Gifted with a remarkable combination of size, speed, and agility as well as impeccable microphone skills, Johnson made his World Wrestling Federation (WWF) debut in 1996 as Rocky Maivia, a name that paid tribute to both his father and his grandfather. He was heavily promoted as a “face” (crowd favourite), and after just a few months of exposure, Johnson captured the WWF Intercontinental title.
In 2011 Johnson appeared in the ring for the first time in seven years, sparking a feud with World Wrestling Entertainment star John Cena that culminated in a main-event match at WrestleMania XXVIII in April 2012. His appearance contributed to the event’s unparalleled success: with more than 1.3 million pay-per-view orders and $67 million in global sales, WrestleMania XXVIII was WWE’s top-grossing pay-per-view broadcast.
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. But with no plans to follow in his footsteps, Johnson played college football at the University of Miami where he had great success until a back injury cost him a spot in the NFL.
Outside the ring, The Rock has made appearances in several films, including 2001's The Mummy Returns, 2002's The Scorpion King, 2005's Be Cool, and 2007's The Game Plan.
Training to become a wrestler was even more intense than college football training camp. As he practiced his moves, he also worked on developing what he hoped would some day become his signature moves, moves that would be identified with him.
Since Johnson had grown up around wrestling, he was already familiar with the vocabulary of the ring and what the names of the moves meant. When his father told him to do a certain move, he could immediately go into the correct position.
Despite the Rock's tough guy image, with his little daughter Johnson was a total softie. In a recent interview the wrestler and action movie star openly admitted he is totally in his daughter's control: "I'm wrapped around both of her little fingers! I'll do anything to keep that smile on her face."
He was involved in writing his autobiography, released in 1999, titled The Rock Says . . ...
Originally, Johnson passed on wrestling in favor of football, winning a full football scholarship to the University of Miami and playing professionally (albeit for a mere 350 dollars a week) in the Canadian Football League for one season. But after a knee injury ended Johnson's football career, he moved back home with his parents and begged his father to teach him how to be a professional wrestler.
Professional wrestler Dwayne Johnson, better known as The Rock, came by his athletic talents naturally: his father, Rocky Johnson, is an African American who broke race barriers in professional wrestling in the 1970s and 1980s, and his maternal grandfather, Samoan High Chief Peter Maivia, was also a wrestler.