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Why is Dwayne Johnson called The Rock?

The Rock
The Rock
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SENIOR ANALYST

Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock is one of the most successful actors in Hollywood. His origin, however, was far away from the silver screen. He found fame and success for the first time when he was wrestling in WWE, before he branched out into acting, to become the megastar that he is today.

Dwayne Johnson started his professional wrestling career trying out for WWE (then known as WWF) while wrestling in other promotions. He finally signed with the company in 1996.

When he first came to WWE, he did so under the name Rocky Maivia. However, that name didn't last. Instead, he was soon known as The Rock. In this article, we will take a look at why Johnson changed his name and the origin of his famous moniker.


When did Dwayne Johnson change his name to The Rock?

Dwayne Johnson's father and grandfather were both wrestlers before him. They wrestled under the names Peter Maivia and Rocky Johnson, so he decided to combine their names and take the name Rocky Maivia.

Unfortunately, he was not popular with the fans. His clean and good-guy personality didn't sit well with the audience, who were looking for edgier characters. In fact, their dislike tended towards blind hatred at times, and they would chant, "Die, Rocky, die!"... not really the most pleasant welcome for him in front of large crowds.

At one point, he almost missed the push of his life, and left the company. But thankfully, he would make changes to his character.

Johnson decided that he would make his character edgier. He adopted a more villainous gimmick, dropped the name Rocky Maivia, and started to call himself The Rock. He addressed himself in third-person and started to cut electrifying promos.

Thus, The Rock was born.

Soon enough, his character was a hit and fans started to love him. In the Attitude Era, alongside Stone Cold, he became the most recognizable name in most households.


Dwayne Johnson wanted to ditch The Rock persona when he started to act

There was a time when Dwayne Johnson first started to act, that he was not as famous or successful as he is today. At the time, he was advised by many professionals to ditch the wrestling name and have everyone call him Dwayne Johnson.

Although he tried to listen to them for a while, he soon learned that he had to be true to himself. He ditched those advisers and said that he was not going to be ashamed of his past, and embraced his persona.

It was the right decision for him, as wrestling fans, as well as fans of his acting, love him equally.


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Edited by Kaushik Das

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