Better known as The Rock, Dwayne Johnson (May 2, 1972-) is a hugely personable professional wrestler-turned-actor. He was born into the Maivia Wrestling Family on his mother's side, which has close ties to the Anoa'i family (its members known for playing up the Wild Samoan stereotype). His father, also a wrestler, is black Canadian Rocky Johnson.Dwayne's ambiguous biracial features allow him to shift gimmicks at will without sacrificing his universal sex appeal: He first entered the WWF as "Rocky Maivia", a Legacy Character (and something of a Creator's Pet) to both the Maivia family and his father, complete with costumes that made him look like a repertory player from The Lion King. He later capitalized on his "family connections" (Rocky was a perpetual face who drove the audience insane with how much he was pushed) by turning heel, restyling himself as an affluenza-riddled, Jersey Shore type villain; this evolution into "The Rock" freed him creatively and allowed him to show off his incredible skills with the microphone.He's since become one of the most prominent examples of Rescued from the Scrappy Heap in Professional Wrestling, exploding as a fan favorite and star. In a twist of fate, Johnson's entertaining promos and natural charisma made it impossible for him to drum up heat; he reverted back to a quasi-face, still stoking old feuds with the likes of Hulk Hogan and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, which added variety to his angles.The show "Smackdown" actually comes from one of his catch phrases, causing him to call it his show. "Smackdown" is also in the dictionary. After leaving wrestling for several years, Johnson re-signed in 2011, planning to appear more frequently than he has in the past. Ladies and gentlemen, it's official: FINALLY! THE ROCK HAS COME BACK TO THE WWE!As an actor, he is not particularly known for his skill at the craft, but this doesn't seem to bother him. He doesn't take himself seriously, committing without self-consciousness to roles that most actors would turn down. He always seems to be enjoying himself, which may account partially for his success. He also has an industry nickname of "Franchise Viagra", as both The Fast and the Furious and Journey franchises both saw improved box office tallies with the films Johnson entered in, and the G.I. Joe sequel was built squarely around him despite not being in the first film. He has proven to be a true legitimate box office draw, as coming into 2014, 11 of his 15 wide-release films where he had a headlining billing opened at number one, including eight of his first nine.He is an 8x WWE Champion, a 2x WCW World Heavyweight Champion, a 2x WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion and a 5x WWE World Tag Team Champion, holding the belts 3x with Mankind as the Rock N Sock Connection, once with The Undertaker and once with Chris Jericho.Were you looking for the movie directed by Michael Bay? IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR!!!Films include:
While gushing over a portrait a fan painted of him (yes, really), he praised a number of aspects of the painting, including getting his skin tone right, which he described as a "peanut butter complexion".
Family Guy lampshaded this, calling him black, Hispanic, mixed, and "maybe a little Filipino" all at the same time.
Many probably thought he was just a George Hamilton-esque white man when they first saw him.
Amicable Exes: His ex-wife is his business manager, and her new husband is his personal trainer.
Angry Black Man: He made his Face-Heel Turn when he joined the black supremacist "Nation of Domination" Power Stable. Subverted when The Rock made it clear it had nothing to do with the color of his skin, but because of the fans booing him and chanting "Die Rocky Die". After he took over the stable, he changed it from an all Angry Black Man group into one built upon his own "cool" image, and subverted it by adding the heel-turned Token WhiteOwen Hart.
Beat Them at Their Own Game: At some point down the line, The Rock picked up a habit of using his opponents' Finishing Move on them. This included Pedigree-ing Triple H onto a table, chokeslamming The Undertaker, putting Kurt Angle in the ankle lock and giving Austin a Stone Cold Stunner at pretty much every opportunity he could... which was a lot. Naturally, this is inverted when his opponents give him a Rock Bottom back.
Subverted in multiple occasions with the People's Elbow: anyone who attempts it on The Rock are likely to receive a Rock Bottom for their troubles. Ironically, in his last two WrestleMania matches, he nipped up when Ric Flair was going for it at WrestleMania 20, and oddly enough, Cena at WrestleMania 28.
The Jabroni-beatin', pie-eatin', Hell-raisin', trailblazin', People's Champ!
Or, occasionally, the "jabroni-beatin', pie-eatin', trailblazin', Eyebrow-raisin' People's Champ".
