The Rock is, without a doubt, one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time. His growth from an amateur athlete to a mainstream Hollywood icon has been nothing short of legendary. He has amassed millions (AND MILLIONS!) of fans and followers in that time.
Outside WWE, The People's Champ is known by his actual name, Dwayne Johnson. His transition to Hollywood and other mainstream ventures has seen him become a brand as much as a person. Anything that carries his name instantly receives credibility. From advertisements to his very own Teremana Tequila, everyone wants a piece of the Dwayne Johnson pie.
Naturally, the question arises as to who owns The Rock's name? Is it under Vince McMahon and WWE ownership? Or does Mr. DJ own the rights to his ring name? We have the answer for you right here.
It is Dwayne Johnson who owns the rights to the name, having taken them from previous owners Vince McMahon and WWE. He has held the rights for close to two decades now and is free to use them whenever he sees fit.
How did The Rock get the rights to his ring name?
During his appearance on The Howard Stern Show in 2004, the Jumanji star revealed how he convinced his WWE boss to let him own the rights to his stage name.
"I actually own it, I do, yeah. It was an easy conversation. This is how it went down: I went to him [Vince McMahon], I talked to him and he knew what I wanted to do after wrestling because I'd been able to accomplish a lot. Which has always been great for me... I know he doesn't [give away anything for free]," The Rock said.
When asked if there was a chance WWE and McMahon could come calling for the rights to the name, Johnson replied in the negative.
"No, no, no. I have my name, I own my own name. And all rights to it... I did not have to pay for it."
Rocky made his WWE debut under the name Rocky Maivia. He started as a babyface and notched up a couple of wins. However, the increased hostility towards him forced WWE to turn him heel, and one of the most iconic characters in the history of professional wrestling came to life.
Getting tired of the hostility, Maivia lashed out at fans who booed him and joined The Nation of Domination. He refused to be associated with the Rocky Maivia name instead of calling himself The Rock. The rest, as they say, is history.
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