Who is The Rock?
Dwayne Douglas Johnson was born on May 2nd 1972. Dwayne is a former professional wrestler, actor and social media personality. He aspired to a professional football career but got cut from the professional charts and started his wrestling career.
Most people know him as “The Rock”, which is his ring name from his professional wrestling career. He is one of the most iconic wrestlers alongside Hulk Hogan, John Cena and Ric Flair. Before pursuing his career as an actor, Dwayne wrestled for 8 years for an organization called WWF, which was later renamed WWE.
After that, Dwayne started pursuing his career as an actor. Movies starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson grossed over $3.5 billion in North America and over $10.5 billion worldwide. He is one of the highest-paid and highest-grossing actors in the world.
Dwayne’s Instagram account @therock is the second most followed account on Instagram with over 250 million followers, barely in front of an American singer and actor Ariana Grande. The first one is Portuguese professional footballer Cristiano Ronaldo topping Dwayne’s follower count with 60 million more followers, making it a whopping amount of 310 million followers.
Personal life of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Dwayne Johnson was born on May 2nd 1972, to his mother, Ata Johnson and professional wrestler Rocky Johnson. Dwayne is Black Nova Scotian, with a small amount of Irish ancestry through his father and Samoan through his mother. Dwayne’s father, Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas were the first black tag team champions in WWE. His mother, Ata Johnson, is an adopted daughter of Peter Maivia, a former professional wrestler. Dwayne’s grandmother Lia Maivia was the first professional wrestling promoter, taking over Polynesian Pacific Pro Wrestling after her husband’s death in 1982.
In his childhood, Dwayne lived in Grey Lynn, New Zealand, with his mother’s family and attended Richmond Road Primary School where he played rugby.
He later returned to the US and shortly went to Montclaire Elementary School in Charlotte, North Carolina. After that, Dwayne moved to Hamden, Connecticut, where he attended Shepherd Glen Elementary School and Hamden Middle School.
His father, Rocky Johnson, was a professional wrestler, thas involved a lot of moving all around the country, and Dwayne attended four different High Schools. Glencliff High School and McGavock High School in Nashville, Tennessee. President William McKinley High School in Honolulu, Hawaii. Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Dwayne himself claims he looked like a manchild. He was huge, had a moustache and kids from his class thought he was an undercover cop.
“By the time I was 16 years old, I had already enrolled in four high schools across the country due to being evicted for little trouble with the law. I was also 6’4 225 lbs, rocking a dead caterpillar on my lip (aka the porn ‘stache), and all the kids in every high school thought I was an undercover cop cause I looked like a mutated yet handsome SOB of a man child,”
Dwayne had trouble with the law when he was young. He was arrested for fights, theft and check fraud. All before he even turned 17 years. Dwayne claims he was lucky he made it out in one piece and made him the person he is today.
“In Nashville, I was already hanging out in honky-tonk dive bars on Music Row and hustlin’ cars from crackheads. Yup, one of the many reasons why I’m a grateful man for the life I have today and also grateful I straight up kicked puberty’s ass early in life,”
After graduating high school, Dwayne attended the University of Miami through a full football scholarship. Dwayne Johnson graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of General Studies in Physiology and Criminology.
The love life of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Dwayne Johnson married Dany Garcia on May 3rd, 1997. Dany is an IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) professional bodybuilder, businesswoman and producer. They had one daughter Simone Johnson born on August 14th 2001. Dany and Dwayne separated on June 1st, 2007 and ultimately divorced in May 2008.
After that, Dwayne started dating Lauren Hashian, daughter of Boston drummer Sib Hashian. Lauren and Dwayne first met when he was filming “The Game Plan”. After dating for such a long time, they finally married on August 18th, 2019, in Hawaii. Dwayne and Lauren have two daughters together, Jasmine Johnson, born on December 17th, 2015 and Tiana Johnson, born on April 17th, 2018. The couple didn’t share publicly any information if they plan more children, although Dwayne stated that during quarantine, he was “practising making babies.”
Dwayne’s family owns multiple homes. They currently live in Los Angeles but own a farm in Virginia and the second house in Southwest Ranches, Florida.
Football career of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
During his High School years, Dwayne excelled in multiple sports such as football, track and field and wrestling.
Thanks to him excelling in football, Dwayne got a full scholarship at the University of Miami. He mostly played defensive tackle and won a college national championship in 1991. Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron told ESPN, “We were excited to have him. He came to us ahead of his time. He was developed and was extremely quick. He was a hard worker and a humble young man. Everybody liked him. He was easily coachable, and everybody was impressed with him. He came in and played a lot as a freshman.” Dwayne graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of General Studies in physiology and criminology.
