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Rocky Johnson (born Wayde Bowles on August 24, 1944 in Amherstmarker, Nova Scotiamarker) is a retired Canadianmarker professional wrestler. Quite popular in his own right in the 1970s and '80s, he is also known for being the father of actor and former wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, During his wrestling career he became a 1-time NWA Georgia Champion and also became a 1-time NWA Southern Heavyweight Memphis Champion as well as winning many other championships.

Professional wrestling career

National Wrestling Alliance

Johnson was a top contender in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) in the 1970s, receiving title matches against then-World Champions Terry Funk and Harley Race. He was well-suited to tag team wrestling, winning several regional tag team championships in the NWA.

World Wrestling Federation

In 1983, he was recruited by the WWF and paired with Tony Atlas, another popular black wrestler. They defeated the Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika Anoai) for the Tag Team Championship on November 15, 1983. Together, Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas were known as "The Soul Patrol".


After retiring in 1991, Johnson along with Pat Patterson, trained his son Dwayne to wrestle. While he initially resisted his son's entry into the business because he knew it was extremely difficult, he agreed to train his son on the condition that he would not go easy on him. Johnson was instrumental in getting Dwayne (later dubbed "Rocky Maivia" after both Rocky Johnson's and Peter Maivia's ring names) signed to a WWF developmental deal. Initially, Johnson had an on-camera presence at his son's matches, jumping into the ring on his son's behalf after he was attacked by several other wrestlers at WrestleMania 13. Johnson was not seen on-camera again after the Rocky Maivia character flopped, but this was actually a blessing, as his son achieved crossover popularity as a cocky heel, The Rock.

Johnson was hired as a trainer for the WWE developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling, in early 2003 but was let go in May of that year. On February 25, 2008, Johnson was announced as an inductee for the 2008 class of the WWE Hall of Fame along with his father-in-law "High Chief" Peter Maivia. They were inducted into the Hall of Fame on March 29, 2008 by his son and former professional wrestler, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. One week earlier on March 22, Rocky Johnson wrestled his retirement match in Torontomarker, Ontariomarker, Canadamarker for Stranglehold Wrestling.

Personal life

Rocky Johnson is a Black Nova Scotian, which is an ethnicity of African American descent. Johnson married into the prolific Samoanmarker wrestling family, which included the Anoa'i family, by marrying "High Chief" Peter Maivia's daughter Ata Maivia. Ata met Rocky after Maivia and Johnson were tag team partners in a match on the independent scene. Maivia disapproved of the relationship—not because of anything personal against Johnson, but because of Johnson's chosen profession. The couple had a son, Dwayne, in 1972. Dwayne Johnson portrayed his father in an episode of That '70s Show.

He lived in Davie, Floridamarker with his wife, Ata, but they later divorced. Johnson remarried and still resides in Davie. Rocky also has two other children, as he announced in his 2008 HOF induction, a son Curtis, and a daughter Wanda from his first marriage in 1967. Johnson is honored being the first non-Samoan to be named High Chief. His title is High Chief Tafiaiafi.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments



External links

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