Rocky Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles, August 24, 1944 January 15, 2020) was a Canadian professional wrestler.
Although he initially trained to become a boxer (sparring with the likes of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman), he soon switched to professional wrestling in 1964, taking the ring name "Rocky Johnson". He initially wrestled for the National Wrestling Alliance, winning a number of tag team regional championships, before moving on to WWF in 1982. In 1983, he won the World Tag Team Championship alongside Tony Atlas, making them the first black WWE champions.
He was married three times in his life, most notably to Ata Maivia from 1978 to 2003, a member of the Samoan Anoa'i wrestling family. He had three children, the best-known of which is Dwayne Johnson.
He died on January 15, 2020 from a pulmonary embolism.
- Arch-Enemy: In WWE: Adrian Adonis, Greg Valentine, and Don Muraco.
- The Mentor: He trained his son Dwayne, and for a while, also worked for WWE as a trainer.
- Named After Someone Famous: His ring name was inspired by boxers Rocky Marciano and Jack Johnson.
- Put on a Bus: He was initially seen at his son's matches (when Dwayne was still Rocky Maivia). After Dwayne switched to his Rock personality, Rocky vanished.
- Soul Brotha: As his "Soulman" moniker implies, he was the very embodiment of this trope in the 1970s.
- Wrestling Family: He was married to Ata Maivia, part of the Anoa'i family, and his son, Dwayne Johnson, was also a wrestler.