For all you 90s kids out there, I bet the first time you heard the name Dwayne Johnson you didn’t know who the heck he was. But once you heard his WWF ring name, he was your favourite. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is a professional wrestler turned actor. And as versatile he is off-screen he is equally talented onscreen. In honor of his 47th birthday this week, here are 10 reasons we’re celebrating the life of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
- Dwayne Johnson was born on May 2, 1972, in Hayward, California, the son and grandson of professional wrestlers. Here he is as a baby, foreshadowing his football career:
- He was arrested 9 times before the age of 17.
- Following that short time playing ball, Johnson joined the family business by becoming a wrestler for the WWE. He went by the stage name Rocky Maivia, a combination of his father and grandfather’s names, but later he famously cooked up the nickname The Rock.
- He made his WWF debut in 1996. His original stage name was ‘Rocky Maivia’ which was a combination of his father’s name (Rocky Johnson) and his grandfather’s name (Peter Maivia). It wasn’t until 1997, and his return from a knee injury, that he had the opportunity to change his name to ‘The Rock’ and adopt a bad guy (heel) persona.
- Holds the record as the first eight time WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
- When he first joined the WWF, he was mentored by superstar Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart.
- In recent years, he has picked up a new nickname, “franchise Viagra,” because he joins already begun film series and gives them new “oomph.” He addressed the label in his most recent SNL hosting gig back in March, seen here:
- Johnson technically made his feature film debut in the 1999 documentary Beyond the Mat.
- In 2006, Dwayne Johnson stated in Entertainment Magazine that he no longer wants to be known as “The Rock”. After his retirement from wrestling, he considers himself an actor and wants to be known by his given name.
- He was 6″4″ and 225 pounds when in high school. Students apparently thought he was actually an undercover police officer.
- Before fighting in the WWF, he fought in the United States Wrestling Association. Initially he used his real name but changed it to Flex Kavana.
- According to Forbes, his earnings in 2016 were approximately $64.5 million, making him the highest paid actor that year.