WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson has his autobiography coming out in October and he received help from a special guest for the foreword. Johnson’s son, The Rock, wrote the foreword and Johnson talked about getting The Great One to open up his autobiography when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
“I just talked to him. We sat down and talked and I said just put it the way you want to put it. I’m not gonna tell you what to say and what not to say. And he did it,” Johnson said before being asked what he thought about Rock’s foreword.
“I thought it was great. I think he wrote it from the heart.”
Johnson helped train The Rock for the ring, but he initially didn’t want him to follow in his footsteps. He explained why he didn’t envision his son becoming a pro wrestler.
“I didn’t want him to go through what I had gone through,” Johnson said referencing the racism he experienced back in the day. “I discouraged him because I didn’t know there would be such a big change as there is now. I said I’ll train you, but I’ll train you 150 percent. I trained him and the rest is history.”
Johnson added that there is nothing that Dwayne didn’t take to because he grew up in the business. Even as a kid he would watch VHS wrestling tapes and would practice his promos.
“Every night we’d here a crash and we’d go into room. He’d be on the dresser doing backflips from the dresser to the bed, breaking the bed every night,” revealed Johnson. “He told me when he was in football and won the national championship, later on he told me he used that as a stepping stone to get where he wanted to go and that’s what he did.”
The Rock is one of the most famous people on the planet and his father says that has led to random people trying to befriend him and get money off of him.
“I’ve got friends I don’t even know. They’ll text me or [my wife] Shelia with a business proposal where all it takes is $50,000 or $100,000 and we can make a million bucks. I’ve got a million bucks so I don’t need to go into anything and half of them I don’t even know who I’m talking to,” said Johnson before adding that Shelia sometimes gets calls from people claiming to be Rock’s kid or a girlfriend from 30-40 years ago.
Johnson was a trainer for WWE’s developmental territory in the 2000s and that led to him helping put together the infamous Rock vs. Hulk Hogan match at WrestleMania 18.
“We were in Davie, Florida and I opened the wrestling academy called Smackdown Wrestling Academy which is why they have SmackDown Tuesdays now,” stated Johnson. “We brought Brock Lesnar in just to sharpen him up and Dwayne wrestled Hogan in Toronto [at WM 18]. Hogan came up for like 4-5 days and they worked everything out. I knew it was gonna be big but I didn’t know it was gonna be that big.
“They had two great athletes and there was no animosity. There was no, ‘I’m winning. You’re winning.’ They did what they thought would draw money and it worked. Hogan was an icon and still is to this day and he had no problem giving my son the belt.”
Rocky Johnson’s autobiography “Soulman: The Rocky Johnson Story” will be available for purchase on-line and in stores on October 15, 2019. You can pre-order the book via Amazon by clicking here. Rocky’s full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In it Rocky discusses writing his upcoming autobiography “Soulman: The Rocky Johnson Story”, his final memories of Peter Maivia, encountering racism early in his pro wrestling career, ways black wrestlers used to be stereotyped, crazy ribs he’s pulled, AEW, training his son The Rock and more.
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