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Rocky Johnson dies: WWE stars pay tribute to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s dad

Rocky Johnson dies: WWE stars pay tribute to Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's dad
Rocky Johnson at WWE Hall of Fame with his son Dwayne Johnson. Pic credit: WWE

In some very sad news, Rocky Johnson died today at the age of 75. For fans who don’t know, Johnson was the father of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

When The Rock started wrestling, he chose the name “Rocky Maivia” to honor his dad Rocky “Soulman” Johnson and grandfather “High Chief” Peter Maivia.

Johnson was there to induct his father and grandfather into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.

“At a time of racial disparity, he was able to cross all lines and become one of the most dynamic and formidable performers of his time,” Johnson said while inducting his dad. “My dad was a hero to me.”

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Bought my dad a Christmas gift and surprised him. He's had a hard life. This one felt good. My dad, Rocky Johnson is a minimalist. Always has been. Never asks me for much and over the years his needs are always the barest. Crazy story, my dad's dad died when he was 13yrs old. That Christmas, my dad's mom had her new boyfriend over for Christmas dinner. Her boyfriend got drunk and pissed on the turkey. My dad went outside, got a shovel, drew a line in the snow and said if you cross that line I'll kill you. The drunk crossed it and my dad laid him out cold as a block of ice. Cops were called. They told my dad's mom that when her boyfriend regains consciousness, he's gonna kill your son so one of them has got to go. In front of the entire family, my dad's mom looked at him and said get out. He was 13yrs old and now homeless. That f*cked up true story happened in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1954. He needed the bare minimum then, just like does now. Over the years, I've moved him into a big home, got him trucks to drive – which he'll literally drive into the ground until I get him something else. Hell, I'll get him anything he wants, but the SOB just won't ask;). Every Christmas, I always think about that story and my dad having every odd stacked against him at 13, but he fought thru it and still made something of himself. Makes me appreciate his struggle and hard work. Also, makes me appreciate the fun times he would beat my ass in the gym so bad when I was 13 and say "If you're gonna throw up, go outside.. and if you're gonna cry, then go home to your mother". I hated it then, but I embrace it now. Made a man outta me. Without pissing on my turkey. 😂👍🏾. Just a small way of saying thank you dad and Merry Christmas! #DwantaClaus🎅🏾

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Part of those racial barriers that Rocky Johnson broke came in WWE when he became part of the company’s first-ever tag team champions with Mr. USA Tony Atlas.

To learn more about the life history and amazing story of Rocky Johnson, his biography was published last year titled Soulman: The Rocky Johnson Story. Dwayne Johnson wrote the intro to the book.

WWE superstars pay tribute to Rocky Johnson

It didn’t take long for WWE superstars to flood to social media to pay tribute to the man known as Soulman.

WWE posted a tribute in the form of images from the career of Rocky Johnson on their website.

The Iron Shiek, one of Johnson’s contemporaries, and someone who did battle with the Soulman took a break from his hilarious and disrespectful tweets to send out his blessings to Rocky.

Booker T, who along with his brother Stevie Ray, followed in the footsteps of Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas, referred to him as someone he always looked up to and called him one of the best ever.

Mick Foley also posted a touching tribute and said that it was a very sad day for wrestling. Foley and Dwayne Johnson shared a lot of time together in their career and Foley said he always enjoyed talking with The Rock’s dad.

Many other WWE superstars also reached out with their thoughts about the passing of Rocky Johnson.

Dwayne Johnson has yet to comment on the passing of his father and Rocky Johnson’s cause of death is not yet known.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published... read more
Shawn S. Lealos

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