Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is the most electrifying man in sports entertainment and has continued to make a name for himself as an entertainer long after his initial introduction to the media’s limelight in 1997 when he joined the WWF as a professional wrestler. Standing 6’5” and 260 pounds, The Rock is a hulking, and downright impressively built human. As many fans of The Rock may already know, he played college football for the University of Miami and won a NCAA Championship with them in 1991. He later played professional football in Canada for a little while before getting cut from the team. There is no denying the pure beast-like nature of The Rock, but I must warn you - he might not be the toughest man in the celebrity business. For all of the diehard Dwayne Johnson fans that are ready to tune me out, I ask that you kindly shut your candy ass up, know your role, and continue reading.
Throughout his on and off professional wrestling career, The Rock has portrayed himself as a total badass that doesn’t back down to anyone. He is always willing to lay the literal smack down on any “jabroni” that gets in his way, but The Rock has made a living doing more than just wrestling. Most recently acting has been the main revenue generator for the former WWE Champion.
According to Forbes.com, Dwayne Johnson earned $31.5 Million from movies in 2015; that is a lot of money to earn from acting, but what makes The Rock so intriguing is the type of acting roles he takes on to make such high earnings. Of course he plays roles of total kick ass characters like his role in the Fast and Furious movies, but he also has been known to show a much softer and friendlier side throughout the years. Movies like Tooth Fairy and The Game Plan all show a family friendly and soft-hearted version of the man that lets viewers know that behind the muscles there is a big heart and a real family man. So while I can’t guarantee that anyone on this list would actually be able to beat up The Rock, here are 15 celebrities that, based on either their persona, profession, of sheer size, might have a shot.
15 Tom Hardy
English actor, screenwriter and producer Tom Hardy is only 5’9, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t an intimidating human. Over his career Hardy’s physique has changed to accommodate for the different acting roles that he's prepared for. Hardy got his acting debut in the 2001 thrilling drama Black Hawk Down and has continued a great acting career with his performances in The Dark Knight Rises and The Revenant. Hardy’s performance as Bane in the former film was enough to make us think that he could have at least a decent chance standing toe to toe with The Rock.
14 Terry Crews
Terry Crews is known for two things: his lovable and fun-natured comedy and his ridiculous physique. Crews has played roles in countless comedic classics such as White Chicks, The Longest Yard, and Malibu’s Most Wanted. Easily mistaken as a big softie, Crews is anything but a pushover. Many people get so focused on his comedy and his antics with Old Spice commercials, that they forget that Crews (6’3”, 245 pounds) played six years in the NFL as a defensive end and linebacker. A guy with that much size and the ability to play professional football is bound to pose a challenge to The Rock.
13 Ndamukong Suh
Wrestling isn’t the cleanest sport, so Ndamukong Suh would fit in perfectly. In only six years in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins’ defensive tackle has solidified his place on the list of top dirtiest players to ever play in the NFL. Suh has been caught stomping on players and aiming to injure opposing players by doing everything except tackling. In fact, some of Suh’s dirtiest tactics would be awesome wrestling moves. But how would he handle up in a clean fight against The Rock? Suh is a little shorter than The Rock, (6’4”) but he greatly outweighs the competition at 320 pounds. It’s hard to say if Suh would be able to battle against a man that has made a living in the ring, but I would like to see him try.
12 Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson ("The Mountain")
Standing 6’9” and 400 pounds, while being freakishly athletic, there isn’t much that Hafbor can’t do. Most commonly known for his role as Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane in the popular television series Game of Thrones, Hafbor is quite the overall athlete. At the age of only 27, he has already had a professional basketball career playing in the Iceland-Dominos league. He also is an avid competitor in the Strong Man competition, in which he finished in second place at the 2014 World’s Strongest Man competition. His personal lifting records includes a 795 pound squat and a 510 pound bench press. The Rock would need to use every ounce of quickness and strength to win a battle against the big Icelandic monster.
11 Ray Lewis
The now retired Ray Lewis was once the most feared linebacker in the NFL. The former Ravens superstar was known to pile drive ball carriers into the turf with no fear of fines or penalties. Lewis spent his 17 year NFL career using his monstrous 6’1 and 240 pound frame to intimidate and wreck offensive players. The Rock, who also has a past with professional football, is sure to have taken a few tough hits before, but I doubt he ever took a hit from anyone more brutal than Ray Lewis.
10 JJ Watt
JJ Watt is a monster in terms of both his size and his talent. Highly regarded as one of the top five best defensive players in the NFL, the three time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2014-2015) is definitely built large enough to go head to head with The Rock. Watt stands 6’5” and weighs 290 pounds. If those numbers don’t scare you, imagine trying to run away from a man with that amount of size who can also run a 40 yard dash in 4.8 seconds. If the two superstars did decide to battle it out, it would be a battle of former college football star vs current NFL defensive end legend.
