One of the best performers of his generation, no matter the wrestling ring or the big screen, Dwayne Johnson has been a hit with both. Fans are likely to know the interesting fact about the WWE champion's in-ring rants and feuds with fellow stars The Undertaker and Stone Cold Steve Austin but, did you know this lesser known fact that Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock helped build the WWE into the colossal organization it is today.
Johnson eventually outgrew the ring but with his stunning physique, intimidating personality and exceptional showmanship, he forayed to the big screen becoming a box-office star with films like 'The Scorpion King', 'Hercules' and 'The Fast And The Furious' franchise.
Johnson's stardom didn't come easily to him and until date, Dwayne is working harder than most to maintain his heavyweight physique, his on-going projects and following up on the charity work.
Today on his birthday we bring you 15 lesser known interesting facts about 'The Rock'.
The Rock is a third-generation wrestler as his maternal grandfather 'High Chief' Peter Maivia was a wrestler and so was Dwayne's father Rocky Johnson. Lia Maivia, Dwayne's maternal grandmother was also a professional wrestling promoter and after her husband's death, she took over Polynesian Pacific Pro Wrestling. Dwayne has several uncles and cousins who were or some still are professional wrestlers, so it can be said that wrestling is a family business here.
The amazing fact here is that Dwayne Johnson was WWF's first third-generation wrestler and that is why was heavily hyped upon his arrival as a professional wrestler.
Dwayne Douglas Johnson was born on May 2, 1972, in Hayward California to professional wrestler Rocky Johnson who is of the Black Nova Scotian origin and Ata Johnson, a descendant of Samoan heritage. Johnson spent his early days with his mother's family in Auckland, New Zealand and in his later years was bestowed with the noble title of Seiuli by the Samoan people and also received a partial Samoan tattoo on his left arm.
Johnson met wife Dany Garcia while he was pursuing his degree at the University of Miami. They dated for several years but Dwayne only met Dany's parents before their marriage. Dwayne Johnson got married to Dany Garcia a day after his 25th birthday and together they have a daughter Simone Alexandra. Dwayne separated from his wife amicably in 2007 vouching to remain good friends for life.
Dwayne and girlfriend Lauren Hashian welcomed their daughter Jasmine in the year 2015.
Johnson began his WWF career as Flex Kavana and then took on the name 'Rocky Maivia' a combination of his father and grandfather's ring name. Despite him being inexperienced in the field, Johnson was given the character face and was pushed heavily. Rocky Maivia despite winning could not enjoy his fans' love as fans rejected him due to his character in the ring and he always received 'Die, Rocky Die' and 'Rocky Sucks' chants. Rocky was out of professional wrestling for some time due to his knee injury and then returned as a bad guy. The change of character brought a change in the ring name too and Rocky Maivia became 'The Rock'.
Dwayne had a guest role in Star Trek: Voyager, the Pendari Champion uses The Rock's famous move; the Rock Bottom. In That 70's Show, Johnson starred as his father Rocky Johnson.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson made his film debut in the movie 'The Mummy Returns' as 'The Scorpion King'. The movie was a huge success and Dwayne landed the leading role in the spinoff 'The Scorpion King'.
It's not a surprising fact that Dwayne Johnson like every other movie star uses a body double to perform stunts and avoid injuries, but the interesting fact here is that Dwayne uses his own cousin Tanoai Reed as his stunt double in most of Dwayne Johnson movies.
In the movie 'The Game Plan', a separated shoulder injury keeps him out of the big game and it is an interesting fact because the same thing has happened to Johnson in real life while playing the defensive tackle in a football game in 1991 for the University of Miami.
The fifth installment of 'The Fast And The Furious' saw Dwayne as Luke Hobbs. Audiences wanted to see Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson together and so it began. The movie created a record grossing of $86 million with the inclusion of The Rock and it was the biggest opening for both, Johnson and the movie franchise.
Here's an interesting fact, Dwayne was paid $5.5 million for his first feature film and it landed him straight in the Guinness World Records as it was a first for any actor to be paid this much for his debut. He again entered the World Records for most selfies within 3 minutes. During the premiere of his movie 'San Andreas' Dwayne took 105 selfies with his fans and on May 21, 2015, he was again on the books for it.
Dwayne Johnson along with his ex-wife Dany Garcia donated 1 million dollars to the University of Miami in the year 2007 to renovate its football facility. This donation was the largest to the university by its former students.
'The Rock Says', an autobiography co-written by Dwayne Johnson and Joe Layden was published in 2000 and debuted at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list and remained there for several weeks.
While growing up in Hawaii, Johnson was part of a gang. He was arrested some 8 or 9 times even before the age of 17. Thankfully during that time only Johnson turned to muscle building and he now credits his training to help him deal with all the stress.
WWE's Thursday night special 'SmackDown!' was a part of Johnson's catch phrase 'layeth the smack down'. The show debuted in April 1999 and became a part of WWE's brand extension.
Later in 2007, Merriam-Webster added the famous words 'smackdown' to its heralded database of words.
Now that the semi-retired pro wrestler has stopped using his in-ring name you might be wondering, does the name just vanish or can someone else use it? The interesting fact here is that both Johnson and Vince McMahon co-owned the name as well as other catchphrases for some time, but now it is Johnson who owns all the rights associated with the character 'The Rock'.