Rocky Johnson, the famous professional wrestler, and dad to the biggest movie star in the world, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, passed away earlier this week at the age of 75.
Johnson began wrestling in the 1960s but didn’t make his mark until becoming a star in the WWF in the 80s. The WWE released a statement expressing sadness over the news and extending condolences to the Johnson family.
The statement talks about the impact the “physically imposing and wildly charismatic” Johnson had on the then-WWF. As one half of the “Soul Patrol”, Johnson was the first black tag team champion in WWF history.
While Johnson retired in the early 90s, most fans will appreciate the role he played in the development of his son, Dwayne, who would go on to become one of the biggest WWE stars of all time.
The Rock actually got to induct his father, along with his grandfather, into the WWE Hall of Fame more than a decade ago, in a poignant moment. The tribute the WWE put together shows the importance the elder Rock was to the wrestling world and the impact he made.
While Dwayne hasn’t made any public statements yet, he wasn’t shy about talking about the role his dad played in his life, and how he inspired him with what he had to overcome.
View this post on Instagram
Great chat with my old man. Felt good to my cold 🖤 to hear him express his love. He’s a weathered soul and like all weathered souls, there’s often a harsh storied path that got them there. Well for my pops that path started at 13yrs old when his mom kicked him out of his house on Christmas day and forced him to live on the streets (very true and fucked up story) so his reality of compassion and love was forged thru pain and toughness. He raised me with that tough physical love and used to beat my ass in the gyms and on wrestling mats. I hated it then as a little boy, but grateful for it today as a man. It’s shaped my DNA and helped inform how I raise my own babies (minus the ass kickings;) but always instilling the value of hard work and discipline. For that I’m grateful and this one felt good. Crazy how full circle life can come. Enjoy your new house pop – what a storied path and thanks for the ass kickings 😉💪🏾🏠 #weathered
In an Instagram post from 2018, The Rock said “Little boys by nature, look up to and idolize their old man. They want to be just like em, do whatever they do and are always looking for their approval…It’s made me who I am today. Grateful to the original Rock.”
View this post on Instagram
Happy Father’s Day to this hardly ever smiling OG bad ass. Little boys by nature, look up to and idolize their old man. They want to be just like em, do whatever they do and are always looking for their approval. Funny thing is the day I stopped looking for that approval was the day I understood what it meant to be man and more importantly, a father. That shift lifted me to a new level of gratitude for the tough love he always gave. Years later as a man and father of three girls, I know that tough love, is a helluva lot better than no love at all. I’ll take it. It’s made me who I am today. Grateful to the original Rock. #HappyFathersDay #KingStache #RockyJohnson
Many in the wrestling world took to social media to pay their respects to the icon.
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of the great Rocky Johnson. Always a gentleman, I always enjoyed talking with him. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the fans who loved him. A very sad day for wrestling.#RIPRockyJohnson pic.twitter.com/4agKbOzAry
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) January 15, 2020
Sending my condolences to @TheRock and the rest of the Johnson family for the passing of Rocky Johnson. Thank you for raising such an amazing son and thank you for all you did to earn your spot in the WWE Hall of Fame. #RIPRockyJohnson 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/U9dkHvJA2U
— Brock Lesnar Guy (@BrockLesnarGuy) January 16, 2020
— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) January 15, 2020
So sorry for the loss of Rocky Johnson. A great man, a great friend and I will always remember he was one of only a few that was kind and helpful when I first broke in. RIP Rocky. I love you my brother HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) January 16, 2020
— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) January 16, 2020