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The Rock's Dad

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is one of the most well-recognized celebrities in the world today.


He belongs from a family associated with professional wrestling, including his father Rocky Johnson, a former Champion in WWE.


Who is The Rock's Dad, Rocky Johnson?


The Rock's Dad Rocky Johnson

Credit: WWE


The Rock's father is Rocky Johnson, a famed professional wrestler in his own right. Descending from loyalists who immigrated to Nova Scotia, he was a Canadian-American who shattered numerous boundaries in WWE. 


He was born under the name Wayne Douglas Bowles on August 24, 1945. Shortly after his pro wrestling debut, he decided to alter his real-life name to his professional wrestling in-ring name "Rocky Johnson''. The name was derived from two of his biggest inspirations: boxers Rocky Marciano and Jack Johnson.


Johnson was a major force in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) from 1964 to 1982. In the 1970s, Johnson ascended the ranks of the industry and received multiple title shots against the reigning NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champions.


Amongst those he encountered were mavericks such as Terry Funk and Harley Race. Nevertheless, he did not manage to win the championship for himself. 


Credit: Givemesport


In NWA, The Rock's father showed promise as a terrific tag team wrestler, winning multiple regional tag team titles in various territories controlled by the Alliance.


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His notable partners included the likes of Ben Justice, Pedro Morales, Jimmy Valiant, Soul Train Jones and Jerry Brisco. In Memphis, Johnson feuded with local hero Jerry " The King" Lawler, and at one point, he won the crown of the Memphis icon. 


The Rock and Rocky Johnson on WWE


Rocky Johnson on WWE


However, the biggest accomplishment of Johnson's career was achieved when he was wrestling for WWE (then WWF). In 1982, Rocky Johnson first entered WWE, finding enemies in Don Muraco, Greg Valentine, Mike Sharpe, Buddy Rose and Adrian Adonis amongst others.


Paired with fellow African-American wrestler "Mr USA" Tony Atlas, he went on to win the company's Tag Team Championship by defeating The Wild Samoans on the December 10, 1983, episode of Championship Wrestling.


With the victory, Johnson and Atlas, known as "Soul Patrol", became the first African-American wrestlers to win a championship in the history of WWE. 


Rocky Johnson was unenthusiastic at first but at a point gave in and trained his son when he traded the world of football for that of professional wrestling.


He contacted longtime WWE employee Pat Patterson and introduced his son to him. Pointing out the potential of the third generation talent, Patterson recommended him to Vince McMahon.


When Dwayne Johnson joined WWE as Rocky Maivia, he was often accompanied to the ring by his father, who at times hopped inside the ring to defend his son from opponents trying to win through unfair means.


However, the babyface gimmick was not accepted by the audience, and Johnson had to turn villainous and become The Rock, to achieve success in the company. 



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The Rock's father also worked as a trainer for Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), which was then a developmental territory for the company. His stint as a trainer was brief, only extending to a few months of 2003.


However, he managed to oversee an important batch of OVW, as he helped refine the abilities of Sylvain Grenier, Orlando Jordan and Brock Lesnar amongst others.


He even fought in an in-ring comeback against Mabel and defeated his opponent in a boxing match. In 2008, The Rock inducted his father into the WWE Hall Of Fame. 


What did The Rock's Dad, Rocky Johnson, Die of?


Rocky Johnson died of natural causes on January 15, 2020. A pulmonary embolism was caused by a blood clot that travelled from a deep vein thrombosis in his leg, leading to his death.


The Rock's father guessed that he had a minor problem like the flu and refused to contact a doctor.


FAQs


Q: Where Did Rocky Johnson die?


A: Rocky Johnson died in his home in Lutz, Florida.


Q: Who was Rocky Johnson's wife?


A: At the time of his death, Rocky Johnson was married to Sheila Northern. 

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