The People's Champion: Happy Birthday to The Rock
Happy 38th Birthday to Dwayne Johnson, born in Hayward, California on May 2, 1972.
Johnson will always be known to wrestling fans worldwide as, "The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment," The Rock.
Johnson followed his father, Rocky Johnson and grand-father, High Chief Peter Maivia into the wrestling business.
Johnson made his WWE debut in 1996 at the Survivor Series as Rocky Maivia, and he clinched a victory for his team by eliminating Crush and Goldust by pinfall.
Maivia suffered a serious knee injury after winning the Intercontinental Championship from Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and during his recovery period he came up with his persona of "The Rock".
Once The Rock hit the scene, the WWE was never the same again.
He captured fans worldwide with his mic skills, wrestling ability, and overall presence.
Johnson left the WWE to focus on an acting career, where to no one's surprise, he has become successful.
To honor, "The Great One," I've put together a brief slideshow, highlighting his accomplishments.
Johnson's Grand-Father: High Chief Peter Maivia
Before joining the World Wide Wrestling Federation, Maivia starred in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA,) where he was a three-time co-holder of the NWA World Tag Team Championship.
Maivia also held over a dozen regional titles during his tenure in the NWA.
Upon his arrival in WWF, Maivia's natural ability and charisma took over, and he connected with the fans immediately.
Maivia will always be known as the head of the Samoan wrestling family, and he blazed the trail for all those who followed him.
Peter Maivia passed away from cancer on June 12, 1982, and was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.
Johnson's Dad: Rocky Johnson
During his career, Rocky wrestled for the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA,) World Wrestling Federation (WWF,) and several other promotions around the country and overseas. Johnson held numerous regional singles and tag team titles.
In 1983, he teamed with Tony Atlas to defeat the Wild Samoans, and win the the WWF World Tag Team Championships.
Johnson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.
Johnson's Days at the University of Miami
After coming out of high school as one of the top 10 defensive tackles in the country, Johnson went to the University of Miami where he played from 1990-1994.
In 1991, the Hurricanes went undefeated and won the national championship.
Johnson Begins His Wrestling Career
Johnson signed a developmental contract with the WWF in March 1996, and was sent to the United States Wrestling Association (USWA.)
As Flex Kavana, he honed his skills and teamed with Bart Sawyer to win two USWA Tag Team Championships.
Rocky Maivia Makes His WWF Debut
Maivia made his WWF debut in Madison Square Garden at the Survivor Series on November 17, 1996.
Rocky teamed with Marc Mero, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, and The Stalker, and defeated the team of Crush, Goldust, Jerry Lawler, and Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
Maivia secured the victory by eliminating Crush and Goldust by pinfall.
Maivia Wins Intercontinental Gold
On February 13, 1997 during a special Thursday night edition of Raw, Rocky Maivia defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley to win his first Intercontinental Championship.
He captured a second IC title in 1997, when Steve Austin handed over the championship.
The Birth of The Rock
Shortly after winning the Intercontinental Championship, Maivia suffered a serious knee injury that put him on the shelf for a few months. During that time, Maivia came up with his new persona, "The Rock".
Upon his return, The Rock burst onto the WWF scene and joined The Nation of Domination. With his cockiness and arrogance in tow, The Rock eventually kicked Farooq out of the Nation and took over.
The WWF wasn't the same afterward.
The Rock Wins His First WWE Championship
On November 15, 1998 at the Kiel Center in St. Louis, The Rock won a 14-man tournament at Survivor Series to win his first WWE Championship.
It was later discovered that The Rock had an alliance with Vince and Shane McMahon before the match, and they paved the way for his victory.
From that point, The Rock was known as "The Corporate Champion."
The Rock Wins His First WWE World Tag Team Championship
The Rock is a five-time co-holder of the WWE World Tag Team Championship, but three of his reigns were with Mankind (MIck Foley.)
Known as The Rock and Sock Connection, they were one of the most entertaining and successful tag teams in WWE history.
At Raw on August 30,1999, The Rock won his first tag team title with Mankind, as they defeated The Undertaker and The Big Show.
The Rock pinned The Big Show for the victory, after delivering a pair of "People's Elbows."
The Rock Goes Hollywood
The Rock made his first venture into Hollywood, starring as Mathayus The Scorpion King, in the movie "The Mummy Returns."
The film was released on May 4, 2001, and The Rock was paid 5.5 million dollars, the highest salary paid for an actor in his first starring role.
The Mummy Returns was a box office success, raking in $24,134,667 in it's first day of release, and $433,014,274 worldwide.
The success of the movie launched The Rock's acting career, which has been going upward ever since.
The Rock Wins The WCW Championship At SummerSlam
On August 19, 2001, in front of 15,293 fans at the Compaq Center in San Jose, California, The Rock defeated Booker T at SummerSlam to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
The Rock would capture his second WCW title on November 5, 2001, defeating Chris Jericho.
The Rock Vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan
On March 17, 2002, in one of the most anticipated matches in WrestleMania history, The Rock and Hollywood Hulk Hogan squared off in front of a Skydome record crowd of 68,237 fans.
The fans were at a fever pitch, as their alliances toward each wrestler were tested during the match.
Hogan and Rock traded blow for blow, while kicking out of each others finishers.
The Rock finally secured the win after delivering a pair of Rock Bottom's and the People's Elbow to Hogan.
After a handshake of respect between Rock and Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall attacked Hogan after The Rock left the ring.
The Rock returned to the ring and helped Hogan fight off Hall and Nash.
As a further sign of respect, The Rock convinced Hogan to pose several times in front of the crowd. Hogan obliged and received several standing ovations.
The Rock Wins His 7th WWE Championship
On July 21, 2002, The Rock won his seventh and last WWE Championship at Vengeance, in Detroit's Joe Louis Arena.
The Rock out-lasted The Undertaker and Kurt Angle in a Triple Threat Match to become the WWE Undisputed Champion.
The Rock's seven WWE title reigns is tied for second most all time with current WWE Champ, John Cena.
The Rock Inducts His Father and Grand-Father into WWE Hall of Fame
At the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony in 2008, The Rock had the honor of presenting his father, Rocky Johnson and his late grand-father, High Chief Peter Maivia for induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.