The Evolution of Dwayne Johnson | NowThis Nerd

Before he became ‘The Rock,’ Dwayne Johnson was a failed football player with seven bucks in his pocket How did he go from a penniless jabroni to the most electrifying man in entertainment? This is the Evolution of Dwayne Johnson

Before he fought Steve Austin, scorpions, and skyscrapers, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson was fighting for his life during The Early Years On May 2, 1972, Dwayne Douglas Johnson was born into a wrestling dynasty His Samoan grandfather competed as the 'High Chief' Peter Maivia, while his father, 'Soul Man' Rocky Johnson, was one-half of WWE’s first Black tag team champions Dwayne, or 'Dewey' as his mom called him, spent much of his youth on the road as a result of his dad’s career His family moved at least 13 times as they struggled to make ends meet, And as a result of the instability, Dwayne found himself in constant hot water as a teen, like taking part in a theft ring hitting up luxury stores, and getting expelled from high school after his first and last real fight

After being evicted from their Hawaii apartment when Dwayne was just 14, his mother Ata attempted suicide She walked out into the middle of highway traffic, but luckily her son was there to pull her to safety After the incident, Dwayne was determined to provide a better life for his family, and he figured the best way to do that was to get big and strong and play football in the NFL Fortunately for him, that never quite worked out because for Dwayne Johnson, fate had A Different Plan Johnson received a football scholarship to the University of Miami, but his dreams of NFL glory were shattered when a knee injury placed him on the sidelines

Dwayne was passed over for the draft, and had to settle for the Canadian Football League, where he made a measly $250 a week He was forced to share a two-bedroom apartment with three other players, eating ramen noodles and sleeping on a filthy mattress he found ditched outside a pay-by-the-hour motel At the age of 23, Dwayne was cut from the team, and returned home with only seven dollars in his pocket, a figure that would stick with him for life, and inspire the name of his later business venture, Seven Bucks Productions Instead of spending the rest of his life as a down-on-his-luck jabroni, Johnson decided to follow in his family tradition of pro wrestling, and while his father was initially reluctant, the ‘Soul Man’ agreed as long as he could personally show his son the ropes After his training was complete, Dwayne was scouted by WWE

and in 1996, he debuted on TV a happy-go-lucky good guy named ‘Rocky Maivia,’ a combination of his father and grandfather’s ring names A smiling, cheerful babyface might have gone over well in the ‘80s, but the ‘90s crowds demanded a little more attitude They chanted ‘Rocky sucks’ and ‘die, Rocky, die,’ "In arenas across the country, I heard chants of 'Rocky sucks'" [Crowd chants 'Rocky Sucks'] "Well Rocky Maivia is a lot of things, but 'sucks' isn't one of them" So he took their hatred and turned it into the arrogant heel character that made him a megastar

Not only was he a stellar in-ring athlete, but his charismatic promos and nack for coining catchphrases skyrocketed him to the top of WWE during their greatest boom period After conquering the world of pro wrestling, the Rock was eager to share his talent with an even bigger audience, but in his first forays in Hollywood, the Brahma Bull was a Box Office Bomb The Rock first dipped his toes into acting during his original WWE run, hosting 'SNL' on the eve of WrestleMania 2000, playing his father on an episode of ‘That ‘70s Show,’ and an intergalactic gladiator who suplexed Seven of Nine on ‘Star Trek’ His first major movie role was in ‘The Mummy Returns,’ where he played the villainous Scorpion King Things were looking great for 'the Great One

' He was paid $5 million for a ‘Scorpion King’ spinoff, but his next few action movies, like ‘Walking Tall,’ ‘Doom,’ and ‘The Rundown’ failed to set the box office on fire, and by the late 2000s, he was stuck in a string of cheesy family films Playing the Tooth Fairy was probably the last straw, 'There's got to be a way to postpone this like, like jury duty' 'I'm sure up here you have fairy duty' so Rock had a meeting with his agents and said "I want you to make me Will Smith, only bigger" They couldn’t smell what the Rock was cooking, so he snagged some new representation, who landed him a career-making role in ‘Fast Five

’ After the shake-up, Johnson’s career took off like a lightning bolt, but he never forgot his roots The same year his presence helped revitalize the ‘Fast and the Furious’ franchise, the Rock returned to the ring for a dream match against John Cena at WrestleMania 28 The bout was billed as 'once in a lifetime,' so naturally, they had a rematch the very next year, and not only did the Rock lose his WWE title, he suffered a brutal groin injury during the match, forcing him to bump back shooting his starring role in ‘Hercules’ by two months, costing the production millions That’s why, even though he’s not officially retired, I wouldn’t expect to see him back in the squared circle anytime soon At this point, he can’t risk derailing a billion-dollar blockbuster, and Johnson is the highest-paid, highest-grossing actor in all of Hollywood, after all, whose global fame has solidified his status as The People's Champ

After ‘San Andreas’ established Johnson as a solo star who could carry his own franchise, his team-ups with Kevin Hart provided him with the perfect comedic foil, 'Hey, get the f*ck out of the way' 'Oh, I don't walk, Oh, I'm so big Drive me, I'm the Rock I'm the biggest box office movie star

' 'That's f*cked up' and his hit HBO show ‘Ballers’ brought him back to the small screen, the entire entertainment industry smells what the Rock is cooking Today, Johnson makes so many movies that even his duds like ‘Baywatch’ are completely forgotten among massive hits like ‘Jumanji,’ but in between filming movies, surprising his fans, and clangin’ and bangin’ in the Iron Paradise, Dwayne still finds time to spend with his partner Lauren Hashian and his three daughters Simone, Jasmine, and Tiana Gia The Rock’s charisma, dedication, and boundless energy has made Dwayne Johnson one of Hollywood’s few remaining megastars, someone who can sell you a movie ticket just by having their name on the poster From the Smackdown Hotel to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Dwayne Johnson has overcome hardship and heartbreak to truly earn the title of “The Great One

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