Dwayne Johnson is an entertainment megastar, grossing over $3 billion worldwide at the box office and drawing millions (and millions) of fans into WWE arenas for years. Although his in ring career was relatively short, The Brahma Bull has cemented his place in wrestling history with 17 different title reigns. Since retiring from full time action, The Rock has treated his fans great and continues to interact with them on social media, as well as providing great new content on the silver screen.
With the kind of exposure Johnson has had, it is hard to find new facts about him. When he does interviews, there are many traditional cookie cutter questions that are asked over and over again. Many articles that have facts about The Rock are repetitive, and usually have entries that most fans already knew. We are going to try to take this time to offer a balanced list, that both hardcore wrestling fans, as well as general fans of Dwayne Johnson can appreciate and enjoy.
Although we have some common facts on here, we will take this opportunity to tell you what will not be an entry on this list; The Rock’s family lineage, his time on the Miami Hurricanes, being the first third generation wrestler in WWE, playing in the CFL, and at the time being the youngest person to win the WWE Championship. The previous listed facts are all ones that anyone could easily find, which is why they have been removed from the ranks to make room.
Another quick fact is that this Saturday (May 2nd) is actually The Rock’s 43rd birthday. In honor of his this, The Sportster has dug deep and found 15 little known facts, that hopefully you haven’t seen before.
15. He Has Portrayed a Wrestler Twice on Screen
Just like most wrestlers get their start in the indies, most actors get their first break on the small screen. Before he was a Hollywood action star, Johnson got his first television role in 1999 playing his father, Rocky Johnson. His cameo on That 70’s Show playing his dad was the first time that Johnson would be cast as an in-ring competitor, but not the last. In 2000, Johnson was cast as a Pendari Champion in Star Trek: Voyager, where he would take on one of the main cast members in a fight/match. True to The Rock’s wrestling persona, the Pendari Champion started the match with the Peoples Eyebrow (Pendari Eyebrow?), and finished it with a Rock Bottom.
14. He Doesn’t Take Himself Too Seriously
Too often we see Hollywood stars who can’t accept being the butt of a joke, usually ending with them freaking out. It is good to know that with the success of being named 2013’s highest paid actor by Forbes, Johnson hasn’t let success go to his head. He has been shown to repeatedly be able to laugh at himself when he is the punchline of someone else’s joke. While promoting 2014’s Hercules, Johnson was subject to two separate pranks during his press junket. The first was performed by the guys over at the web based comedy YouTube channel Smosh, where the interviewer asked Johnson some of the most ridiculous questions with a straight face. The second prank consisted of the interviewer asking Johnson to lay the verbal smackdown on several of his high school bullies; which he did with a smile.
13. He is a Canadian Citizen
Of course you know that The Rock played for the Canadian Football League (at least you did if you read the introduction to this list), but did you know that he is actually a Canadian citizen? In 2009 Johnson gained full citizenship to the country due to the Canadian Citizenship Act, which restructured Canadian generational laws. Since Rocky Johnson was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Dwayne Johnson was granted full rights without even trying to obtain them.
12. He Loves Country Music
According to multiple interviews, The Rock loves country music. Not so much new country as old school country artists such as Merle Haggard, Hank Williams Sr, and Waylon Jennings. Johnson’s legitimate love of country music has appeared on WWE programing when he came back in 2003. The Great One performed “The Rock Concert” with an authentic Willie Nelson autographed guitar, which was given to him by the country legend himself. He also sang ‘The Gambler’ by Kenny Rogers to Stone Cold on a 2001 episode of Raw. Johnson attributes the love of the genre to driving through the south with his father while traveling to different wrestling venues.
11. He Eats 10 Pounds of Food Every Day
What if you heard that one man is capable of eating 10 pounds of food in a single day, and the next day, and the next day? Well it is possible, and it happens daily for Dwayne Johnson. The Rock downs an insane 5,200 calories per day, with 1,000 of those calories being just cod alone. Johnson doesn’t binge in one sitting for the 10 pounds, he eats a reported seven meals a day to keep his strength and girth. If you are wondering how he can put down so much food while looking so good, keep in mind that he is eating more than four grams of protein for every gram of fat.
10. “The Rock Driving” Meme
In 2009, The Rock starred in the Disney film Race to Witch Mountain in which he portrayed Jack Bruno, a Las Vegas cab driver. Although the film received average reviews, it has left a lasting legacy in the online community. “The Rock Drives” meme was taken during a scene in the movie where the main characters appear in Bruno’s cab to his utter shock. The screen grabs made their rounds on the internet, spawning many different iterations of the meme. By May 31st of 2011, over 41,000 people had submitted their own version of the meme, and that number has only grown since then. Side note: The Rock is actually in a ton of funny memes if you Google search for them.