Dwayne Johnson aspired towards a professional football career. Sadly or maybe luckily, if you think about it more, Dwayne wasn’t picked in the 1995 NFL draft. He signed a contract with Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Future was looking good, but Dwayne ended up being cut from the team after two months on the roster. As crushing as it was for Dwayne, maybe it was a good thing because we wouldn’t have Dwayne Johnson as we know him today. Rejected by the football world, Dwayne turned his attention towards a professional wrestling career.
The wrestling career of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Dwayne Johnson decided to follow in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps. He wanted to become a professional wrestler. Family friend Pat Patterson got Dwayne several tryout matches with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1996. Back then, he didn’t have a ring name yet and defeated The Brooklyn Brawler at a house show on March 10th under his real name. On the other hand, Dwayne lost matches to Owen Hart and Chris Candido. Dwayne wrestled under Jerry Lawler’s United States Wrestling Association and got himself his first ring name, “Flex Kavana”. Thanks to winning the USWA World Tag Team Championship twice with his partner Bart Sawyer in 1996, Dwayne got himself a contract with WWF. He started training with Achim Albrecht, Mark Henry and Tom Prichard.
Dwayne Johnson was officially a professional wrestler and was given the nickname “Blue Chipper”. WWF was advertising him as the first third-generation wrestler Rocky Maivia. Rocky after his father and Maivia after his grandfather. Dwayne was hesitant to take this name but agreed in the end.
Rocky Maivia was a clean-cut face character, which means he was supposed to be the good guy in the wrestling world. On November 4th, 1996, Rocky had his debut on Monday Night Raw as a member of Marc Mero’s entourage, announcing his first match. On November 17th, Rocky got his first match in an eight-man elimination tag match. In the end, Rocky ended up being the topmost winner of the match eliminating Goldust and Crush, the final two members of the opposing team.
The first turn in Rocky Maivia’s career was in a Wrestlemania 13 match. Rocky successfully defended his Intercontinental Championship title against The Sultan. Even though he won, fans started rejecting his character.
Another critical moment that caused a turn in Rocky’s character was on April 20th at Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker episode. Rocky lost to Savio Vega by countout but retained his title. The audience became increasingly hostile towards Rocky with chants such as “die, Rocky, die” and “Rocky sucks.” Rocky Maivia lost against Owen Hart on April 28th, 1997, on a Raw Is War episode and suffered a legitimate knee injury in a match against Mankind.
Things for Rocky Maivia ultimately changed in August 1997 when he returned with his knee injury healed. He lashed out at his fans after they started booing him. He turned heel for the first time, which means he was now the bad guy and joined D’Lo Brown, Kama and Faarooq in Nation of Damnation. Rocky Maivia started refusing his name and referred to himself in the third person as “The Rock.” The Rock was still announced as “The Rock Rocky Maivia” until 1998. The Rock started regularly insulting the audience, interviewers and WWF performers in his promos.
The Rock overthrew Faarooq as the leader of the Nation of Damnation and renamed it to The Nation. This started a feud between the two, and they met in an Over the Edge: In Your House episode on May 31st. The Rock successfully defended his title against Faarooq.
The Rock regained the title on January 24th 1999, during a brutal “I Quit” match against Mankind. This match only ends if one of the participants says “I quit” on a microphone. This match went horribly wrong when the Rock hit Mankind eleven times with a steel chair to the head instead of scripted five. To give you some perspective, five hits with a steel chair is already too risky. Most matches in the already brutal “Attitude” era of wrestling scripted only two to three hits. After the fifth hit, Mankind was still standing at the ringside instead of being two-thirds up at the entrance ramp as scripted. The eleventh shot knocked bloodied Mankind out, and a recording of saying “I quit” from an earlier interview was played through the public address system.
Even though Mankind and the Rock had history, they didn’t really seem any hostile to each other. It was actually quite the opposite. They teamed up together as the “Rock’ n’ Sock” duo during tag team matches. Rock’ n’ Sock knocked defeated Big Show, and Undertaker in an episode of Raw is War on August 30th, 1999. They also performed comedic skits together, including “This Is Your Life”, where Mankind parodied people from The Rock’s past, such as his high school girlfriend or high school football coach, only to have the Rock insult them. The segment earned an 8.4 Nielsen rating, one of the highest ratings ever for a Raw segment.
The Rock’s popularity took a significant dip after the WrestleMania X8 match. During the “icon vs icon” match, The Rock faced Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan was clearly pictured as the villain and the Rock as the hero, but the audience just wasn’t having it. They heavily rooted for Hogan and booed the Rock out after he pinned Hogan and won the match. In another battle against Lesnar, the Rock won once again. He was leaving to pursue his career as an actor. After the match ended, the Rock wanted to say a few words, but the crowd booed him out. He was visibly angry and left WWE world in 2004.
