Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was born into a family of wrestlers, with his grandfather, “High Chief” Peter Maivia a well known wrestler, as well as his dad, Rocky Johnson, who created history by becoming the first black to win the WWF Tag Team Championship, along with partner Tony Atlas. Johnson briefly lived in New Zealand with his mother’s family, before returning to the Untied States to finish his schooling, which he did at the President William McKinley High School in Honolulu, Hawaii.
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“The relationship I had with my dad was incredibly complicated and fueled by tough love. My dad was kicked out of his house when he was 13 and was homeless, so that then shaped the man who then raised me. And in that complication came an extraordinary life that was full of travel. I lived in 13 different states by the time I was 13 years old. I also lived in New Zealand. There was so much breadth to this life I had,” Johnson said in an interview.
He added: “There’s a lot of things in between those years that took place… But it was complicated and the relationship that I had with my dad was incredibly complicated – that was fuelled by tough love.”
A multitalented athlete, Johnson was also a part of his school’s track, football and wrestling teams. A young Johnson was an exceptionally talented footballer in particular and even won a full scholarship from the University of Miami, where he was a part of the national championship team of 1991. However, his future lay in wrestling and the youngster eventually made his WWF bow in 1996, under the name Rocky Maivia. His original character proved unpopular due to his colorful choice of clothing and ridiculously clean cut image, which caused the top brass at WWF to transform Johnson into the funky, incredibly charming, highly talented, crowd-pleasing and loudmouthed wonder – The Rock!