With his catch-phrase, “Do you smell what the Rock is cooking,” and his trademark long ‘tongue dribble,” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, is arguable the most recognizable WWE superstar of all time. He might not be the best fighter but he is certainly a consummate performer, with a net worth of about $65 million big ones to prove it. These days, he has parlayed his wrestling into movies, though he still makes guest appearances on Monday Night Raw, one of the franchises of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Handsome, charismatic, with bulging muscles to match, he left Dwayne Johnson behind and morphed into The Rock after debuting as a professional wrestler in the WWF in 1996. Though The Rock wasn’t his first character, it is certainly the most memorable. He turned up the heat in the ring for 8 years leaving in 2004. During his beat- ‘em-up days, he won an impressive 16 titles and held the coveted belts for 9 World Heavyweight Championships and shared 5 Tag Teams.
Although he is now more Hollywood than WWE, the 39-year old California native will be back as the popular Rock to take on John Cena at Wrestle Mania XXVIII on April 1st in Miami, Florida. Anticipation is high and the excitement is ratcheted up every Monday night on Raw, with both men going after each other in a drag-out verbal war and no one can give a tongue-lashing like The Rock.
Calling Cena everything from “Fruity pebbles” a coward with “lady parts,” to “his bitch,” the theatrics is electrifying and the build-up, brilliantly played. By now he has you thinking he is going to wipe the bottom of the ring with John Cena but who do you think will win that superstar rumble? Only time will tell but I have my bet already wagered. Have you placed yours yet?
Before he was The Rock, Johnson played football for the University of Miami National Champion team in 1991. He also played for The Stampeders in the Canadian Football League.
After the WWE, he had roles in some children’s movies and took some flak for being in too many ‘soft’ films. He even wore a pink Tutu in one of his PG flicks to the chagrin of critics and his wrestling fans --but Johnson may be laughing all the way to the bank. His second movie, The Scorpian King which came out in 2002, grossed him a reported $5.5 million paycheck, the highest for any new actor. One year later, Johnson went on to earn over $12.5 milllion for The Rundown and $15 million for Walking Tall 12 months after that. He also owns the rights to his WWE name The Rock, which is another smart and lucrative move.
The divorced father of one gives back and in 2006 gave $2 million to the University of Miami. In 2008, he received the Congressional Horizon award given to outstanding contributors and exemplary examples to our youth.