The Rock returned as a part-time performer in 2011. On February 14th, 2011, the Rock attended RAW after seven years through a lengthy promo and started a feud with John Cena. He then appeared multiple times via satellite before finally facing John Cena on WrestleMania XXVII to confront John Cena. They exchanged insults and were ready to fight, but Alex Riley and The Miz attacked The Rock. He successfully fended off the attack only to be blindsided by John Cena.
The Rock then had a few events with John Cena, like teaming up with him during a 5-on-5 survivor tag team match and even teamed up with him during a standard tag team match against the Miz and R-Truth. John Cena and the Rock ended up winning the match against the Miz and R-Truth. They exchanged a couple of insults until the Rock hit him with “Rock Bottom”, his classic signature move.
In January, a week after the 20th-anniversary episode of Raw, The Rock got attacked by The Shield. Cody McMahon stated that if anyone attacks the Rock during his match with CM Punk next week, Punk will be stripped from the WWE championship. Next week during the Royal Rumble match to win a championship belt, the Rock was defeated after lights went out in the whole arena. Vince McMahon came out to strip CM Punk of the championship as this was clearly a setup, but the Rock requested to restart the match. The Rock emerged victoriously and claimed his eighth WWE Championship.
The Rock then started his rivalry with John Cena again, who won that year’s, Royal Rumble. He requested a rematch with the WWE Championship title on the line. On April 7th, at WrestleMania 29, the Rock lost to John Cena, ending his reign after 70 days.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson officially quit the wrestling world on August 3rd, 2019. After announcing his retirement, Dwayne made a few guest appearances during the show but nothing significant.
The Rock appeared at Impact Wrestling’s 2020 Bound For Glory through a video message to induct Ken Shamrock into the Impact Hall of Fame.
In February 2020, WWE publicly announced that Dwayne’s daughter Simone began training at the WWE Performance centre. Simone Johnson is the first fourth-generation WWE wrestler.
The acting career of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Dwayne Johnson entered the Hollywood film industry through his wrestling popularity and noted work ethics. Thanks to his wrestling career, “The Rock” merchandise was still being sold, which gave him an excellent advertisement for kick-starting his acting career. Right now, he is amongst the top-paid actors, but it wasn’t always like that. His first acting job was in 1999 in “That 70s Show” during an episode “That Wrestling Show”. Dwayne starred as his own father, Rocky Johnson. After that, Dwayne played in one episode of Star Trek as a wrestler alien and fought a popular character, Seven of Nine, during an episode “Tsunkatse”.
Dwayne then took on more important roles, such as The Scorpion King in “The Mummy Returns” in 2001. This movie was so successful that it gave Dwayne his own spin-off movie with the leading role “The Scorpion King” in 2002. He played a bodyguard who wanted to become an actor in “Be Cool” from 2005 with stars like John Travolta and Uma Thurman. After that, Dwayne played in several movies, for example, Doom from 2005 as the main protagonist, Reno 911!: Miami from 2007 and The Game Plan from 2007, where he played a cocky American football player.
Dwayne got some more significant and some minor roles so far but finally got more attention after playing the character of Luke Hobbs in Fast Five in 2011. This film is the fifth sequel of Fast and Furious, so it already has a well-established fanbase. There was a lot of pressure on Dwayne Johnson in terms of expectations, and he delivered. Fast five was the seventh highest-grossing film of 2011. Dwayne appeared as Luke Hobbs in Fast and Furious 6 and played in multiple movies such as “Pain and Gain” and “Empire State”.
Dwayne starred as the title character in Hercules in 2014. He reappeared as Luke Hobbs in Furious 7 in 2015 and even got his own spin-off Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw with Jason Statham. Dwayne also appeared as a lead voice actor in the animated movie Moana as a demigod “Maui”.
Most importantly, Dwayne Johnson is known for his busy schedule and for developing multiple projects at once.
In late 2019, Dwayne Johnson announced the release date of the movie “Black Adam” in December 2021. This date got cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and preparations for “Black Adam” began in April 2021, with the release date set to July 29th, 2022. Black Adam firstly appeared in the comic book “The Marvel Family #1”.
The Instagram career of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is very popular on social media. In fact, he is the second most-followed influencer on Instagram, 60 million followers behind Cristiano Ronaldo. That means Dwayne can ask for more than $1 million per Instagram post if you want him to share you on @therock Instagram. Even Kim Kardashian or Kylie Jenner cannot request that much money per post.
