The Rock – love him or hate him, you know who he is. Sure, he mostly comes to your screen as the actor known as Dwayne Johnson nowadays, but we will always keep a special place in history for the wrestling Superstar. But for how famous The Rock is, he sure does have a lot of secrets that are only uncovered in the dark corners of the internet. It’s almost as if someone doesn’t want you to hear about the celebrity that was during those professional wrestling days. Sure, he still returns to that persona from time to time, but not with all of the dark secrets that he once did.
This list is not going to give you all of those over-hyped factoids like how he was named the sexiest man alive or how he is a bigger star as an actor than he ever was or could have been as an athlete. This list isn’t going to (except for here) talk about how he will likely be the highest paid actor for years to come or how he might one day run to be this nation’s president. With this list, we look at some things that Mr. Johnson probably doesn’t want you to know. Others, he may still brag about to this day, albeit behind closed doors. With this list, we take you through some of the most unknown facts about one of the biggest celebrities in the world. Here are 15 insane backstage stories about The Rock.
15 The Rock’s Virginity Story
Back in the day, Dwayne Johnson released a bestselling memoir titled The Rock Says. We got to learn a lot about the man who took over the wrestling industry. It was something that captivated both wrestling and non-wrestling fans around the country. We just couldn’t look away from this growing star. And we learned about his sexual preferences, something that most people would keep locked away in their inner thoughts, so we gotta commend him for being so honest with all of us.
That’s when we learned that The Rock lost his virginity when he was 14 to an 18-year-old. “I’ve always been attracted to older women and they’ve often reciprocated . . . That’s one of the benefits of being an early bloomer, I guess. I lost my virginity to an eighteen year old girl.” The book goes into some more detail, but that’s enough to begin building this legendary persona of this God-like man we know now.
14 The Rock's Awful Name And Terrible Payday
Before he was known as The Rock, he was Flex Kavana and he was getting paid less than $50 per match. Thank God that didn’t pan out. Dwayne Johnson tried taking his career another route, originally. And thankfully he took some routes from his family tree. You’d think a third-generation professional wrestler would have better judgement than to call himself Flex Kavana, but a quick self adjustment gave us the phenomenon that we know today.
But the way we found out about this proves that The Rock is anything but embarrassed about his early career mishap. The Rock used his Instagram account to release footage from his first wrestling match in Memphis for the United States Wrestling Association. He said he was 23 years old at the time and made just $40 per match.
13 The Rock Stole This Famous Catchphrase
The Rock had a number of infamous catchphrases from his days as a professional wrestler. One of our favorites was just one word “jabroni.” Although jabroni never made its way into the dictionary, it’s forever remembered by faithful wrestling fans as The Rock’s badass message to the opposition. It was demeaning and awesome all wrapped into one.
But after an interview with Esquire, it became known that The Rock actually stole this from another legendary wrestler – The Iron Sheik. While speaking as Dwayne Johnson to Esquire, The Rock said “The Iron Sheik was famous for saying the word constantly backstage.” In the late-90s, The Rock figured he would start saying it publicly for a national audience and it caught fire because of the millions of wrestling fans of the nineties.
12 The Rock Bakes With Martha Stewart
Although The Rock is a badass professional wrestler, he teamed up with Martha Stewart for her daytime show. It’s not surprising that the WWE Champion has such an obsession with food. Look at his size and his physique. It takes a lot of fuel to build and maintain muscles like that. So it didn’t seem like much of a stretch when TV execs decided to pair up the bad boy of wrestling with the comforting Martha Stewart.
For a guy that wakes up at 4 a.m. to begin his journey to eat seven meals that weigh about 10 pounds. At 6-foot 5-inches and 270 pounds made of mostly muscle, it’s almost surprising that he doesn’t have to eat more. But it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this relationship with food makes him a compelling guest on an afternoon television show.
11 The Rock Sells Out
Sure, we all are a fan of Dwayne Johnson suiting up for his role in HBO’s Ballers. But back in the day when we mostly saw The People’s Champ in his speedo, seeing The Rock in a suit was just a real sham. It was like a slap in the face to this awesome character that we had all grown to love. . . well, some of us grew to love to hate the people’s champion.
And when The Rock teamed up with Bill Gates, it just added more fuel to the fire for some. The Rock was decked out with his blacked out shades, but he was standing beside the Microsoft founder in a baggy suit that just didn’t match the guy we all loved on the mat. Plus, when he said that “The Xbox is everything The Rock is,” that made all of us cringe.
10 The Rock Calls Out The NFL
For a guy who had a shot at playing professional football back in the day, The Rock surely presented his grudge against the league on a National level. This was somewhat surprising to some while it was something that others were calling out for. Back in the day, before the first game was played in the XFL, The Rock was doing some promotional work for the league.
It was a natural fit for Vince McMahon’s Superstar and seemed like a good way to get some viewers from the NFL. And they did it in a way only wrestlers know how, right in the face of the powerful football league. “Six years ago NFL suits decided Los Angeles shouldn’t have a football team,” he said in front of a crowd awaiting the league’s premiere game. “Well, The Rock and Los Angeles and the entire country for that matter are sick and tired of NFL suits telling us what we want.”
9 The Rock Stays Close To His Ex (And Her Husband)
Most of us have it figured out. Once you get dumped or dump somebody, it is time to move on. There’s no more relationship and there’s no reason to keep a failing partnership going. At least that’s how it goes for us common folk. If you’re living up at the top with The Rock, it seems that things work out a bit differently. Throughout his days as the world’s most famous wrestler, The Rock spent his time with his wife Dany Garcia. They were married for 10 years.
