Professional wrestling is an industry comprised entirely of larger-than-life characters, so it’s no mean feat that Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson almost became the largest-than-life from the moment he stepped into the ring. The dude had, to paraphrase a classic David Lee Roth video, “char-as-ma.”
was “Soulman” Rocky Johnson, and his maternal grandfather was “High Chief” Peter Maivia. He counts three uncles and six cousins who’ve also tasted turnbuckles, including WWE stars Yokozuna and Rikishi. Dwayne is the first third generation wrestler in the history of the WWF/WWE.
This led him to the University of Miami where he played defensive tackle for the Hurricanes and helped them win a championship in 1991. An injury eventually sidelined him, and even though he was eligible for the 1995 NFL draft, he went unpicked.