We all know about how important family support and positive role models are. And we have seen many examples of successful sports dynasties. But did you know that the family of “The Rock” is one of them? Let’s see who inspired American actor and professional wrestler Dwayne Johnson to choose his career path.
Dwayne was born in Hayward, California, in the family of Ata Johnson (née Maivia) and professional wrestler Rocky Johnson. His maternal grandfather, “High Chief” Peter Maivia, was also a wrestler.
His maternal grandmother, Lia Maivia, was one of wrestling’s few female promoters, and his cousin, Savelina Fanene, is also a wrestler currently working for WWE, so we can say that wrestling is in their blood. But the main inspiration for Dwayne and his first coach was dad.
During his wrestling career, Rocky Johnson, or “Soulman”, became a National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) Southern Heavyweight Memphis Champion and a NWA Georgia Champion, as well as winning many other championships. Together with his partner Tony Atlas, Johnson was a part of the first black tag team to win the World Tag Team championship in the World Wrestling Federation.
Last Christmas Dwayne decided to present his retired dad with a new car, to express his love and gratitude. Besides, he shared on Instagram a heartbreaking story from his dad’s childhood, when he became homeless at the age of 13.
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??
Looks like Rocky went through life hardships to achieve highest career peaks and to raise a great son.