Dwayne Johnson’s Dad, WWE Superstar Rocky ‘Soul Man’ Johnson, Dead Aged 75
Dwayne Johnson’s father, Rocky Johnson, has died aged 75.
The former pro wrestler, who was born Wayde Douglas Bowles, passed away yesterday, January 15. No cause of death has yet been given.
Johnson was born in Nova Scotia, Canada and began wrestling in 1964, after which he went on to win the NWA television championship on two separate occasions.
In 1983, the wrestler made history by being part of the first African American tag team to win the WWF tag team championship, after he and Tony Atlas defeated The Wild Samoans in a no disqualification match.
Johnson welcomed son Dwayne, aka The Rock, into the world in 1972 and retired from wrestling in 1991. In 2008, Dwayne inducted his father into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Johnson continued to have a massive impact on the wrestling world as he worked with fellow WWE Hall of Famer, Pat Patterson, to train Dwayne, who followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a star wrestler as well as a massive force in Hollywood.
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Happy Father’s Day to this hardly ever smiling OG bad ass. Little boys by nature, look up to and idolize their old man. They want to be just like em, do whatever they do and are always looking for their approval. Funny thing is the day I stopped looking for that approval was the day I understood what it meant to be man and more importantly, a father. That shift lifted me to a new level of gratitude for the tough love he always gave. Years later as a man and father of three girls, I know that tough love, is a helluva lot better than no love at all. I’ll take it. It’s made me who I am today. Grateful to the original Rock. #HappyFathersDay #KingStache #RockyJohnson
WWE announced the news of Johnson’s death in a statement yesterday, which read:
WWE is saddened to learn that Rocky ‘Soul Man’ Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles), a WWE Hall of Famer, former World Tag Team Champion, and father of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, has passed away at age 75.
Fans and members of the wrestling world have taken to social media to pay tribute to the 75-year-old following the news of his death.
Retired pro wrestler and actor Mick Foley tweeted:
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of the great Rocky Johnson. Always a gentleman, I always enjoyed talking with him. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the fans who loved him. A very sad day for wrestling.
The National Wrestling Alliance wrote:
The National Wrestling Alliance is saddened to hear of the passing of Rocky Johnson.
His legacy stretches across every promotion. He was a champion everywhere he went including holding the NWA Georgia Championship.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family.
American pro wrestler Dana Brooke tweeted son Dwayne, writing:
My heart goes out to the family of @TheRock and may prayers be sent your way during this time! I am sorry for your loss!
Our thoughts are with Rocky Johnson’s friends and family at this tough time.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.