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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

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Darin Smith

on 30 January 2012

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Transcript of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Johnson is a third-generation wrestler. His mother's father, Peter "High Chief" Maivia, was a professional wrestler of Samoan descent. While on the wrestling circuit he became acquainted with an up-and-coming wrestler named Rocky Johnson. Rocky eventually married High Chief's daughter, Ata. On May 2, 1972, the couple had a son, whom they named Dwayne Douglas Johnson.
'Scorpion King' Trailer After graduating in 1995, Johnson was drafted by the Canadian Football League and moved to Calgary. He was determined to stick it out, but in an abrupt move, Johnson was let go by the football franchise to make room for a former NFL player. "That was hard," he told Zondra Hughes of Ebony. "I was supposed to be reaping the fruits of my labor, and there I was in Canada having to start all over again." Johnson played defensive tackle for the University's Hurricanes.
Rocky Johnson Johnson was born in Hayward, California, but he grew up all over the country, since the family moved around to accommodate Rocky Johnson's wrestling career. Growing up on the move was tough on Dwayne, and he was arrested several times for fighting. In the mid-1980s, however, the Johnsons settled down long enough for Dwayne to begin attending Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he pursued an interest in sports. Johnson's future in football looked bright until he suffered a back injury during his senior year. He was so depressed that he cut classes and his GPA dropped dangerously low. Johnson eventually pulled himself together, thanks in part to his future wife, Dany Garcia, a business major he met while in Miami. Garcia encouraged him to hit the books, and in 1995 he graduated with a degree in criminology and a respectable 2.9 GPA. The Rock's accomplishments in the wrestling arena saw 2 WCW Championships, 7 WWF Championships, 2 WWF Intercontinental Championships, 5 WWF World Tag Team Championships, and a fight at the 2000 Royal Rumble. The People's Champion In addition, The Rock became a merchandising gold mine. His image appeared on T-shirts, posters, and Halloween masks; and there were Rock action figures and video games. By the 2000s, according to Gillian Flynn of Entertainment Weekly, the WWF was bringing in $120 million in merchandise sales per year, thanks solely to Johnson. He was a certified pop culture phenomena, and dubbed "the most electrifying man in sports-entertainment." WWF promoters wanted Johnson to get his feet wet in their second-tier wrestling system, the United States Wrestling Alliance. So, during the summer of 1996 Johnson wrestled in promotional matches using the name Flex Kavana. In August he was given his second professional tryout; he did so well that he was transferred to Connecticut where the WWF headquarters and training facility were located. On November 16, 1996 Johnson made his professional wrestling debut at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He performed under the name of Rocky Maivia, a nod to both his father and grandfather. Rocky Maivia's Debut Johnson quickly became a hit with wrestling crowds, and in February of 1997 he captured his first WWF championship, making him, at age twenty-four, the youngest wrestler to win a belt. But just a few months later Rocky was being booed during matches. Apparently the fickle audience members were becoming much more interested in rooting for the "bad guys," and in a business where image is everything, Johnson had some rethinking to do. In mid-1997, after suffering a knee injury, he took some time off to recuperate, to marry his longtime girlfriend Dany Garcia, and to strategize. 1997 1972 1991 1995 1998 1996 2000 As ratings began to peak for the WWE in the early 2000s, Johnson took time off of wrestling to pursue other interest. In 2000, he published his autobiography, The Rock Says. The book stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for an astonishing twenty weeks. He made several appearances on the late-night comedy program Saturday Night Live, and was featured on such TV shows as DAG, Star Trek: Voyager, and That '70's Show. The next logical step was the big screen. Having fielded a variety of offers, Johnson made his feature acting debut as the Scorpion King in the 2001 sequel 'The Mummy Returns'. Although his screen presence wasn't immense, Johnson displayed a strong potential to take his acting career further, so much so that the studio offered him his first lead role in 'The Scorpion King' (2002) - a spin-off from the his character in The Mummy Returns. mid-2000s Johnson was now poised to step into the void of action hero characters left open by aging stars like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Following his Scorpion King outing, critics and audiences were pleasantly surprised by Johnson's witty and charming turn in the crowd-pleasing action-comedy 'The Rundown' (2003). The success of the film, paired with the fact he was still pulling in big screen roles three years after his acting adventure began, finally established him as a fully-fledged movie star. By the mid-2000s, Johnson was a full-fledged movie star. Johnson began to branch out from action films to comedy, and was received rather well by critics. But despite early success, in 2005, Johnson's 'Doom' received harsh criticism from critics. 