Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is not only one of the most electrifying men in the WWE, but in the world as well. Starting as a wrestler all those years ago, he quickly turned to a career on the silver screen that no wrestler in the WWE could ever hope to top. However, even as one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, The Rock always makes the time to come back home to the WWE, where he got his start, on occasion.
He is such a major star, however, that there are rumors that “The Great One,” isn’t quite as welcome in the locker rooms of the WWE as he might have once been. Luckily, there are still quite a few of the superstars that The Rock is extremely close too and these superstars make it possible for The Rock to return to the WWE on a regular basis. You will really be surprised to find out just who Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is close to in the WWE. Read on below to find out.
15 Hulk Hogan
The Rock and Hulk Hogan had a great rivalry in the WWE. Very few people get the chance to meet, or even work with, their heroes, but The Rock was one of those lucky few. Not only did he get to have some awesome matches with The Hulkster, he got to tear the house down with him at WrestleMania X8. It’s important to remember here that The Rock grew up at house shows in wrestling because of his own family’s ties to the sport. From The Rock's uncles to his own father, Hulk Hogan was a part of the boy’s life from the beginning and remains one of his close friends, even with the scandal involving Hulk overshadowing his career. The Rock even gave an interview where he stood up for his longtime friend.
14 Kevin Nash
Back in 2002, The Rock and Kevin Nash shared a few words that were rumored to be totally blown out of proportion. It led to the belief that the two were bitter enemies and could never be friends. In reality, the fight was so small that neither cared even to remember it and to this day are good friends. There were rumors that Nash might have problems with The Rock's star shining so brightly, while his was on something of a downslide, but those were proven to be untrue in the end. Nash has even spoken up for The Rock with all of the problems with him “visiting” the WWE every now and then.
@RealKevinNash Thank U Big Kev! U know the drill.. we fall, we rise. See ya down the road my friend.— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 25, 2013
They seem fine to me.
13 Owen Hart
While no longer with us, Owen Hart was one of wrestling’s brightest stars and one of The Rock’s closest friends. There was no wrestling tragedy as bad as the one that killed Owen Hart in 1999 at the Pay Per View Event Over The Edge. The Rock had told the story of his reaction to the tragic accident that took the life of his friend when a harness broke during an entrance. While the entire locker room was devastated, Dwayne’s reaction was a little more active with his response. He asked Vince McMahon if he could go check on his friend. Vince stopped him, telling him that it might make the fans think the whole thing was a storyline. Sadly, it was not and everyone, including The Rock, grieves for their friend to this very day.
12 Big Show
Big Show and The Rock started in wrestling around the same time and rose to the top pretty much together. The Rock went on to be a superstar in wrestling and movies, while Show evened out and stuck with WWE. They had many, many wars in the ring, but remained friends outside of the ring no matter what. The Rock doesn’t have much time to socialize when he does appear at WWE events and many feel slighted when he doesn’t talk to them in the locker room. Big Show has said recently that The Rock barely speaks to him backstage, but he totally understands the man is busy and knows that it doesn’t affect their friendship at all, so he doesn’t whine or cry about it, he just smiles and moves on.
11 Ron Simmons
Ron Simmons was instrumental in helping The Rock become the greatest superstar in wrestling, securing his spot as one of Dwayne’s closest friends of all time. When The Rock started out, he was supposed to be a face, but the fans hated him because of his vanilla chatacter. It was soon discovered that the only way for The Rock to succeed was to make him a heel and that meant teaming him with Ron Simmons, aka Faarooq, the head of The Nation of Domination. Once Rock joined their villainous crew, his career started to take off. Ron has never acted jealous of The Rock and his fame and fortune, though he has said once or twice that The Rock should put him in a few of his movies. Now that would be a great thing!
