeance, when Jericho won both the WCW and WWF titles to become the first Undisputed WWF Champion.[90]

In early 2002, Rock feuded with Jericho and challenged him for the Undisputed Championship at Royal Rumble, but lost the match.[91] After losing to Jericho, Rock defeated The Undertaker at No Way Out,[92] before issuing a challenge to the newly returned Hollywood Hulk Hogan on Raw for a match at WrestleMania X8. He then engaged in a feud with Hogan and the re-formed New World Order (nWo); Rock defeated Hogan at WrestleMania in an "Icon vs Icon" match,[93] but fan reaction resulted in Hogan again becoming a fan favorite, with the two befriending each other after the match and occasionally teaming against the nWo.[94] On July 21, The Rock won his record-breaking seventh and final WWE Championship, which was known as the WWE Undisputed Championship at the time.[95] He defeated Kurt Angle and The Undertaker in a match at Vengeance, after he hit the Rock Bottom on Angle.[95][96] The Rock successfully defended the title at Global Warning against Triple H and Brock Lesnar by pinning Triple H, who then saved The Rock after Lesnar tried to ambush him after the match.[97] Johnson finally dropped the WWE Undisputed Championship to Lesnar at SummerSlam, ending his final championship reign, and making Lesnar the youngest WWE Champion in history, a record previously held by The Rock.[98] The Rock then went on an extended hiatus from WWE.[67]

The Rock began his last villainous turn on SmackDown!, publicly criticizing Hulk Hogan and taking the persona of a smug sellout who made it clear the WWE (and its fans) was no longer a priority.[99] Their WrestleMania X8 rematch at No Way Out ended with The Rock claiming victory again, with assistance from Vince McMahon and the referee, Sylvain Grenier.[67][78] The Rock later drafted himself to the Raw brand and started a feud with The Hurricane and other fan favorites.[100] He also had a comical gimmick, where he played the guitar and sang songs mocking the host city for the event, which culminated in a "Rock concert" that took place during the main event of the March 24, 2003 edition of Raw, where The Rock mocked the host city, Sacramento, California, because of the Sacramento Kings' inability to beat the Los Angeles Lakers.[101]

When Stone Cold Steve Austin returned, they again feuded, and The Rock defeated Austin at WrestleMania XIX, which was Austin's last major appearance in a wrestling role.[67][102] The Rock then had a feud with Bill Goldberg, to whom Rock lost at Backlash.[67][103] The Rock then turned into a fan favorite once more by engaging in a one night feud against Chris Jericho and Christian.[104] During his previous villainous turn, he had declared Christian as his favorite wrestler, leading Christian to begin calling himself the "new people's champion" and referring to his fans as "his peeps."[104][105]

Part–time appearances (2004–09)

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, Triple H and Batista).[3] 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.[67][106] Rock reunited with Foley after five years, as the Rock 'n' Sock Connection. The duo went on to lose to Orton, Flair and Batista at WrestleMania XX in a handicap match when Orton pinned Foley with an RKO.[67][107] As of 2011, this was Rock's last match.[67]

He made sporadic appearances in WWE following WrestleMania, including standing up for Eugene, making a cameo appearance in his hometown of Miami and helping Foley turn back La Résistance.[1] In 2004, he hosted a "Pie-Eating Contest" during the WWE Diva Search and ended the segment by giving Jonathan Coachman a spinebuster and a People's Elbow.[1] After this appearance, Johnson reported in several interviews that he was no longer under contract with WWE.[1] 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.[108]

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 would defeat Umaga at WrestleMania 23 in Donald Trump and Vince McMahon's "Battle of the Billionaires" match.[109]

On March 29, 2008, The Rock inducted his father, Rocky Johnson, and his grandfather, Peter Maivia into the WWE Hall of Fame. During his induction speech he roasted WWE superstars such as John Cena, Santino Marella, Chris Jericho, Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels, and Steve Austin.[110]

In September 2009, Johnson appeared at a World Xtreme Wrestling show in order to support the debut of Sarona Snuka (daughter of longtime friend and mentor Jimmy Snuka, later known as "Tamina") in professional wrestling.[111] On October 2, 2009, on the 10th anniversary of SmackDown, The Rock made a special appearance in a pre-recorded video.

