Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Dwayne Johnson grew up in a family of wrestling royalty. His father, future WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson, was one of the
most popular talents in the professional wrestling industry. His maternal grandfather, future WWE Hall of Famer High Chief
Peter Maivia, was the patriarch of the famous Maivia family, one of professional wrestling's toughest competitors who also
appeared in the 1967 James Bond classic, You Only Live Twice.
Because he idolized his father, grandfather and WWE Hall of Famers Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair, it was only natural Dwayne thought about a life in sports and entertainment. After a childhood of
mischief, Dwayne was an All-American on the gridiron at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Trained by his father, along with Pat Patterson, Dwayne exceeded all expectations and soon cut his teeth in the United
States Wrestling Association. While there, he learned his craft and stared across the ring at Jerry Lawler.
A Rocky Start
At the 1996 Survivor Series, a capacity Madison Square Garden crowd witnessed the third-generation Superstar
make his way to the ring. As a tribute to his grandfather and father, he chose the name Rocky Maivia. As the next Maivia
emerged the sole survivor, the Superstar was set to take the sports-entertainment world by storm. Within three months of his
debut, Rocky captured the Intercontinental Championship when he defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley on a special Thursday
edition of Raw.
As the tone of professional wrestling changed, the fans' cheers suddenly turned to jeers as they chanted "Rocky Sucks" and
"Die Rocky Die." Shortening his name to "The Rock" and referring to himself in the third person, he became one of the most
detested figures in all of World Wrestling Entertainment and a member of The Nation of Domination. The anger from the fans
fueled his fire to succeed and his undiluted arrogance enraged crowds everywhere. The Rock dubbed himself "The People's
Champion" and made it clear he would reach the top of WWE by any means necessary. The Rock soon physically removed Farooq as
Nation leader and became the self-appointed ruled of the group, citing the term leader was beneath him. In the summer of
1998, The Nation began a fierce rivalry against D-Generation X to decide which was the most dominant faction in WWE. The two
leaders met in the King of the Ring tournament. After The Rock pinned rival Triple H, both crews threw fists of fury as pure
bedlam flooded the ring.
The Rock's career gained momentum and he left The Nation to construct his own path to glory. He invited all Superstars to
"Go One-on-One with The Great One," and in the process became the object of Mr. McMahon's intense scrutiny. "The People's
Champion" went into the Survivor Series' 16-man tournament for the WWE Championship a heavy favorite. In the
tournament finals against Mankind, the 26-year-old showed the perseverance and poise of a seasoned veteran. After he
locked-in the Sharpshooter, the bell unexpectedly rang and their collusion became known. The McMahons courted The Rock and
made "The People's Champion," "The Corporate Champion." A confused Mankind got his final explanation courtesy of a blindside
beating by the newly crowned champion. This event led to a string of classic clashes between the two, and though Mankind
temporarily regained the championship, the sight of a jubilant Mankind brought out an even more barbarous "Brahma Bull."
Their most sadistic bout was the Last Man Standing Match at St. Valentine's Day Massacre. When neither man answered
the ten-count, the match was ruled a draw and they met the next night on Raw in a Ladder Match, won by The Rock.
Afterward, "The Most Electrifying Man in Sports-Entertainment" put his problems with Mankind and focused on a new enemy.
At WrestleMania XV, "The Great One" took on the anti-establishment "Stone Cold" Steve Austin for the WWE
Championship. The carnage in Philadelphia proved to be the beginning of one of the greatest rivalries in WWE history. Despite
a loss to the "Texas Rattlesnake," The Rock truly became "The People's Champion" when he left The Corporation and went his
own way. As the mystique of The Rock grew, audiences continued to marvel at his undeniable charisma and wildly entertaining
promos. As he entered the summer of 1999, he resumed war with a familiar foe, Triple H. When former enemy Mankind was looking
for a friend, he treated The Rock to a parade of his past on an episode of "Rock: This is Your Life." In the process, the two
joined forces as The Rock N' Sock Connection and surprised everyone with their continuity and resolve when they defeated
Undertaker and Big Show for the World Tag Team Championship.
The Great One At #1
After he won the 2000 Royal Rumble, The Rock's popularity rose to new heights each week on WWE programming. He
wrote his autobiography, The Rock Says, which reached No. 1 on the prestigious New York Times Bestseller List. He
hosted Saturday Night Live, a gave a special address at the Republican National Convention, and appeared in hip-hop
legend Wyclef Jean's famous video "It Doesn't Matter." By 2001, The Rock was considered an absolute multimedia superstar as
he appeared in the feature film, The Mummy Returns and later starred in its highly successful prequel, The
Scorpion King, which was commemorated with a wax statue of "The Great One" at Madame Tussaud's famous gallery in New
Of course, The Rock didn't sever his ties with WWE during this time. The Rock secured the fate of World Wrestling
Entertainment at the 2001 Survivor Series as he captained Team WWE and destroyed The Alliance. This defense of his
first love became indisputable in February 2002, when WWE was injected with the lethal poison of the nWo. The path taken by
Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash left The Rock no choice but to do what was needed for the company's survival.
At WrestleMania X-8, he defeated Hollywood Hulk Hogan in their epic fantasy turned reality Icon vs. Icon Match. In
2003, The Rock's Hollywood stock continued to rise, but he may have saved his greatest act for WrestleMania XIXI,
when he defeated his long-time nemesis "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
The Rock returned to Hollywood for The Rundown with Christopher Walken, but returned to WWE in 2004 to reform the
Rock N' Sock Connection, and battle Evolution at WrestleMania XX. The Rock's international following grew and he
continued to electrify movie screens as the main draw in multiple Hollywood blockbusters.
After three years away from WWE, The Rock appeared on Monday Night Raw in a taped segment in which he gave his
prediction to the Battle of The Billionaires Match at WrestleMania 23. In 2008, he returned to World Wrestling
Entertainment and inducted his father, Rocky Johnson, and late grandfather High Chief Peter Maivia into the WWE Hall of
The Rock discusses his return to Raw
Despite reports to the contrary, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's appearance on Raw Monday night was not a last
minute deal. This was planned for a while and it was something that only a few people in WWE knew about -- believed to be
Vince McMahon, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and creative consultant Brian Gerwitz (he assists in writing Johnson's promos).
The creative team was not told ahead of time either. Rusev and Lana were clued in before Raw started.
As has been noted, Johnson was purposely not included in the script for Raw to prevent word from leaking out.
The segment, as it was laid out, was for Big Show to come out and speak when Rusev called him out. There was some
speculation that Johnson could appear on Raw since he said on Twitter earlier in the day that he was in
New York City for a business meeting with Time Warner, but obviously, it was a surprise to most watching the show and
made his return come off even more special.
(Photos Of The Rock's Girlfriend)