Seiuli Dwayne Douglas Johnson (ring name: “The Rock” born May 02, 1972, in Hayward, California) is a 3rd generation Professional Wrestler and Actor. Johnson is the son of Ata Maivia Johnson and Rocky Johnson – a former wrestler and inductee of the 2008 WWE Hall of Fame.
Johnson’s grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia (Ata’s father) starred in the 1967 James Bond film – You Only Live Twice, and was known to be one of the first Samoan wrestlers in the WWF (now known as WWE).
He has co-written an Autobiography with Joe Layden called “The Rock Says…”, it was released in 2000 and debuted at #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list – remaining on the list for several weeks.
Johnson was bestowed the ‘Seiuli’ matai title (a Samoan chief title) by the late Head of State Susuga Malietoa Tanumafili II. He was married to Dany Garcia from 1997-2007. They have a daughter together named Simone Alexandra.
Johnson received a full scholarship from the University of Miami where he had tremendous success as a football player. In 1995, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminology and physiology, he suffered a back injury which cost him a place in the NFL (National Football League).
Johnson signed a 3 year deal with the Canadian League in 1995, but left after a year later to pursue a career in wrestling. He made his wrestling debut in the USWA under the name Flex Kavanah where he won the tag team championship with Brett Sawyer.
In 1996, Johnson joined the WWF (now known as the WWE) and became Rocky Maivia where he joined a group known as “The Nation of Domination” and turned heel. Johnson eventually took over leadership of the “Nation” and began taking the persona of The Rock. After the “Nation” split, Johnson joined another elite group of wrestlers known as the “Corporation” and began a memorable feud with Steve Austin. It wasn’t soon until Johnson was kicked out of the “Corporation”. He turned face and became known as “The Peoples Champion”.
In 2000, Johnson took time off from WWE to film his appearance in The Mummy Returns (2001). He returned in 2001 during the WCW/ECW invasion where he joined a team of WWE wrestlers at The Scorpion King (2002), a prequel to The Mummy Returns.
Since his last WWE match in 2004, he quit wrestling and focused solely on acting. When Johnson was not active with WWE, the company continued to sell “The Rock” merchandise, and Johnson continued to be featured prominently in the opening montages of their television programming. He has continued to show a multitude of his acting/talent skills including film roles like the cocky famous football player Joe Kingman in “The Game Plan”, and in “Get Smart” where he played Agent 23. It was around this time that Johnson would make part-time appearances at the WWE from 2004-2009, while still heavily involved in his movie acting career.
Johnson was featured in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records for having the highest salary as an actor in his first starring role, receiving US$5.5 million. He appeared at the 80th Academy Awards on February 24, 2008 as a presenter for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
In 2009, Johnson appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he hosted the 2009 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, and also appeared on the Wizards of Waverly Place episode “Art Teacher” as part of his stint with The Walt Disney Company. Johnson has made various guest appearances on Saturday Night Live, reviving his character of The Rock Obama, a parody of The Hulk… “When you make Barack Obama angry, he turns into The Rock Obama.” Also in 2009, Johnson played an ex-con turned cab driver Jack Bruno in Las Vegas in the movie “Race to Witch Mountain”. He also voice acted as Capt. Charles ‘Chuck’ Baker in the movie Planet 51.
In 2010, Johnson headlined the family comedy movie “Tooth Fairy”. He also made an un-credited cameo in the 2010 Tyler Perry film: Why Did I Get Married Too? As a handsome psychiatrist who asks out the recently widowed Patricia Agnew (Janet Jackson). Johnson had a brief appearance in the Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg film “The Other Guys” as an action seeking detective along with Samuel L. Jackson. He made his return to action films after a string of family films and supporting roles with “Faster”.
Johnson would make his appearance again at the WWE in early 2011, announcing his return to host Wrestlemania XVII. In November 2011, after seven years of absence of being in the ring, Johnson returned for the Survivor Series, teaming up with John Cena to take on The Miz and R-Truth, he closed out the match and won it by using ‘The Peoples Elbow’ signature move on The Miz. After the win, Johnson ended the winning night by giving John Cena the ‘Rock Bottom’ signature move, before signing off air from the Survivor Series.
In the same year, Johnson appeared in the fifth sequel of the ‘The Fast and the Furious’ film series, Fast Five, as Luke Hobbs, a Diplomatic Security Service agent assigned to hunt down the series’ protagonists, played by Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. Johnson was cast in the role after Diesel had read comments and feedback from fans, one of whom wanted to see Diesel and Johnson in a movie together. Additionally, Johnson, a fan of the franchise, had wanted to work with Universal again after they had given him his first film roles. Critics and audiences alike considered Johnson’s involvement a welcome addition to the franchise and plans are to have him return for future installments. The film grossed at over $86 million its opening weekend, making it the best opening for a ‘Fast & Furious’ film, the biggest opening for an April release, and Johnson’s best opening weekend.
In 2012, Johnson will appear in movies “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” as the character – Roadblock. He is also appearing in “Snitch”, “Empire State” and the next installment of “Fast & Furious 6″ for 2013. Johnson is rumored to possibly star in up-coming films: “Sinbad – Arabian Nights” and “Goliath” for 2013/14.
At the 2013 Royal Rumble, he defeated CM Punk to claim the WWE Championship belt. The win would mark “The Rock’s” first WWE Championship reign in over ten years.
On June 6, 2013, Johnson hosted and produced his own reality TV competition series – The Hero – where contestants are tested “physically, mentally, and morally” for the title of “hero” and monetary prizes.
Highlights & Awards:
Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI Match of the Year (1999) vs. Mankind in an “I Quit” match at Royal Rumble
- PWI Match of the Year (2002) vs. Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X8
- PWI Most Popular Wrestler of the Year (1999, 2000)
- PWI Wrestler of the Year (2000)
- PWI ranked him #2 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the year in the PWI 500 in 2000
- PWI ranked him #76 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the “PWI Years” in 2003
United States Wrestling Association
- USWA World Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Bart Sawyer
World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment
- WCW/World Championship (2 times)
- WWF/WWE Championship (8 times)
- WWF Intercontinental Championship (2 times)
- WWF Tag Team Championship (5 times) – with Mankind (3), Undertaker (1), and C. Jericho (1)
- Royal Rumble (2000)
- Slammy Award for New Sensation (1997)
- Slammy Award for Game Changer of the Year (2011)
- Slammy Award for Guess Who’s Back or: Return of the Year (2011)
- Sixth Triple Crown Champion
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Best Box Office Draw (1999, 2000)
- Best Gimmick (1999)
- Best on Interviews (1999, 2000)
- Most Charismatic (1999–2002)
- Most Improved (1998)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 2007)
Teen Choice Awards
- 2001 – Won Teen Choice Awards for the movie ‘The Mummy Returns’