The Rock: 7 Fun Facts About the WWE Champion
FINALLY...The Rock is WWE Champion again. After ten long years, Dwayne Johnson is dropping his name and going by his geological moniker, The Rock.
The Rock is back in his rightful place atop the WWE and while it's obvious that the People's Champion has electrified the WWE Universe with the best of them, there are still some things about the Rock that the millions (and millions) may not be aware of.
Whether you're one of the millions who had no idea or one of the few that knows it all about the Great One, here are seven fun facts about the Brahma Bull.
1. Flex Kavana?
As we often do in these WWE Fun Facts slideshows, it's always fun looking at who Superstars were before they were, well, Superstars.
The Rock is just another amusing example.
After he couldn't cut in the Canadian Football League, the Rock decided to follow in his father's footsteps and become a professional wrestler. As he worked his way up through the ranks, he found himself in the USWA.
During his time in the USWA, he made up his own character, Flex Kavana. He later said that the name was his attempt to hide his family's wrestling past. He didn't want to mooch off of the family name.
Little did he know that once he made the big time, Vince and the boys would call him Rocky Maivia, a tip-of-the-hat to his dad, Rocky Johnson and his grandpa Peter Maivia.
2. World Champion Actor
It's well-documented that the Rock is one of the most successful professional wrestlers to ever make the jump to the silver screen. He's acted in a ton of movies and has made numerous appearances on kid's TV.
So where is the fun fact in all of this?
The fun fact lays with his first starring role. The Rock's first top-billing came with the 2002 blockbuster "The Scorpion King." Ok, maybe it wasn't a blockbuster, but it did pretty well and it helped the Rock snag a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The Great One was paid $5.5 Million for his appearance in the film, the most for any actor in their first starring role.
The Rock is in the Guinness Book of Records, and it isn't for who can say all of their catchphrases the fastest...He should probably look into that.
3. First Third-Gen Superstar
The WWE and professional wrestling has always been a family business. Vince McMahon took the business over from his father, Cody Rhodes, and Golddust followed in their father, Dusty Rhodes' footsteps and so on. The examples are endless.
These days in the WWE, third-generation Superstars are popping up everywhere. Randy Orton, Michael McGillicutty and Bray Wyatt among others, all come from a long line of professional wrestling stars.
The Rock is another member of the elite group, and more interestingly, was the first third-generation Superstar to follow his family to the WWE.
The Rock's father was Rocky Johnson, and his grandfather was High Chief Peter Maivia and is closely related to one of the largest professional wrestling families in the world, the Anoa'i's.
4. Only Superstar Pinned by a Forklift
During Super Bowl XXXIII, Vince had the bright idea to put on a WWE Championship match...during the Super Bowl halftime show. The NFL's halftime show featured a tribute to soul, salsa and swing, including such acts as Sting and Gloria Estefan.
Vince's halftime show pitted WWE Champion The Rock against Mankind in an empty-arena title match. Mankind and the Rock would eventually fight to the loading dock, which, if you listen to the video above, Vince was pretty amazed by.
Mankind was finally able to lock-in his "paralyzing" Mandible Claw finisher, which knocked the Rock out. Mankind then did what any logical, hardcore, mask-wearing, sock-wielding crazy person would do. He used a forklift to keep The Rock down for the 1-2-3, which I'll venture to say is the first time a forklift has ever won a match in the WWE.
5. His Own Lockerroom
It's not rare for WWE to put up their legends or huge names in their own private dressing room. Heck, Big Show even has his own tour bus to travel on. Having an entire locker room? That's ridiculous.
The Rock achieved that status in 2007 as he donated $1 million to the University of Miami football facilities renovation fund. The Rock's donation was the largest ever made by a former student-athlete to The U.
Before he was raising his eyebrow at WWE opponents, he was doing work on the gridiron for the Hurricanes as a defensive tackle and was even a member of their National Championship team in 1991.
Imagine getting ready for a big ACC game in the Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson locker room.
6. He Fought a Woman in Space
Before The Rock was setting world records for his leading role debut in "The Scorpion King," he was paying his dues with small roles on TV.
One of those small roles came on "Star Trek: Voyager" in February of 2000.
On the "Tsunkatse" episode of Voyager, The Rock was really getting out of his comfort zone in an amazing example of character study and acting prowess. He played a Pendari fighter who took on Seven of Nine in a battle using his Rock Bottom move towards the end...ok maybe it wasn't that far out of his comfort zone.
Either way, The Rock played an alien gladiator and gave the People's Eyebrow to the camera before hitting an intergalactic Rock Bottom for the win. Doesn't get more fun than that.
7. The People's Champion
Once again, it's not much of a fun fact to say that the WWE Universe loves them some Rock. He electrifies fans whenever his famous catchphrase hits the speakers. Instead, here are some mini-fun facts regarding the People's Champion's relationship with the millions:
The "This is Your Life" segment with Mankind registered an 8.4 rating on the Nielsen scale, one of the highest ratings ever in a Raw segment.
He became the first athlete to host Saturday Night Live for a second time in 2002.
He was the first WWE Superstar to kick out of the Stone Cold Stunner.
He once turned down a promotional deal with Dunkin' Donuts.
There you have it, seven fun facts about the new WWE Champion, The Rock.
The Rock has had an amazing career in professional wrestling and is starting to build up a pretty solid acting resume as well.
Next time, The Rock cuts one of his classic promos or lines up his opponent for a People's Elbow, always remember that he's had quite a few crazy moments throughout his career: He started out with a pretty awful name, he set a Guinness world record, he became the first third-gen Superstar in the WWE, it took a forklift to beat him, he's got a locker room named after him, he rock bottomed a woman in space and he was a part of one of the most-watched segments in WWE Raw's history.
The Rock has done it all throughout his career, some things more interesting than others.
Enjoy fun facts about your favorite WWE Superstars? Check out the rest of the WWE Curious Facts series: CM Punk, John Cena, Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Damien Sandow, Ryback, Antonio Cesaro