WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson, father of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, has died at the age of 75. No cause of death has been released.
Johnson held numerous National Wrestling Alliance titles across North America over the course of his career that spanned nearly 30 years. Rocky, born in Nova Scotia, Canada, as Wayde Douglas Bowles, started his professional wrestling career in 1964 with the National Wrestling Alliance. He joined the WWE in 1983 and was a part of the first black tag team to win the WWE world tag team titles with Tony Atlas in 1983. He retired in 1991.
Johnson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2008.
Johnson, whose nickname was “Soul Man,” continued his family wrestling legacy through his son, “The Rock,” who is known as one of the biggest stars in WWE history and is now one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood.
The Rock has yet to release a statement concerning his father’s death, but it’s clear that he shared a special relationship with his father. Less than two years ago he paid tribute to his dad in a Father’s Day post on Instagram that read, “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,” he wrote. “It’s made me who I am today. Grateful to the original Rock.”
In March, The Rock shared a video telling about a touching moment he shared with his father. In the clip, Johnson shares that he contacted his dad and told him that he wanted to buy him a brand new home wherever he might want to live.
“He couldn’t believe it, he was speechless. He goes, ‘I’m so excited. I’m also so nervous,'” The Rock continued. “I said, ‘What the hell are you nervous about?’ And he said, ‘No one ever called to tell me they were gonna buy me a house before and the fact that it’s you, it’s my son, I’m so proud of you and I love you so much.'”
“I never heard my dad talk like that. It felt good to me and it felt good to my heart. It just felt good to kind of give back to the ones who raised you. So, love you, too, Pop.”
See The Rock recall that special conversation with his dad in the video below.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Johnson family.
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