Rocky Johnson, WWE Hall of Famer and Father of Dwayne Johnson, Has Died at 75

Illustration for article titled Rocky Johnson, WWE Hall of Famer and Father of Dwayne Johnson, Has Died at 75
Graphic: WWE

It’s a sad night for wrestling fans, as one of its greatest legends has died.

NBC News reports that legendary wrestler Rocky Johnson has died at age 75. Johnson got his start wrestling in the 1960s with the National Wrestling Alliance, like his father-in-law Peter Maivia before him. He would later join Wrestling Entertainment in 1983. It was there where he would team with Tony Atlas and form the tag-team duo Soul Patrol. During their run they would go on to become the first black tag team champions in WWE history, paving the way for modern stables like The New Day.


Johnson retired in 1991 and five years later his son, Dwayne Johnson, would follow in his footsteps. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would go on to be one of the most influential wrestlers of the modern era, becoming one of the key figures during WWE’s much-heralded “attitude era.” After leaving the WWE, his son would go on to become one of the most successful actors of all time with his films grossing a combined total of $10.5 billion worldwide. In 2008, Johnson would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his son. Those in his Hall of Fame class included names such as Ric Flair and Mae Young.

The wrestling community has shown an outpouring of support as news of Johnson’s passing spread this evening.

Rest in Peace, Soul Man.

Correction: 1/16/2020, 3:50 p.m. ET: Peter Maivia is Rocky Johnson’s father-in-law. An earlier version of this story misstated their relationship and has been corrected above.

The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.


As a fan there were so many black wrestlers that were embarrassing and stereotypes. Rocky Johnson was not one of them. Thank you Rocky for not just raising The Rock but being a real example for black men in the business that they didn’t have to sell out or step n fechit to make it.