During one comeback, he flubbed the line completely and it ended up being "The Jabroni-Eatin', Pie-Beatin' Eatin', The Rock says he's walkin' fast, whuppin' ass, People's Champ THE ROCK!"
On his return to Raw on February 14, 2011 he named himself as the Jabroni-Beatin', Pie-Eatin', Trailblazin', Eyebrow Raisin', Step off the brake, Foot on the Gas, Always Ready to whup some Ass People's Champ!
Enough with the yakking, I'm done with this speech. The Rock is gonna party all over South Beach!
The People's Eyebrow/Elbow/Sunglasses/Jewels/Champion/Strudel.
The MOST Electrifying Man In Sports-Entertainment/all of entertainment...
The Rock guaran-damn-tees that...
....you sick freak!
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, WHOA!
You're gonna go one on one with The Great One!
FINALLY THE ROCK HAS COME BACK TO [Insert City Here]! (Even when he's never actually been there before)
Commuting on a Bus: Following his return to wrestling in 2011, due to his filming schedule, he would make a few appearances when time was given, and the fact he never said he would be there every single week. This was worked in to his feud with John Cena for their WrestleMania 28 match.
Cool Shades: Well, they started as normal shades, but considering that everything the Rock touched got a bit of his coolness, they ended up this way.
They led to a great moment with him and Mankind as tag partners. While putting Mankind down with his usual flair, he went to do his "If you smell..." bit but knocked his own shades off. He couldn't finish the bit without them but picking them up would have made him look like a putz. So, Mankind goes over, picks them up and hands them to him. The Rock then earnestly tells him, "The Rock thanks you for that." before going back into the bit.
Costume Porn: There seemed to be a limitless wardrobe of flamboyant "500-dollar shirts" in 1998/1999/2000. Until they started making more and more merch for him, and then it all went away.
The "500 dollar shirts" worked when The Rock's character was more emphatically that of a self-important Jerkass. After tagging with Mick Foley, a lot of his more Jerk Sue attributes went away so the loud, pointlessly expensive shirts didn't fit him anymore.
Crowd Chant: Integral to his role as the People's Champion, was his interaction with his millions... (AND MILLIONS!)... of fans, often achieved by them joining in on his catchphrases. When he returned in 2011, the crowd's interaction was a little rusty, so he got them back into the mood:
Deadpan Snarker: The Rock has displayed a very dry sense of humor when he isn't yelling and electrifying.
The Dragon: To Faarooq in the Nation of Domination after his initial heel turn. Though with his charisma he quickly rose to become Dragon-in-Chief, which of course eventually lead to him becoming a Dragon Ascendant, as he took over as leader of the Nation.
The Rock was also The Dragon to Vince McMahon when he joined The Corporation and became Vince's "Corporate Champion". Also played straight during Rock's Hollywood heel run, as Vince would have him fight Hulk Hogan at No Way Out 2003, before Hogan took on Vince himself at WrestleMania XIX.
Serial Escalation: He was very muscular as a wrestler and at the beginning of his acting career. Then he bulked up even more in preparation for Pain and Gain. Then he bulked up EVEN MORE to play Hercules. He's gotten so big that if it wasn't for his distinct smile, it's sometimes hard to tell that he's the same guy who entered the mainstream as the Scorpion King. This does not seem to be helping his wrestling career, oddly enough, as he received numerous injuries during his return work with John Cena, The Shield and CM Punk.
Early Installment Weirdness: The wimpy nice guy Rocky Maivia was like a whole other person compared to the Rock. Even then, it took him some time to get the act down.
Enemy Mine: Despite pretty much hating each other, The Rock and Stone Cold were often forced into tag teams together against a team of whoever they were feuding with. Outside of maybe Mick Foley, Stone Cold was probably The Rock's most consistent tag team partner in spite of the fact that they hated each other.
He teams up with John Cena at Survivor Series 2011. He lists his reasons as being because 1), the fans want it, and 2), he and his fans hate The Miz and R-Truthmore.
Evil Costume Switch: The early part of his run with the Corporation saw him trade his standard wrestling trunks for athletic pants and shirts as if he wasn't even taking his opponents (usually Mick Foley) seriously anymore. He also started wearing his Costume Porn around this time.
His 2003 heel turn saw him trade the merch shirt/athletic pants for leather pants and an open vest.
