Rocky Johnson, a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Hall of Fame wrestler and father of popular American actor, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is dead.
He died on Wednesday at age 75 according to a statement issued by the WWE.
The statement said: “WWE is saddened to learn that Rocky ‘Soul Man’ Johnson, a WWE Hall of Famer, former World Tag Team Champion, and father of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, has passed away at age 75.
“In 2008, Johnson achieved the highest honor in sports-entertainment when he was inducted by The Rock into the WWE Hall of Fame where he will be forever enshrined as one of sports-entertainment’s most influential performers.
“The physically imposing and wildly charismatic Johnson had several memorable rivalries with the likes of Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine, Don Muraco and Adrian Adonis. He found his greatest success when he teamed up with Tony Atlas as The Soul Patrol. The two men became the first African-American World Tag Team Champions in WWE history when they defeated The Wild Samoans on December 10, 1983″, the WWE statement said.
The WWE has extended its condolences to the family, friends and fans of Rocky Johnson, who is survived by his sons, Dwayne and Curtis, and his daughter, Wanda.
However. the cause of his death is not currently known and the social Media has been awash with tributes from wrestling fans across the world that have been paying their respects to him.
Born in 1944 at Nova Scotia, Canada, Rocky Johnson, whose birth name is Wayde Douglas Bowles, was a former professional wrestler. His sports-entertainment career began in the mid-1960s when he made a memorable impression in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). However, Johnson found his highest levels of success when he began his WWE tenure in 1983.
Flagging-off his career at the young age of 16, Rocky Johnson took the wrestling world by storm as a top star in the early 1970s, winning multiple regional NWA titles; travelling through the territorial system and wrestling against legends like Harley Race, Terry Funk, and Jerry Lawler.
The ‘Soul Man’ retired from the ring in 1991, but his imprint continued to be felt on WWE for years to come. Post-retirement, Johnson, despite initial misgivings, had a hand in training his son, Dwayne, who upon his WWF debut in 1996, took the ring name ‘Rocky Maivia in honour of his wrestling roots before re-imagining himself as the Attitude Era heel known famously as ‘The Rock’.
Form then on, there was no looking back for ‘The Rock’ as he would become one of the biggest stars in the history of sports-entertainment, carrying on his father’s legacy with pride. – With agency reports