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 York City.

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 Fame.

The Rock Talks Last WWE Run, Whether He Uses Steroids, Upcoming Projects

The Rock discusses his recent return to Raw

Fortune.com published an in-depth profile on Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson today touching on all aspects of his career as well his personal life. Highlights from the article are as follows:

- Johnson talked about WWE in past tense as he evaluated the three-year run he had.

Johnson returned nearly four years ago to prove he could boost WWE's business and win back fans who felt he abandoned them for Hollywood.

“I think fans realized, 'Wow, you're back, and you committed for three years, and you don't have to be here.' I had the balls to be authentic," Johnson said.

Johnson says changing talent agencies from Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to William Morris Endeavor (WME) led to his return to the sports-entertainment organization.

“If I want to be called 'The Rock,' I'll be called 'The Rock.' If I want to go back to wrestling, I'll go back to wrestling. It's all the same guy," Johnson said.

- In the article, Forbes says Johnson is "so shredded and veiny in photos from the gym that critics in online forums accuse him of using steroids." In response to the accusations, Johnson continues to claim that he has not used steroids since he was 18-years-old, right before he began attending the University of Miami on a football scholarship.

“Sure, you get a lot of people out there who will suspect, and say shit,” Johnson says. “They want to negate the hard work you put in.”

Elsewhere in the article, director Brett Ratner recalls meeting Johnson to discuss his part in "Hercules" and being in awe of his muscularity.

“He was just coming off "Pain and Gain," which I thought he was brilliant in, and he was huge, like the biggest I've ever seen him,” says Ratner. “The muscles on his shoulders were up to his ears. And at the end of the meeting he says to me, 'I'm going to work really hard to get into shape for this.' I didn't know what to say.”

- Ten years after buying a home in Hollywood, Johnson felt “done with L.A.,” sold his home, and moved to Florida full-time. He now lives with his girlfriend of seven years, Lauren Hashian (not identified by name in the article). Johnson's ex-wife, Dany Garcia, remarried this year, to Dave Rienzi, who is now his strength and conditioning coach.

“Life is amazing. Life is fucking messy. Life is what you make of it,” Johnson said. “I'm happy to say we're all together working nicely, but it took a lot of work. With Dany, it was going through the sludge of divorce and then having the clarity to say, 'We're still friends, we respect each other, let's do business. And let's do big business.'"

- 7 Bucks Productions, a television production company Johnson co-founded with Garcia, have eight projects in the works. One series slated to air on TNT is called "Wake Up Call," which Johnson calls a reality advice show.

Each episode begins with Johnson running a surprise intervention, then guiding the subject, such as a father spending his family's money on trying to become a rapper. “No competition, no cash prize, America doesn't vote on anything,” says Johnson. “It's just me and the audience.”

Other projects in the works include "Comeback Kids" with UFC star Ronda Rousey, a comedy show, and Johnson going to a Miami detention center to mentor at-risk youths.

“The thought was always, 'How can we put a corporate structure around this beast called Dwayne Johnson?'” said Garcia. “What can we set up so that this man, when he no longer wants to be in front of the camera, can have a lot to offer?”

The full article is available here.

(Photos Of The Rock's Girlfriend)

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