Face-Heel Turn: Johnson's first, going from Rocky Maivia to The Rock and joining up with the Nation of Domination, led to the boos being leveled at him turning from X-Pac Heat into Real Heat.
Fake Interactivity: Because of his hectic movie schedule, The Rock would sometimes have to tape himself from where he was filming (er, "via satellite"), so whoever he was cutting a promo on, The Rock's promo would have to use this trope in order to make it seem like they were having an actual conversation. See him do this with Hulk Hoganhere.
Glasses Pull: During the oft-mentioned return to the WWE in February 2011, during his promo he took off his Cool Shades, turned down the volume, and said he wanted to address the crowd as Dwayne. For about a minute he allowed his true personality show and gave a heartfelt thanks to the fans for continuing to cheer despite his seven year absence. And then the glasses went back on and the Most Electrifying Man in All Of Entertainment reappeared in the ring.
Brutal enough to make Foley's wife and children leave their ringside seats in a crying, hysterical mess, as documented in the Beyond The Mat documentary.
Hypocritical Humor: On the December 4, 2000 Raw, building up to the big WWE World Heavyweight Title six-way Hell in a Cell match that Sunday at Armageddon where Kurt Angle would defend the belt against Austin, the Rock, Triple H, the Undertaker and Rikishi, the Rock cut a promo verbally running down all his opponents, including affecting a wimpy, high-pitched voice for Angle where he talked about eating some milk and cookies. It qualifies because, essentially, Rock was portraying Angle as the same kind of lame, milquetoast character that Rocky Maivia himself had been.
I Hate Past Me/Take That Me: On Raw's 20th Anniversary show, he came out to perform a "Rock Concert" similar to his feud with John Cena a year before. Before he starts singing, however, he reflects on his debut with a picture of his past self on the Titantron.
Rock: "Sweet moonwalkin' baby Moses... what was I thinkin'?"
Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Let's face it, nobody but The Rock could've made the Tearaway Track Pants/Gaudy metallic shirt ensemble look cool.
Innocent Innuendo: His often-used tactic to bait subjects into the "You sick ffffffffffffreak" routine or even just to get a misguided reaction for his own amusement. Works every time, too.
Jerk Jock: Even as a face, Johnson was the cool slick athlete that made fun of everybody, his interactions with Coach were especially telling; the crowd still went nuts over him.
It was the crowd-pleasing charismatic awesomeness with which he did this that convinced WWE to turn him face.
Legacy Character: Johnson was the first third generation wrestler in WWE history.
Lightning Bruiser: He wrestled a pretty straight power wrestling style, but was not slow at all; the guy could perform a kip-up, and the pop for that was always incredible.
Lighter and Softer: In 1999, the Rock was a flashy, flamboyant Jerkass that could spend ten minutes running down characteristics of his opponents. By 2000 he had turned face and his mockery was often left to Michael Cole and assorted backstage fodder, save one incredible promo about Rikishi, Austin, and others. His Costume Porn was replaced with basic gym pants and his merch shirt. As Badass Decay took hold, he nearly turned into The Scrappy, to the point where he was booed at a WrestleMania while fighting a guy who hit him with a bigrig. Now, said crowd was wearing Nostalgia Goggles for Hulk Hogan's first WWF outgoing in something like eight years, but still...
By 2003, he got better.
It took a couple years to get to that point, and it's not like he was taking heat. Hell, he was still the biggest face in the company during his entrance at the WrestleMania''. It wasn't until the match started that he drew heat, and the next night he was back on top. Trope Averted.
Subverted in his first promo in seven years, when he completely annihilated the TV-PG image the WWE has cooked up for itself in the past few years. (Ohnoes, he said sumbitch; they're gonna take him off WrestleMania...)
Loners Are Freaks: Part of the WWE roster's seemingly legit beef with the Rock backstage involves the words "he keeps to himself". He's admitted to it in his own book that he winds down better just in his room with something to read or watch.
Meaningful Name: Johnson's first ring name, Rocky Maivia, was a tribute to both his father ("Soulman" Rocky Johnson) and grandfather ("High Chief" Peter Maivia).
Nice Guy: Very sweet, sensitive and self-deprecating, and as a rule rather than exception these days plays exact opposites of his macho wrestling persona in movies.
