WWE legend and Hollywood superstar Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's father Rocky Johnson, a celebrated wrestler and WWE Hall of Famer himself has passed away at the age of 75. Wayde Douglas Bowles who took the ring name Rocky Johnson was a former WWF Tag Team Champion and also the man who trained his son Dwayne Johnson to become a professional wrestler.
WWE made the announcement through an official statement. "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. WWE extends its condolences to Johnson's family, friends and fans."
Rocky Johnson occupies a very important position in the history of professional wrestling. He started his career in 1964 and initially wrestled in National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) – the premier pro-wrestling promotion of the time.
He then joined World Wrestling Federation (WWF), later renamed WWE, in 1982. Here, he created history when the tag team he formed along with Tony Atlas – another famous wrestler – named Soul Patrol won the WWF Tag Team titles. This was the first occasion when a black tag team captured the prized belts.
He married the daughter of another famous wrestler 'High Chief' Peter Maivia, belonging to the famed Anoa'i family, Ata Maivia. His first marriage with a lady called Una Sparks ended in a divorce. It's with Ata Maivia that he had his famous son Dwayne Johnson.
It was in 2008 that WWE decided to induct Rocky Johnson into the WWE Hall of Fame. His father-in-law Peter Maivia was also inducted into the Hall of Fame at the same time by The Rock.
Rocky Johnson belonged to the Black Nova Scotian community. It was formed by Blacks from southern United States of America who decided to flee the oppressive conditions of sugar plantations and seek a new life in Canada.
Already, two legends of WWE have shared their grief at the news of Rocky Johnson's passing away. Mick Foley, who enjoyed a great tag team partnership with The Rock and also had a great rivalry with him, tweeted "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."
Another famous black wrestler Booker T also expressed his sadness at the demise of Johnson. "One of the men I looked up to and one of the best to ever do it. God rest his soul."