Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is proud of his pro wrestling heritage. On Thursday, July 11, the 47-year-old actor took to Instagram to share a rare black-and-white photo of his late grandfather High Chief Peter Maivia and the iconic 7-foot-4-inch, 500-pound French wrestler André the Giant.
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“What a crazy throwback from the 70’s,” Johnson captioned the photo. “Here’s the “8th Wonder of the World” André the Giant, using my 315lb grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia as a booster seat and making my granddad look like a little boy. They were the best of friends, wrestled nightly, tough as hell and as you can see by their smiles and open energy - they lived like to the absolute fullest.”
“My grandfather died when I boy so I never got to know him as a man. Would’ve loved to have raised a tequila with these men,” he added. “Would’ve also loved to have wrestled them too - those would’ve been fun ass kickin’s for me to take.”
Maiva, a Samoan-American professional wrestler, died of cancer in 1982. In 2013, he was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his grandson.
In the years since his passing, Johnson has frequently reflected on his grandfather and oftentimes pays tribute to him, as well as his grandmother, Ofelia Fuataga Maivia, who passed away 2008, on social media.
Reflecting on his grandfather in 2013, the Hobbs & Shaw actor wrote that while his grandfather was “widely considered the toughest man in the history of wrestling,” he was also “the most loving, caring & kind hearted man I have ever known.”
In October of 2017, Johnson revealed that his grandfather’s impact on him was so great that he his character Maui in Moana was partly inspired by Maivia.0comments
"A lil’ @Disney gem of a secret, my character Maui was partly inspired by my late grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia of Samoa,” he wrote on Twitter just one year after the popular animated film was released.
More recently, Johnson paid his respects to his grandparents when he visited their gravesite in April. The actor shared a photo of a gravestone, which reads “ALOFA FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS. Beloved husband & wife, parents & grandparents / The ukulele has ended, but your melody lingers on / For life is not forever, love is,” on which he had placed a shot of tequila and a lei.