No Sell: Had a tendency to do this in his early days.
Not Their Birthday: Mick Foley throws a birthday party for him in the end of the "This Is Your Life" segment, but Rock bluntly tells him this:
The Rock: The Rock's birthday is May 2nd, you stupid son of a bitch!
Odd Couple: His team-ups with Mick Foley, aptly labeled ''The Rock and Sock Connection. The Rock went from being a Jerk Jock who consistently bullied Mick to slowly respecting and liking Mick to the point where, in his last match, he was acting as something like a big brother for Mick in regards to his feud with the bullies in Evolution.
Older Than He Looks: He celebrated his 40th birthday in 2012. Aside from a little gray in his beard, there is absolutely nothing to indicate he is anywhere near that old.
Same thing, if you operate under the premise that boos have the same effect for a heel that cheers do for a face.
Also seen in the fact that he's one of the few people that can get something to trend on Twitter simply by saying that it's trending on Twitter.
The Big Show had the misfortune of finding out in early 2000 that calling out the Rock, even on the grounds of being a disrespectful Jerkass towards the rest of the roster who were looking to him for leadershipnote Mick Foley was on his way to retirement, and Stone Cold and the Undertaker were out with injuries at the time. against the McMahon-Helmsley reign of terror, is an easy way to get the fans to reject you.
Self-Deprecation: After ripping John Cena about The Marine at the 2008 WWE Hall of Fame, Rock added he was only kidding and said, "Hey, you know what? I made Doom. Did you see it? *beat* Yeah, no one else did either."
Since his 2011 return he's made several jokes about The Tooth Fairy.
Shock and Awe: THE MOST ELECTRIFYING MAN IN ALLLL OF ENTERTAINMENT!!!
The Starscream: And if you need evidence that you should deal with them early, witness the Rock take over the Nation of Domination.
Still Got It: 2011-2-14 Raw. He comes out to a deafening pop and cuts a promo starting at 10:55 and getting to go for almost 30 minutes (including a 20 minute run-over) that proves that he's STILL the best promo guy in the business EVER, even after being out of the business for SEVEN YEARS.
And at Survivor Series 2011, he proved that, yes, he can still go in the ring. The crowd agreed.
And then at WrestleMania 28, he proved that he can still go one on one in the ring.
Stylistic Suck: When Rock sings. It's not that he's horrible, but he deliberately hams it up to be worse than it is. A series of "Rock Concerts" in 2003 amounted to acoustic performances about how awful the host city is.
Taking A Third Option: After being barred from the Arena, on the last Raw before the Royal Rumble, instead of just abiding by the rules and wait or try and force his way in, Rock simply bought a ticket.
Tsundere: Type A towards Mankind, during their time as The Rock & Sock Connection.
Underwear of Power: For all The Rock's talk about his expensive suits and pants, this is all he wrestles in
Unnecessary Roughness: Johnson was recruited by the University of Miami to play football, but injuries kept him out of the starting lineup for most of his college career. His biggest moment in a game was when he became involved in a bench-clearing brawl (Miami vs. San Diego State) and was shown on ESPN chasing the San Diego mascot screaming "I'll kill you!" Good times.
What the Hell, Hero?: Has been called out by John Cena for leaving the people that made him a superstar and that half his (at the time after his February 2011 return) promos had been via satellite. Rock addressed these comments the next week, and after that, things got abitsilly.
Recent RAW seems divided between "ROCKY!" and "CENA!" At this point, it may be impossible to tell who's The Face and who is The Heel. Broken Base indeed.
Although, on his Twitter account, he said he wasn't scheduled to be there in person.
Who Are You?: Employed a variant of this in his wrestling days: would often act nonplussed when being addressed by someone he viewed as inconsequential (which was pretty much everybody), waiting until they were finished before asking them, "Who in the blue hell are you?", then interrupting them after a couple of syllables with, "IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOUR NAME IS!"
Wrestling Family: Johnson is one of the many, many wrestlers in the Anoa'i family. He's not a blood relation, but the Anoa'i brothers were "blood brothers" to Peter Maivia (having grown up as Maivia fans in San Francisco, and he helped them get into the business). High Chief Peter Maivia, Johnson's grandfather, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008, appeared in You Only Live Twice and trained "Superstar" Billy Graham.