Dwayne Johnson first rose to fame as “The Rock,” a popular wrestling personality. He then became a box-office star, appearing in films including ‘The Scorpion King,’ ‘Hercules’ and ‘The Fast and the Furious’ franchise.
Who Is Dwayne Johnson?
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was born into a professional wrestling family in 1972. An injury ended his college football career, so he entered the ring with the WWE. As “The Rock,” he famously feuded with wrestler Steve Austin and won the WWE Heavyweight title numerous times. Johnson then parlayed his wrestling fame into a film career, appearing in projects like 2001’s The Mummy Returns and 2010’s Tooth Fairy. Later projects include the HBO series Ballers and leading roles in The Fast and the Furious and Jumanji franchises and the voice as demigod Maui in Moana.
Early Life and Career
Johnson was born on May 2, 1972, in Hayward, California. The grandson of professional wrestler Peter “High Chief” Fanene Maivia and son of wrestler Rocky Johnson, the young Johnson grew up watching his father perform in the ring. With no plans to follow in his footsteps, Johnson played college football at the University of Miami, showing promise with his size and athleticism until being slowed by injuries.
Becoming ‘The Rock’
With few prospects in professional football, Johnson turned to wrestling, debuting in the WWE against the Brooklyn Brawler in Texas. After a couple more matches, including a tag team win with Bart Sawyer, the WWE signed him under the name Flex Kavana. A year later, he joined The Nation of Domination, eventually taking over its leadership and calling himself The Rock.
He later joined another band of elite wrestlers known as The Corporation and began a notorious feud with Steve Austin. Also known as “The People’s Champ,” The Rock went on to win a combined 17 WWE titles over his acclaimed career.