9 50 cent (Curtis Jackson)
If you aren’t aware of who 50 Cent is, he is the man who made “Candy Shop” and “In da club” in the early 2000s. Unlike many rappers today, 50 Cent is jacked. In fact, 50 Cent is quite committed to personal fitness and even invested in Vitamin Water during his career. Not only is he jacked, but he is a tough dude. Many rappers claim to be tough, but 50 Cent actually has proof. After being shot nine times in 2000 and still surviving, there is no doubt in my mind that he could take a few hits from The Rock.
8 Vin Diesel
If the Fast and Furious movies showed us anything, it was that Vin Diesel and The Rock are two seriously badass dudes. The Rock is quite a bit taller than Vin Diesel, but the 48 year old actor has not let his height slow him down from earning countless acting roles as a kickass fighter. Both The Rock and Vin Diesel have extremely colorful personalities and have pretty strong fan bases built on the desire to see a guy “jack some people up.” It’s hard to truly tell who is a bigger badass off camera, but it’s easy to imagine that a genuine fight between these two superstars would be wildly enticing.
7 Liam Neeson
Call this is joke if you like, but there isn’t a more scary guy on this list than Liam Neeson - at least if you consider the characters that he portrays in movies. Those familiar with Neeson’s acting know that he often plays a badass character. If you haven’t seen any of the Taken movies, get out from under the rock you have been living and go rent one. Neeson plays a former mercenary who has unfortunately ran into a group of criminals that make Neeson once again use his former killing skills in order to protect his family. Forgetting that he is an actor, if we simply take the character that Neeson plays in movies, I like his chances against The People’s Champ.
6 LaRon Landry
Laron Landry, a former LSU college football superstar, has found little success in the NFL after being drafted to the Washington Redskins in 2007, but he still managed to make himself a relatively known household name largely in part to his massive frame. LaRon is six feet tall, 220 pounds and can run the 40 meter dash like a pro (4.35 seconds.) Not surprisingly, Landry is a free agent now after being suspended indefinitely by the NFL for using performance enhancing drugs. While I do believe that people underestimate the pure athleticism that The Rock has, he would be in for a challenge going against the former college standout Landry.
5 Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq is by far the largest and heaviest player on this list. It’s hard to say how well the big fella would do now that he has reached his forties, but if you can think back to the Shaq that played in Orlando, or the Shaq that led the Lakers to three championships (2000-2002), you will remember a 7’1” man that could sprint the floor like a guard and finish over defenders as if they were middle school children. Shaq’s seven foot wingspan and 300+ pound body would give him a clear physical advantage over The Rock - although I imagine The Rock may be a little too quick for the Diesel to ever get his hands on.
4 Sylvester Stallone
We aren’t talking about the 69 year old man that performed miserably in the latest edition of the Rocky series Creed, instead we are talking about a much younger version of that man. Think back to the lean and cut Stallone that played Rocky from Philly throughout the years - Stallone was as tough as a guy as you could find. Even to this day, at almost 70 years old, Stallone has been reported as being in tremendous shape and is still able to lift more weight than most men ever dream of lifting.
3 Arnold Schwarzenegger
Just like Stallone, we are referring to a younger version of Arnold. As great of shape as The Rock is in, in his prime, no one looked better than Arnold. Arnold is considered a pioneer in the weightlifting and body builder space. At the early age of 18, he won the Jr. Mr. Europe body building competition, and the following year he was the actual Mr. Europe competition winner. He was the winner of Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe a bunch of times, and he was just as successful in the powerlifting space as well. Having a great body and a ton of muscles doesn’t always translate into a great fighter, but considering The Rock has made his career around his great body and sheer size, there is no reason to doubt that a 25 year old Arnold would have given The Rock some competition in a fist fight.
2 Floyd Mayweather
Based on his perfect record of 49 wins and zero losses, I would imagine that Mayweather would have a pretty good chance of hanging with The Rock - however there is a big difference between boxing and having a straight up fight. Mayweather is known for his ability to strategically win matches without really doing a great deal of damage to his opponent, a strategy that wouldn’t necessarily work against The Rock in a hypothetical fight. Regardless of who would win, I can guarantee one thing: Mayweather would make a lot of money doing the fight. Mayweather’s estimated net worth of $650 million makes him the richest current athlete by far, and he would for sure demand a pretty penny for a marquee matchup against The Rock.
1 John Cena
What can’t John Cena do? He wrestles, acts, raps, and has been the face of the WWE for a few years now. So how would he stack up against the former face of the WWE? Cena is a little bit shorter than The Rock at only 6’1”, but the superstar celebrity does weigh 250 pounds and is built like a tank. Both wrestlers carry a cockiness and bravado that makes them easy to love. The pair have already battled it out at consecutive WrestleManias with each one picking up a victory, but wouldn't it be great to see who would win the rubber match?