Guest Author - Vance Rowe
Dwayne Douglas Johnson aka The Rock aka Rocky Maivia is a former professional wrestler and former nine time World Champion with World Wrestling Entertainment. The Rock is a third generation wrestler as his father was a popular wrestler in the 70’s and early 80’s and was the first African American co-holder of the WWE, the WWF, tag team championship. That was the “Soulman” Rocky Johnson. His grandfather was a professional wrestler in the “High Chief” Peter Maivia. When the Rock first came into the WWE in 1996 after a short stint in the United States Wrestling Association as Flex Kavana and Pidlaoan Rock, he was a face named Rocky Maivia. The name Rocky Maivia was a mix of his father’s name and his grandfather’s name.
The fans soon tired of the Rocky character and his good guy image and began the chants of “Die Rocky Die” at many of the shows. Rocky Maivia soon changed to heel and joined the faction of The Nation of Domination led by Ron “Farooq” Simmons and then changed his moniker to the more familiar name of “The Rock” His charisma soon took over and has been unofficially dubbed the best of the promos in all of pro wrestling. He began talking in the third person starting sentences with “The Rock says…” He eventually drew the Nation of Domination away from Farooq and eventually began feuding with him.
In 1999, the Rock became the then youngest World Heavyweight Champion and also became the first African American World Champion in the WWE. He has had memorable feuds with Mankind, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Vince McMahon. The Rock had even eventually teamed up with Mankind to form one of the most popular tag teams in the company called the “Rock and Sock Connection”. He retired from wrestling in 2004. He has made sporadic cameo appearances on WWE programming after that but his full time wrestling career was over.
Outside of the ring, the Rock has been in the movies and is a popular movie star draw. With such films as the “Scorpion King”, “The Rundown”, “Walking Tall” and the “Gridiron Gang”, his future star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is all but cemented in now. Most recently, he starred in the movie “The Game Plan” and in the Summer of 2008, he has a co-starring role in the “Get Smart” movie with Steve Carrell.
Not many people know this but the Rock is also a philanthropist and has started the Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation which caters to children from the ages of infancy to twenty-two years old. The foundation has physical fitness programs for children and aids children in hospitals for medical disabilities. You can see more about that here: www.djrockfoundation.org