Rocky Johnson, Father Of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Dies Aged 75
Rocky Johnson, father of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, has died aged 75.
The WWE posted a statement late Wednesday night confirming the news, which read:
"WWE is saddened to learn that Rocky 'Soul Man' Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles), a WWE Hall of Famer, former World Tag Team Champion, and father of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, has passed away at age 75."
The cause of his death is currently unknown at this time.
The WWE Hall of Famer began his wrestling career in the 1960's and was a huge superstar in the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) and National Wrestling Alliance (NWA).
He won numerous regional championships and tag team championships in his legendary career that spanned over the course of four decades.
Johnson joined World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 1983 and became one half of the first African-American World Tag Team Champions in WWE history, alongside partner Tony Atlas later that year.
He also had legendary rivalries with other iconic wrestlers such as Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine, Don Muraco and Adrian Adonis.
The 'Soul Man' retired from the ring in 1991, but his influence continued to be felt on WWE for years to come.
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He had a hand in training 'The Rock', who went on to be one of the biggest stars in all of wrestling during the hugely successful Attitude Era.
'The Rock' then left wrestling to pursue a career in acting and has since gone on to become one of the world's most influential celebrities.
WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson has passed away. https://t.co/9uxrICJKxb
- WWE (@WWE) January 15, 2020
Rocky was induced into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008 by his son and he'll go down as one of the true trailblazers in professional wrestling history.
Tributes have poured in from the world of wrestling following the news of his death.
Former world champion Mick Foley wrote: "I am so sorry to hear of the passing of the great Rocky Johnson.
"Always a gentleman, I always enjoyed talking with him.
"My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the fans who loved him. A very sad day for wrestling."
While Matt Hardy also stated: 'Saddened to hear about the passing of Rocky Johnson.
'Rocky was always extremely friendly & kind to me every time I interacted with him over the years.
'My condolences & thoughts go out to his family.'
Rest In Power, Rocky.