2007-Present Despite success on the silver screen, Dwayne Johnson split with his wife in 2007. They have a daughter together named Simone Alexandra, who was born in 2001. In spite of being divorced, Johnson claims that he finds the time to call Dany every day. In 2011 Johnson returned to WWE to host WrestleMania XXVII, where he was received enthusiastically by thousands of adoring fans. He also joined the Fast & Furious movie franchise in the summer blockbuster Fast Five, which was wildly popular. Sources 2003 Wrestling Debut Transition to the big screen He was the 6th Triple Crown Champion, and he will forever be the People's Champion in the eyes of many fans around the world. "The Rock" Movie Stardom At high school in Bethlehem, Johnson proved himself in boxing, track and football, eventually ranking as one of the state's top ten high school football players. With that credit, he earned a scholarship to the University of Miami and the honor of being the first member of his family to attend college. Returning to Miami with no real plans for the future, he called on his father to groom him for a career in wrestling. Rocky Johnson trained his son and used his connections to land him a tryout with the WWF. Wrestling had changed. It had evolved from an athletic sport into a form of high-energy entertainment. Johnson realized this, and worked with producers to create an image for himself. What finally emerged was a character named The Rock, who would transform the world of wrestling. According to Johnson, who spoke with Sona Charaipotra of People, "The Rock is Dwayne Johnson with the volume turned all the way up." As Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly put it, "The Rock commands the screen as naturally as he does the ring." The Scorpion King opened up a whole new career for Johnson. This did not deter the rising star, by the late 2000s, Johnson had begun to find a niche as a children's film actor. Starring in the wide popular successes 'The Game Plan' (2007), 'Get Smart' (2008), and 'Race to Witch Mountain' (2009). With his established success in the wrestling arena and a growing fame on the big screen, Johnson set his sights on doing more for the industries he is passionate about and loves. Johnson said "I want to do more in the WWF. I want to do more in the movie industry. Ultimately, I want to be the most electrifying man in sports entertainment, period." Behind the football mask, beyond the wrestling arena, and off the camera, Dwayne Johnson is known as 'gentle giant.' He loves giving back to the community that helped him gain success on the field, in the arena, and behind the camera. The Man Behind the Story Johnson is proud to be a founder and member of Team Bring It. A family that pledges to stand fearless in the face of adversity and bring it everyday. Johnson expressed to Ellen DeGeneres in early 2011 that it's "nice to be important, but more important to be nice." He later added that this quote is one of the central ideas of Team Bring It. Johnson wants people of all ages to 'bring it' everyday, to live life to the fullest, and never let go of your dreams. In his own words... In particular, Dwayne Johnson is committed to giving back to children and veterans. He tries to do as much as he can while on the road filming movies or promoting wrestling to show his thanks to veterans and his immense love for children. Recently, he surprised students at his old high school in Bethlehem. He told WENN, "It was a reflective moment driving through town looking at all the places that I got in trouble and arrested at for a multitude of things. To be able to bring a movie here, giving tens of millions of dollars to the locals and the local businesses is very special to me." http://www.thebiographychannel.co.uk/biographies/dwayne-johnson-the-rock.html http://www.notablebiographies.com/news/Ge-La/Johnson-Dwayne-The-Rock.html http://bleacherreport.com/articles/559983-trivial-facts-and-statistics-all-about-dwayne-the-rock-johnson "The Rock Says..." by Dwayne Johnson http://www.contactmusic.com/news/dwayne-johnson-thrills-pupils-during-surprise-visit-to-his-old-school_1288366 http://www.youtube.com @therock on twitter Along with 'Doom,' Johnson's role in Richard Kelly's follow-up to 'Donnie Darko', 'Southland Tales', also landed negative feedback in 2006. http://www.imdb.com Team Bring It WrestleMania XXVII Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia,
& Simone Alexandra Johnson also planned a surprise visit to children of deployed military family members while filming 'Snitch' in Shreveport, Louisiana. He greatly values giving back to those whom serve in the military and their families. He has taken part in multiple efforts to raise money and hope for those who serve; such as, the Wounded Warriors Project and the 2011 Veteran's Day Project.
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