10 Pat Patterson
It would make no sense to assume that one person, and one person alone, was responsible for The Rock's career taking off the way it did. However, if we had to talk about one friend that helped greatly, it would be Pat Patterson. When The Rock decided to make a go at a wrestling career, Pat was the man he called. Pat, then went to bat for him with Vince, telling the Chairman of the Board that he had indeed found the future of the WWE. As we all know now, he was right and Dwayne exceeded everyone’s wildest dreams, inside the WWE and outside of the WWE as well. Pat Patterson is the only WWE superstar that The Rock has allowed to accompany him to a red carpet Hollywood event, showing just how much the man always has meant to him.
In many circles, Goldberg is compared to Stone Cold Steve Austin more than any other. The reality is, however, that Goldberg is much more like his longtime friend The Rock. Goldberg had always been leery of joining the WWE, thinking that the brand might ruin his character, something that many said came to pass pretty quickly. It was The Rock that talked Goldberg into joining the WWE in 2003 and in fact he got his debut in the middle of one of Rock's infamous concerts. While fans wanted a Goldberg and Stone Cold match, they got a Rock and Goldberg match instead.
8 Mark Henry
The Rock was teamed with Mary Henry in The Nation of Domination and he stuck by his side when the storyline called for The Rock to take power away from Ron Simmons. Not only did the two have a tie inside of the ring, they quickly formed a friendship backstage as well. However, when The Rock's career took off for the stars, Henry’s became more and more of a joke until it truly wasn’t much of a career at all. Through it all, The World’s Strongest Man never resented Rock for achieving the success that most superstars could only dream of. He was happy for his friend and even talked about Rock's career and his favorite wrestling moment being The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan in an interview. No bitter feelings with Henry, he’s just happy for his friend.
7 The Dudley Boyz
You would think that if a group of superstars were going to be friends, that they would have a lot of in-ring time together. That would not be true when looking at the friendship between The Dudley Boyz and The Rock. While they interacted very little in the ring, they had a lot in common outside of the ring, traveling and hanging out together. While The Dudley Boyz say that Rock doesn’t have the time for them that he used too, now that he is a Hollywood star, they aren’t bitter about it and completely understand. They became friends with him because he put on a good show for his over millions of fans, was an honest person, and genuine come what may. The friendship has survived, no matter where The Rock was in his career.
6 Mick Foley
The Rock 'n' Sock Connection made for a few funny moments in the ring, but wasn’t the most successful tag team of all time. The Rock, other than The Nation of Domination, never really had a wrestling partner, but his time as a partner with Mick Foley cemented a friendship that has lasted a lifetime. From singing in the ring to just being plain crazy, Mick Foley and The Rock teaming together for that little bit of time, made the fans love the both of them even more. Not only did their in-ring chemistry make them popular, but the fact that they were such great friends also made their working together a joy to watch as well. One of The Rock's friendships that have definitely lasted over the years is the one with Foley and he always welcomes The Rock home to RAW with open arms. Despite an ugly incident at Royal Rumble 1999, where The Rock took some liberties with a chair, the two seem to be on great terms:
Good for Mick for showing forgiveness.