Return and feud with John Cena (2011)

On the February 14, 2011 episode of Raw, The Rock was revealed as the Host of WrestleMania XXVII, appearing live on Raw for the first time in almost seven years. During a lengthy promo that ran 20 minutes over the usual Raw end time, The Rock addressed the fans, Michael Cole, The Miz, and John Cena, calling him a "big fat bowl of Fruity Pebbles", as a response of a shoot interview Cena did on The Rock a couple of years ago .[112]

After numerous via satellite appearances, The Rock made a live appearance on Raw to confront Cena, whom he had been feuding with through social networking. At the beginning of The Rock's live promo, he again made fun of Cena's accessories, calling him a "homeless power ranger" and "Vanilla Ice". After an exchange of words with Cena, The Miz and Alex Riley appeared and attacked The Rock. The Rock fended off Miz and Riley, but Cena then blindsided The Rock with the Attitude Adjustment on The Rock in retaliation to their feud.[113]

At WrestleMania XXVII on April 3, The Rock opened the show by cutting a promo. After numerous backstage segments that aired on camera, The Rock appeared during the main event between Cena and The Miz to restart the match that ended in a draw, making it a No Disqualifications match. However, in response to the Attitude Adjustment that Cena performed on The Rock on Raw, The Rock hit Cena with his finisher, the Rock Bottom, this allowed The Miz to pin and retain his title. However, Rock then nailed The Miz with The People's Elbow right after The Miz retained his title.[114]

The next night on Raw, The Rock and Cena had a confrontation, after Cena called out The Rock and challenged him to a match which he accepted for WrestleMania XXVIII on April 1, 2012. The two of them then came together to fend off an attack by The Corre (which at that time consisted of Wade Barrett, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel and Ezekiel Jackson).[115] The Rock made an appearance live on Raw in his hometown of Miami on May 2, 2011 to celebrate his 39th birthday.[116] On the same night John Cena stated that he would keep the WWE Championship until WrestleMania XXVIII so that their match would be for the WWE Championship.

On September 16, 2011, WWE.com has confirmed that The Rock will be a part of a Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Tag Team Match with John Cena at the 2011 Survivor Series on November 20, 2011.[117] On the October 24 edition of Raw, John Cena announced he and Rock would team up in a standard tag team match at Survivor Series against The Miz and R-Truth. The following week on the October 31 edition of Raw, The Rock, appearing via video announced he would team up with John Cena.

The Rock will be present on Raw SuperShow on November 14 for a 3-Hour edition named "RAW Gets Rocked".

Television and film career

Dwayne Johnson
Born Dwayne Douglas Johnson
May 2, 1972 (1972-05-02) (age 39)
Hayward, California, US
Other names The Rock, Rocky Maivia
Occupation Actor, wrestler, philantropist
Years active 1995–2004; 2011–present (wrestler)
1999–present (actor)
Spouse Dany Garcia (1997–07)
Dwayne Johnson photographed by Jerry Avenaim for Vanity Fair in 2001.

The 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.[118][119] That same year, he hosted Saturday Night Live.[120] Fellow wrestlers Triple H, The Big Show, and Mick Foley appeared on the show.[3][121] According to Johnson, it was due to the success of that episode that he began receiving offers from Hollywood studios.[122]

Johnson filmed guest roles on Star Trek: Voyager, where he played an alien wrestler that used Johnson's famous moves,[123] and That '70s Show, where he played his father, Rocky Johnson. His motion picture debut was a brief appearance as The Scorpion King in the opening sequence of The Mummy Returns. His character later appears in the climax as a CGI Character.[3][120] The film's financial success led to his first leading role starring in the follow-up, The Scorpion King.[3] He was considered for the lead in a feature-length Johnny Bravo film, but it was canceled during production.[16]

Since his last WWE match in 2004, he had quit wrestling and focused solely on acting.[124] 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.”[125] When Johnson was not active with WWE, the company continued to sell "The Rock" merchandise, and Johnson continued to be featured prominently in the opening montages of their television programming.[16] The Rock has continued to show a multitude of his acting/talent skills including film roles like the cocky famous football player Joe Kingman in The Game Plan, and in Get Smart where he played Agent 23.

Johnson was featured in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records for having the highest salary as an actor in his first starring role, receiving US$5.5 million.[126][127] He appeared at the 80th Academy Awards on February 24, 2008 as a presenter for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.[128] He was nominated for Favorite Movie Actor at the 2008 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards for his role in The Game Plan, but lost out to Johnny Depp, who won for his performance in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.[129][130] He then had a supporting role in the Steve Carell action comedy Get Smart.

On March 20, 2009, Johnson appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Johnson hosted the 2009 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on March 28. Johnson also appeared on the Wizards of Waverly Place episode "Art Teacher" as part of his stint with The Walt Disney Company. Johnson has made various guest appearances on Saturday Night Live, reviving his character of The Rock Obama, a parody of The Hulk... "When you make Barack Obama angry, he turns into The Rock Obama."[131]

In 2010, Johnson headlined the family comedy Tooth Fairy. Johnson also made an uncredited cameo in the 2010 film Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? as a handsome psychiatrist who asks out the recently widowed Patricia Agnew (Janet Jackson). He had a brief appearance in the Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg film The Other Guys as an action seeking detective along with Samuel L. Jackson. He made his return to action films after a string of family films and supporting roles with Faster.