After divorce, The Rock still kept that relationship going, though it probably wasn’t nearly as intimate. Garcia still remained his business partner and manager. The craziest part and a testament to The Rock’s character is the fact that Garcia’s new husband, Dave Rienzi, is his strength and conditioning coach.
8 The Rock Hates Spiders
For the average person, having a healthy fear of spiders seems rational. At least, somewhat rational. They’re the creepy crawlers of the night that everyone who has ever been outside should be on edge around. They have hairy legs and poisonous fangs that pack enough punch to cripple a full grown man. But do they have enough of a punch to take down The Rock?
Well he seems to think so. Although he has been pictured with these hairy beasts and has even held one on the Ellen DeGeneres show, The Rock has not been shy about talking about his arachnophobia. It’s funny how a guy we compare to Hercules is afraid of a tiny bug that probably couldn’t even pierce through his bulging muscles.
7 The Rock Was An Actor Before He Began Acting
Back before Dwayne Johnson was one of the biggest and most successful actors in the world, he was still a pretty successful actor. How’s that? Well, while he was gaining notoriety among wrestling fans, the entertainment industry was looking to cash in on this growing fanbase. With so many people following The Rock’s every single move, there were no shortage of opportunities to get this rising star on camera.
Among other appearances, The Rock showed up on three of the biggest shows on television. He played an alien wrestler on Star Treck. He hosted SNL, which he says was the reason he got the opportunity to act and become such a huge star. And best of all, he played his father in an episode of That '70s Show.
6 The Rock Is The Latest In A Family Of Champion Wrestlers
The entire story of Dwayne Johnson seemed to be written before he even could have had the mental capacity to think about being a professional wrestler. Why? Because like so many great athletes we’ve seen, The Rock is a third-generation professional wrestler. His grandpa was Peter “High Chief” Maiva and his dad was Rocky Johnson, both successful in the wrestling industry. Even crazier is the fact that his maternal grandma, Lia Maivia, was one of wrestling’s few female promoters.
Luckily for us, The Rock encapsulated this perfect storm of genetics and grew into one of wrestling’s greatest physique’s ever seen. It created the platform that led to the world’s biggest celebrity of today. That’s not bad for a kid having to live up to the legacy of a family full of NWA Champions.
5 The Rock Is Part Samoan And A Canadian Citizen
This is more of an interesting factoid rather than insane, but the fact he’s a legit Canadian citizen should blow some of your minds. The Rock has a physique that shocks and awes everyone who sees him. Want to know the combination that helped form that build, well, he’s half African American and half Samoan. There’s definitely not many of us with that background.
But the shocking part comes from a new(ish) Canadian law that made The Rock a Canadian citizen in his late-thirties. Although Canada likely passed this to call The Rock one of their own, you shouldn’t worry too much. The Rock can still run for president as he is a U.S. citizen. However, he is also a citizen of the country up north because both of his parent were born on Canadian soil.
4 The Rock’s Early Political Aspirations
Although The Rock was not presenting the idea that he could be president back in the day, he was a strong political presence during his prime as a professional wrestler. Sure, he wasn’t telling GQ about the possibility of a Dwayne Johnson presidential bid, but he was still making a name for himself on one of the biggest political stages in the country. And it went pretty well.
Back before the first election of the 2000s, The Rock attended both the Democratic and Republican Convention as a representative WWE. At that time, his agenda was to tell everybody to get out and vote. But only the Republicans allowed him to speak. Maybe that won’t be the last time he gives a speech on the convention floor.
3 The Rock Had Breast Reduction Surgery
Basically, The Rock thought his chest was too big (this could have been because he was told that his chest was too big for movies). Back in 2005, The Rock was fully into his transition into becoming a movie star. And what always seems to come with celebrity on camera, well generally those picture-perfect looks are sculpted by a doctor with a knife.
In The Rock’s case, he needed to get some of that weight off of his chest. Although this will likely shock many, we’ve got to commend The Rock for being so open about this surgery. At least he didn’t try to hide it like all those other celebs out there. In today’s world, it’s nice to get a sense of honesty from a guy who can just stick with the pack and lie about anything and everything.
2 The Rock Was A Criminal
It’s crazy to think that the fun-loving star of Baywatch once was part of a theft ring. Sure, this was before his days as a professional wrestler, but it likely hardened him to become one of the biggest stars out today. The crazier part is the sheer amount of trouble the young Dwayne Johnson got himself into. Sure, you can understand a troubled youth getting in trouble with the law a couple of times. And maybe even a couple more if they’re from an especially rough neighborhood.
But The Rock was actually locked up nine times before he turned 17. “There are a lot of tourists that come into Waikiki and there’s a lot of money,” he said of his dealings as part of a theft ring that targeted tourists who were visiting Hawaii.
1 The Rock And Stone Cold Steve Austin Are Enemies IRL
Two of the greatest rivals in WWE history surely had to be friends off camera. Right? It seems like the perfect combination. Two Superstars in the industry that seemed to have so much in common must have been putting on a show for the camera. Well, not quite. It seemed that fierce anger, hatred and jealousy wasn’t all just an act.
According to longtime WWE official Bruce Prichard, who was part of the WWE creative team and the original manager of The Undertaker, the rivalry between these two wrestling legends was jumpstarted by a real-life feud after The Rock gained a huge following in 1998. We’re thankful for this because had it not been for this drama, we may not have seen the legendary matches at WrestleMania between these two industry giants.