Merry Christmas Uncle Tonga - enjoy your new truck! Cool Christmas story to share with y'all... Known my "Uncle Tonga" since I was 5yrs old. My grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia helped train him to become a professional wrestler in the 70's. Throughout Tonga's illustrious wrestling career he changed his name to "King Haku" and became one the WWE's most sought after "bad guys" and still known to this day for being one of the toughest and legit most vicious man in wrestling history. Years later and I get a call from WWE saying "Vince McMahon wants to see you wrestle immediately. He's flying you to RAW tomorrow and you'll have a tryout match." I thought holy shit that's awesome, buuuut there's a few problems: For me, I wasn't just having "a tryout match", because I had never actually HAD a real match in my life. Ever. WWE thought that I already had multiple matches under my belt, but little did they know. What they also didn't know was that I was broke as hell and didn't actually own wrestling gear - no boots, knee pads or most importantly.. wrestling trunks. I went to Sports Authority and bought some bright ass white volleyball knee pads, called my Uncle and asked if he had ANY trunks I could use for my tryout. He said all I have is a pair of shiny purple trunks (purple was his signature color), I told him I don't care if the trunks are all the colors of Skittles, I'll happily wear them. When I picked the trunks up from him I'll never forget the monster hug he gave me, look me in the eyes and said, "I'm so proud of you. Go get 'em nephew!" Here's the picture of me wrestling my FIRST MATCH EVER in Corpus Christi, TX in front of 15,000 people - proudly in my lucky purple trunks. And the rest... was history. My Uncle Tonga is a family man, humble man and champion. Most importantly one of the greatest human beings I know. So we walk outside and I said "Uncle how do you like my truck?" He said, "Whoooaaa nephew it's beautiful... I love it!" I said "Good 'cause it's yours." He was speechless. Thru tears (manly of course;) we monster hugged 'cause I'll never forget what he did for me when I had nothing. Merry Christmas Uncle and ofa atu. #LuckyPurpleTrunks
Everyone who is a wrestling fan knows that The Rock is a third-generation wrestler, with many of his family members gracing the squared circle. In reality, Haku is technically not The Rock's uncle, but he might as well be since the two have a very close bond. When it came time for Rock to have his first match, he didn’t have any ring gear. He went to Haku, who gave him a pair of old trunks and a hug. The Rock later repaid that by buying his favorite Uncle a Ford truck. I guess it’s good to be friends with The Rock. Haku is credited with being a big influence in his life, as he helped him start his career before he went on to be the mega superstar that he is, both inside and outside of the squared circle.
4 Vince McMahon
Many fans would find it hard to believe that The Rock and The Boss could have a close relationship. What many don’t know is that they had known each other since The Rock was just a child, with Vince asking Rock to be a part of a storyline in an audience for the first time when Rock was only an 11-years-old. He also asked The Rock to be the youngest champion ever 15 years after that and the sky was the limit from there. The friendship has remained a firm one and anytime that Vince needs Dwayne to bring up the ratings for a show, the super busy Hollywood star is always ready to come home to help. Because everyone, including The Boss, knows that no one can electrify an audience like The Rock can.
3 Chris Jericho
Two of the most violate wrestlers in the WWE, it’s no surprise that Chris Jericho and The Rock are not only great sparring against one another in the ring, but great friends outside of the ring as well. When Jericho burst onto the scene in 1999, sparring with The Rock set him up to be one of the greatest stars in the WWE. It was The Rock who fought with Jericho and gave him the push into the main event scene that was long overdue. Not only did this bring plenty of joy to the fans, but it also created a lasting friendship between the two men as well. The feuds between the two powerhouse stars would be off and on for years and it would probably still be amazing if they ever got into a ring together again. Their lasting friendship is what makes that possible.
2 John Cena
Of all of the wrestlers on this list, it’s hard to imagine that The Rock and John Cena could be buddies in real life, but they are... now. It wasn’t always that way though. When The Rock returned for WrestleMania XXVII, mostly to host the show, a slow burning feud started between him and the “new face that ran the place,” John Cena. The two went back and forth for two years, with each throwing quips that kept the fans delighted, but a lot of their insults had hints of reality in them, leading to a genuine distaste for one another backstage. Once the dust cleared so to speak, the two shook hands and moved on. The Rock's returns today are mostly to help Cena in a brotherly fashion, and that seems to extend to real life as well. Who would have ever thought it, right?
1 “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
If you want to talk about two men that took over wrestling in a fashion that will always be remembered, you don’t have to look any further than “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. When every other superstar in the wrestling world was saying that The Rock was being pushed too fast or didn’t have what it takes to be a superstar, Stone Cold stood by his side and believed in him, even going so far as to request a rivalry with The Rock for WrestleMania XV. Out of that rivalry, a rare friendship was born. Though Stone Cold never achieved the fame that The Rock has outside of the ring, they still refer to one another as close friends. Many feel that this friendship is one that results from them taking on wrestling together and coming out on top as legends. They wouldn’t be wrong.