The Rock Talks Decision to Wrestle, Impact on His Family: It Did ‘Save My Life’

The Rock Talks Decision to Wrestle, Impact on His Family: It Did ‘Save My Life’

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 12: Dwayne Johnson attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

WWE legend and Hollywood acting superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson this week recalled the importance and impact of when he decided to pursue a career in pro wrestling.

Appearing on The Pivot podcast with former NFL players Ryan Clark, Fred Taylor and Channing Crowder, The Rock talked about what went into his choice to become a wrestler, and the trials and tribulations he faced:

The Rock divulged that his father, late WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson, was initially against the idea, leading to an argument between them. Despite Rocky’s disapproval, Dwayne asked his father to train him, and he begrudgingly accepted.

While getting into wrestling was not necessarily a smooth transition, The Rock said he fell in love with it as soon as he locked up for the first time and declared, “Wrestling did save my life.”

The Rock noted that wrestling did the same for his father and his grandfather, WWE Hall of Famer “High Chief” Peter Maivia.

Johnson mentioned having only $7 in his pocket before getting into wrestling, which is something he always carried with him and eventually used to name his Seven Bucks Productions company.

The Rock signed with WWE shortly after making his pro wrestling debut, mashing up the names of his father and grandfather to become Rocky Maivia.

While Rocky Maivia was pushed as a big-time babyface throughout the end of 1996 and much of 1997, the fans rejected him at first. That led to a heel turn, and thus one of the biggest star in wrestling history was born in the form of The Rock.

He went on to become a 10-time world champion in WWE, headlining countless huge events, and parlayed that success into becoming one of the most successful actors in the world.

Now, The Rock’s legacy is being carried on in the world of wrestling by his daughter, who is performing under the name Ava Raine in WWE NXT.

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