The Rock is Not a Sellout: The Story of How the People Turned on Dwayne Johnson

Ryan MichaelSenior Writer IIIMarch 2, 2009

Being upset with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for leaving World Wrestling Entertainment is like holding a grudge against a hungry man who chooses to feed himself. The story of how the millions and millions of wrestling fans turned on Dwayne Johnson is a sad tale.

Not sad because we no longer have the privilege of seeing one of the all-time greats perform, but sad because so many people refuse to show their appreciation for the years The Rock did give to the wrestling business.

Most of us would never admit it. Anyone who liked The Rock would probably say they wish him the best in his new career but we all know that 99 percent of those people would be lying.

The people, those same people who at one time or another had a few insults to throw Dwayne Johnson's way. We've all heard it before.

"Why did he have to leave the business that made him?" or "He should have some appreciation for his roots!", etc.

If you are one of the many people who have said something like this before, than you are one of the countless fans who turned their backs on the people's champion.

Let me start by saying the obvious, I have and always will be a huge fan of Dwayne Johnson.

I first came to know this man when I first got into watching wrestling. Back then, I watched Smackdown and not Raw because I had no cable television when I became mesmerized by the man they called The Rock.

It was Dwayne Johnson who got me into wrestling. It was The Rock who forever connected me with this form of entertainment I hold so close to my heart. I thank The Rock for that, I really do.

No one was more devastated to see him leave than me.

I felt he was so much more entertaining than the rest of the roster combined and I could not imagine how I could continue to love the product without him.

When Dwayne Johnson left for Hollywood, it sucked.

I hated waiting month after month to see when he was going to make his grand-return. In an era before I became well-versed with the magic of the internet (I was a late-bloomer, believe me I know) and in an era when I used to actually be shocked when he'd return.

I loved those little comebacks he made too. I loved the heel-Rock.

So many of the points he made during that era rung so true in my ears. It WAS the people who booed The Rock at Wrestlemania X8. It WAS the people who turned their backs on The Rock. Yet, as he returned in a manor that refused to kiss the butts of his former fans, I loved him more than ever.

As quickly as I was memorized to see him return, I was brought back down to earth when he left.

It took a few years for it to finally settle in that he was never really coming back. Wrestlemania 21 in Hollywood where I hopped he'd be working just across town and could maybe take the night off to come lay the smackdown.

Or last year during Wrestlemania 24 when I thought just maybe he'd at least come back to introduce his father in his hometown of Miami.

But no, no Rock.

So this year I refuse to get my hopes up. We will not be seeing "The Great One" at Wrestlemania XXV and that's fine with me. Although I'd love to see him participate to any degree with the WWE, it's his right now to.

That's what people seem to forget.

Dwayne Johnson does not owe a single fan a damn thing.

If anything, each and every fan of The Rock owes Dwayne Johnson for his years of dedicated service. He gave the fans six to seven years of quality entertainment and for what? To hear those same people whine and complain the moment he went to do something else he enjoyed.

It's not just now, the people complained the moment he missed time in the ring to go make a movie. With each absence, the reception got worse as fans one by one began to let their own greed dictate their feelings.

Let me make this very clear, if Dwayne Johnson wants to make nothing but movies for the rest of his life and never again stepped foot inside the squared-circle, that would be perfectly acceptable and each and every one of us should learn to respect that.

Dwayne Johnson truly enjoys acting. It's a line of work that can be less stressful, more profitable, more convenient, and better for his physical health.

I one time heard Dwayne talk about the reason he enjoyed acting as opposed to wrestling was because it would preserve his health better so in the future he's have more quality time with his daughter.

If anyone has any issue at all with something like that then they do not deserve to be entertained by this man.

Are we to expect that because Dwayne Johnson was so successful as a professional wrestler that he is suddenly obligated to give us more and more?

Essentially, the harder he worked and the better he performed translates into him owing the people who benefited from his hard work in the first place.

That line of thinking is stupid. Same would be the reverse of that situation.

For every WWE Superstar who failed to entertain the fans, those men and women are entitled to do whatever it is they'd like so long as they're not in a WWE ring?

The bottom line is that Dwayne Johnson does not owe the people anything, we owe him. I'm gratefulfor every moment he gave to the wrestling industry and I wish him nothing but the best in all of his future endeavors.

If he ever performs in any form or fashion within the WWE, I will be one of the fans who is entertained by it, appreciates it, and doesn't expect more unless that is what Dwayne Johnson has the desire to do.

I'm one of the millions and millions alright, just one of the few out of that group who has supported Dwayne Johnson the way he aught to be supported.

Questions asking if he turned his back on the fans are not worthy of discussion. A better question would be for the people to ask if they turned their backs on him.

When it's all said and done and all the smoke is cleared, people might one day sit back and realize how selfish they had become. To take for granted the exceptional entertainment this man provided and then criticize him when he failed to provide it on a satisfactory basis.

However Dwayne Johnson, I indeed smell what your cooking and it's a better life for yourself. Take a breath and relax, you've earned it.

No matter what the people have to say about it.


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