In 2011, Johnson appeared in the fourth sequel in The Fast and the Furious film series, Fast Five , as Luke Hobbs, a Diplomatic Security Service agent assigned to hunt down the series' protagonists, played by Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. Johnson was cast in the role after Diesel had read comments and feedback from fans, one of whom wanted to see Diesel and Johnson in a movie together. Additionally, Johnson, a fan of the franchise, had wanted to work with Universal again after they had given him his first film roles. Critics and audiences alike considered Johnson's involvement a welcome addition to the franchise and plans are to have him return for future installments. The film grossed at over $86 million its opening weekend, making it the best opening for a 'Fast & Furious' film, the biggest opening for an April release,[132] and Johnson's best opening weekend.[133]

Johnson's Hosting Reveal of the PBS Special of Celtic Woman Believe at Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, as a fan and a special guest host.

Filmography

Film
Year Film Role Notes
1999 Beyond the Mat Himself Documentary
2000 Longshot The Mugger
2001 The Mummy Returns The Scorpion King CGI for the ending section
2002 The Scorpion King Mathayus the Scorpion King
2003 The Rundown Beck "Welcome to the Jungle" (UK title)
2004 Walking Tall Chris Vaughn
2005 Be Cool Elliot Wilhelm
Doom Sarge
2006 Gridiron Gang Sean Porter
2007 Reno 911!: Miami Agent Rick Smith Cameo
Southland Tales Boxer Santaros
The Game Plan Joe Kingman Last movie to use ring name "The Rock"
2008 Get Smart Agent 23
2009 Race to Witch Mountain Jack Bruno
Planet 51 Capt. Charles 'Chuck' Baker Voice
2010 Tooth Fairy Derek Thompson / Tooth Fairy
Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? Daniel Franklin (Patricia's new boyfriend) Uncredited
Faster Driver
The Other Guys Detective Christopher Danson
You Again Air Marshall Uncredited
2011 Fast Five Luke Hobbs Again started to use the ringname "The Rock"
2012 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Hank Parsons Post-Production
G.I. Joe: Retaliation Roadblock Filming
Arabian Nights Sinbad Filming
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2010 Transformers: Prime Cliffjumper Voice, 1 Episode: "Darkness Rising, Part 1"
Television guest appearances
Year Title Role Notes
1999 That '70s Show Rocky Johnson Episode: "That Wrestling Show"
The Net Brody Episode: "Last Man Standing"
2000 Star Trek: Voyager The Champion Episode: "Tsunkatse"
2000, 2002, 2009 Saturday Night Live Guest host 3 episodes
2007 Cory in the House Himself "Never the Dwayne Shall Meet" (Season 1: Episode 21)
Hannah Montana "Don't Stop Til You Get the Phone" (Season 2: Episode 17)
2009 Wizards of Waverly Place "Art Teacher" (Season 2: Episode 15)
2011 Celtic Woman: Believe PBS Special at Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia Guest host (PBS Concert Special)

Personal life

Dany Garcia and Johnson at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.

Johnson married Dany Garcia on May 3, 1997, the day after his 25th birthday.[134] Johnson and his wife have a daughter, Simone Alexandra, born August 14, 2001.[134] On June 1, 2007, Johnson and Garcia announced that they would be splitting up after 10 years of marriage.[134] They indicated that their parting was amicable and that they would spend the rest of their lives together as best friends.[134]

Johnson's autobiography co-written with Joe Layden, The Rock Says..., was released in 2000, debuting at number one on The New York Times Best Seller list, and remaining on the list for several weeks.

Johnson is good friends with actor and former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger,[135] X-Men's Wolverine star, Hugh Jackman,[136] and a close friend of Michael Clarke Duncan.

Public activities

In 2000, Johnson attended both the 2000 Republican National Convention[3] and the 2000 Democratic National Convention,[137] giving a speech at the former. Both appearances were part of the WWE's non-partisan "Smackdown your Vote" campaign which aims to increase voting among young people without endorsing any candidate or party.[138]

Because his mother, Ata Fitisemanu 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 in recognition of his service to the Samoan people. He is therefore known in Samoan circles as Seiuli Dwayne Johnson.[139] He is a supporter of the Samoa national rugby union 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.[140] He also acknowledges his heritage through a tattoo he got in 2003.[141]

Philanthropy

In 2006, Johnson began "The Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation", which is known for its charitable work with at-risk and terminally ill children.[142] On October 2, 2007, Johnson and his ex-wife donated an additional $1 million to the University of Miami to support the renovation of its football facilities; it was noted as the largest donation ever given to the university's athletics department by former students. The University of Miami renamed the Hurricanes' locker room in Johnson's honor.[143]

In wrestling

  • Nicknames
    • "The People's Champion"[3][146]
    • "The Brahma Bull"[146]
    • "The Corporate Champion"[147]
    • "The Great One"[146]
    • "The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment"[3]
    • "Rocky"[148]
    • "The Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment"

Relatives in wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

1Won during The Invasion.
2Final reign was as Undisputed WWE Champion.

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