9. He Has Inspired a New Halloween Costume
We all know that The Rock has inspired many great catch phrases, but did you know that he inspired a Halloween costume? Last year Johnson posted a picture of himself on Instagram wearing a black turtle neck, gold chain, bracelet, and a leather fanny pack. The picture spread like wildfire last July and became ingrained in pop culture, when hordes of fans recreated the throwback picture for Halloween. Johnson (being a good sport) tweeted multiple pictures of fans who donned the turtleneck and chain side by side with his original picture. Yet another example that The Rock isn’t afraid to poke fun at himself.
8. He Was the First Athlete to Host SNL Twice
The Rock actually holds a record for all athletes in the world, being the first one asked to host Saturday Night Live for a second time. Johnson’s first appearance on SNL in 2000 marked the first time a current WWE (WWF at the time) Superstar was asked to headline the show. While he was only there to promote WrestleMania 2000, he ended up making a lasting impression, his most memorable sketch being titled Mr. Peepers Father. Johnson would go on to host SNL a total of four times, and has actually been given a recurring character; The Rock Obama.
7. He Has a College Degree in Two Subjects
Just like everyone knows that Johnson played in the CFL, they know that he was a member of the Miami Hurricanes in college, winning a national championship and being named an All-American. What you might not know is that while attending the school, Johnson was able to earn a Bachelor’s Degree of General Studies in Criminology and Physiology. Although he started with a brief stint on academic probation during his senior year, The Brahma Bull was able to whip his low G.P.A’s candy ass from a 0.7 to a respectable 2.9.
6. He Owns a Farm in Virginia
Most recently you may have read headlines about his purchase of a $4.5 million home in Florida. The fact that The Rock would buy a home that luxurious isn’t so surprising, but did you know that The Rock actually owns a farm in Charlottesville, Virginia? Now you won’t find Johnson working the plow, but he does enjoy driving around on the property, and fishing. The town where he owns the farm has been home to many celebrities, with Johnson joining the club in 2007.
5. Bret Hart Refused to Beat Rocky Maivia
During the March 31st broadcast of Raw in 1997, viewers saw the only ever match between Bret Hart and Dwayne Johnson. Johnson, then Rocky Maivia, was new to the company but was seen as a great prospect for the business by Hart, who went so far as to say in three years time, The Rock would be the biggest star in the business. In his 2007 autobiography, Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling, Hart details how he was being pressured into defeating Rocky by Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Hart felt that beating Rocky would undermine an up and coming star, and suggested a DQ finish so that all parties would be satisfied. The match along with some other personal issues, would create a long standing tension between The Rock and Shawn Michaels that lasted nearly a decade.
4. He Was Arrested Eight Times before the age of 17
Although he is a role model to millions of kids now , there was a time that Johnson was in legal trouble frequently. Johnson was arrested at least eight times between the ages of 14-17, for fighting, theft, and as he puts it “all kinds of stupid” stuff. Most of the arrests came due to theft charges, citing that he was a part of a theft ring that preyed on high end apparel stores. He has used his own experiences to help inspire others to turn their lives around, doing so by hosting projects such as TNT’s Wake Up Call.
3. He Turned Down a Lead Role in Transformers 4
Hollywood has come up with an interesting idea in recent years; if your movie franchise needs to be refreshed, add Dwayne Johnson. Johnson has brought the Fast and the Furious franchise back from the dead, as well as G.I. Joe, and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. So when the Transformers franchise needed a new direction there was only one choice to lead the movie… Mark Wahlberg. True Wahlberg received the gig, but Johnson was the first choice, having to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts with 2014’s Hercules.
2. He Used to Travel With Mark Henry and The Dudley Boyz
Today top WWE Superstars travel in their own tour buses. Talents like Big Show, Randy Orton, and Triple H all have custom homes on wheels. During the Attitude Era, top stars were forced to drive themselves up and down the road. Traveling by yourself can be expensive, but some wrestlers like Stone Cold Steve Austin did it during the height of their careers. The Rock on the other hand chose to save money and traveled with some of the mid-card guys. According to Bully Ray (Bubba Ray Dudley), Johnson traveled with him, D-Von, and Mark Henry for a year during their run in WWE.
1. A Dwayne Johnson One Man Show is in Development
No matter how fans feel about The Rock, no one can deny that he is the most electrifying men in all of entertainment. Johnson has shown his athletic ability, acting ability, and even his musical ability for nearly 20 years. So it’s no wonder why that during a reddit AMA when a fan asked if he was planning on doing a comedy special, he was already one step ahead. Here was his answer to the fans question:
“Funny (not literally) you asked. One of our 7 Bucks Entertainment prod goals for 2015 is to start the development for a “Rock One Man Show” live. Comedy, singing (w/ my Willie guitar of course), stories and anecdotes, audience interaction and how to rock a fanny pack without looking too much like a buff lesbian.”
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