The Hollywood world, especially in today’s COVID-19 world, has changed. It’s no longer that the most talented actor gets the role. Hollywood more values people with the most significant presence on social media. If you pay for The Rock to play in your movie, he can share it with 260 million people on Instagram, and that’s huge. It’s no longer crucial to have the best film. Studios need better advertising that can pack seats in the cinema or lure people into paying for the stream. A post from Dwayne Johnson showing behind-the-scenes for the movie “Rome” accumulated over 6 million likes and more than 30,000 comments.
In a review with Dwayne “The Rock”, Johnson stated about his social media platform “, When I launched Twitter, my biggest goal was just to be authentic so that people know that when their tweet alert goes off on their device, that it’s coming directly from my hands. I also try to make it a platform for three things, motivation, encouragement and entertainment. And it’s a great way for me to have my finger on the pulse of what my fans do and don’t like in terms of projects and overall sentiment because there’s no other platform on Earth that gives me that instant feedback.” Having instant feedback for your promotion is something people didn’t even dare to dream of.
The world has changed. There are no longer only three channels on TV. Studios have to compete with Netflix, Amazon, HBO, and I listed only the first biggest studios I could think of from the top of my head. Rarely anyone reads the newspaper to see what critics say about a movie. Everything is shared online, and the feedback is instant. When people want to know an opinion on a film, they look up their favourite influencer and listen to his opinion in 4K. Soon we will be living in a world where politicians with a more prominent social presence win the elections.
In conclusion, Dwayne Johnson isn’t the best actor, but he acts fast and capitalizes on every opportunity. When he didn’t make it into the NFL, he started his wrestling career. When social media was on the rise, Dwayne was there to build up his fan base from scratch. Dwayne, “The Rock” Johnson, works hard and works wisely. Getting more fans led to more lucrative projects, which earned him more fans and so on.
How much does Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson earn? Net worth!
Dwayne Johnson’s net worth is assumed to be $400 million, and he is one of the highest-paid entertainers in the world. His typical yearly salary is roughly $70 million to $100 million, and he primarily earns his money from acting. Lately, Dwayne has shown up in the top Instagram charts and is one of the few people who can ask for more than $1 million per Instagram post. Not even the Kardashians can ask that much money per Instagram post.
Since the Instagram thing is pretty new for Dwayne, most of his money comes from acting. His net worth in December 2009 was “only” $30 million and reached an incredible $160 million in 2015. The most successful year for Dwayne Johnson was 2018, with stunning earnings of $125 million.
Dwayne’s role in “The Scorpion King” got him $5.5 million, which is the most money someone ever got for their first time leading role. This movie was a massive hit with earnings of $165 million, almost triple the amount of the $60 million movie budget.
Dwayne Johnson was paid $20 million for the role of Luke Hobbs in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. In contrast, Jason Statham was paid $13 million and Idris Elba $8 million.
Interesting facts about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
- In 2008, Dwayne Johnson inducted his father and grandfather into the WWE Hall of Fame.
- Through his grandfather Peter Maivia, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is considered a non-blood relative to the Anoa’i wrestling family and the third generation of wrestlers in their family.
- In 2021 “Young Rock” began airing on NBC. This show is Dwayne’s biographical comedy-drama series.
- Dwayne Johnson co-wrote his autobiography with Joseph Layden. “The Rock Says…” debuted as No.1 on the New York Times Best Seller list and remained there for several weeks.
- He was labelled as Sexiest Man Alive in 2016.
- Dwayne Johnson was given the noble title “Seiuli” by Malietoa Tanumafili II during his visit in July 2004. This title was given in honour of his service to the Samoan people and because he is a descendant of Samoan chiefs.
- In 2003, Dwayne received a Samoan “pe’a” tattoo on his left side. In 2017, he covered a small “Brahma bull” tattoo on his right arm with a large half-sleeve tattoo of a bull skull.
- In 2009, Dwayne gained Canadian citizenship through his father’s birth and citizenship in Canada.
- In September 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dwayne Johnson shared that his whole family tested positive for COVID-19. He said they contracted the virus after contact with family friends.
- His daughter Simone Johnson followed her father’s footsteps and wants to become a professional wrestler.
- Dwayne Johnson produced and appeared as himself in “Fighting with My Family”. This comedy-drama from 2019 is about Paige and her family, who are also professional wrestlers.
- He produced and hosted the TNT reality competition series The Hero.
- Dwayne won the Favorite Male Buttkicker Award at the 2013 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.
- In May 2013, it was announced that he would executive produce and star in Ballers, an HBO comedy-drama series about NFL players living in Miami.
- Forbes named Dwayne the top-grossing actor of 2013, with his films bringing in $1.3 billion worldwide for the year.
- Johnson has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Actor’s Branch since 2017.
- In September 2012, Celebrity Net Worth named The Rock the richest wrestler in the world with a net worth of $75 million.