Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson joined Netflix’ Present Company podcast to promote his upcoming film Red Notice. He also talked a little wrestling, particularly describing the time when he left wrestling in the mid 2000’s to pursue his acting career full time.
“I was really nervous, because at that time I had already transitioned out of the world of pro wrestling,” Rock said. “I left the world of professional wrestling as their top draw. And that, in any other world, and I’m sure to many people, it was ‘why would you leave that?’ I wanted to grow, and I achieved so much in that world that I wanted to grow. And I felt, to me in that world, if I grew, then inherently the wrestling business and it would help grow that business too as well. But I was nervous, because at that time, when I made the transition to Hollywood after The Scorpion King, the rest of the movies I was doing at that time, they weren’t making any money. They were okay movies; at time they had a B movie feel to them.
“And you started to see the tea leaves in the cards they were laid out and you start to go ‘I don’t know if there’s longevity in that guy’s career.’ I felt that and I understand. So I was very nervous at the time. I was also going through a divorce at the time, trying to figure out my s**t, what kind of father I’m going to be now. And I thought ‘man, am I going to wind up with the same relationship I had with my dad?’, which was a complicated relationship. I went through all that, trying to figure it all out. So there was a lot of fear, there was a lot of vulnerability. I was really unsure.”
The Rock’s daughter, Simone Johnson, is following in her father’s footsteps, after signing with WWE in 2020. While she’s still training at the WWE Performance Center, The Rock reiterated that he is proud of her for continuing the family legacy, and is overall proud of the strides women’s wrestling has made in general since his era.
“She’s in it. She’s a full time student as well as a full time student at their training facility,” Rock said. “The WWE has a great training facility at NXT. So she’s in it, she loves the wrestling business and I’m very proud of her. It’s awesome, and you know what’s great is that where we are today, and the impact that women’s wrestling has had on that industry today, is really spectacular compared to twenty years ago.
“Things were a lot different twenty years ago, even before that. But today, where they are at and they are headlining PPV’s and, really the female talent is, rightfully so, being so forward facing and pushed to the front the line and held in these main event positions. And they’re all doing great, including my daughter. I’m very proud of all of them, all the women there.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Present Company and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription