Rocky Johnson, former WWE Superstar and the father of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson died on Wednesday at the age of 75. He was the man Dwayne Johnson looked up to and many WWE legends had much respect for him as they sent condolences to the family once they heard the news. While Dwayne Johnson had a legendary WWE career, Rocky Johnson made history during his time as a professional wrestler.
Johnson, who was born in Canada, made a name for himself in the NWA. According to WWE.com, Johnson made his debut in 1966 and he competed all over the world before making his way into the NWA in the 1970s. He was trained by the legendary High Chief Peter Maivia who would later become his father-in-law.
During his time in NWA, Johnson would win several regional singles and tag team championships including the NWA Georgia Heavyweight Championship. However, he was not able to win the main NWA Heavyweight title which was held by either Terry Funk or Harley Race at the time.
In 1983, Johnson made the jump to the WWE and that's where he partnered with Tony Atlas. In November of that year, the duo was able to win the tag team championship, making them the first African Americans to claim the title. Johnson and Atlas, who were known as "The Soul Patrol," held onto the title for six months and Johnson left the WWE not too long after the title reign.
Johnson retired from wrestling in 1991 and that's when he started training his son to wrestle. Because of that as well as what he was able to accomplish in the ring, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008. That Hall of Fame Class including Maivia, Mae Young and Ric Flair. Dwayne Johnson inducted Rocky Johnson and Maivia.
"I'm Saddened To Hear About The Passing Of The GREAT ROCKY JOHNSON!" Flair wrote on Twitter. "I Wrestled Him Many Times Throughout His Illustrious Career. His Physique And Conditioning Were Unparalleled! He Was So Proud Of His Son Dwayne! He Raised Him To Be The Rock!! RIP Rocky Johnson!"
Dwayne Johnson has not yet released a statement about his father's death, but he bought him a house last year and shared the news on Instagram.0comments
"My dad's an old-school tough guy," Dwayne Johnson said about his dad. "I said, 'What the hell are you nervous about?' And he said, 'Well,' he was searching for words. '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," he said. "You know, my dad used to beat my a—. Tough love, and I hated it back then, but I’m so grateful for it now. It just felt good to kind of give back to the ones who raised you. So, love you too, Pop."