“The Rock” Phenomenon: The Happiest Man On Earth


It may seem like Dwayne Johnson, “The Rock” blew up overnight, but he has been working his butt off for YEARS.

In the past year it seems you can’t turn on your TV or open social media without seeing something about Dwayne Johnson aka “The Rock.” What happened? Did he join the “Illuminati” with the Kardashians and Beyonce?

It may seem like “The Rock” blew up overnight, but he has been working his butt off for YEARS. The man has been setting the ground work for “overnight success” for over 20 years. For starters, Johnson was a college football player for the University of Miami turned pro for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League. He was cut two months into the 1995 season, which led him to become a professional wrestler like his grandfather, Peter Maivia, and his father, Rocky Johnson (from whom he also inherited his Canadian citizenship).

Originally billed as “Rocky Maivia”, he gained mainstream fame in the World Wrestling Federation from 1996 to 2004 as a major figure in the company’s “Attitude Era,” and was the first third-generation wrestler in the company’s history. He returned to wrestling part-time for WWE from 2011 to 2013 and continues to make sporadic non-wrestling appearances.

Dwayne Johnson attends the HBO Ballers Season 2 Red Carpet Premiere  (Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for HBO)

As of August 2016, he has had 17 championship reigns in WWE, including 10 as a world champion, winning the WWF/E Championship eight times and the WCW/World Championship twice! He won the Intercontinental Championship twice and the WWF Tag Team Championship five times. He is the sixth Triple Crown Champion in WWE history, and won the 2000 Royal Rumble. Think he still hasn’t BEEN a big deal??

“The Rock” is considered by many to be the biggest superstar in WWE history, as well as one of the top box office draws in wrestling history. WWE legend Hulk Hogan called “The Rock” “the biggest superstar in this business”, 15-time world champion John Cena described him as “the biggest superstar in the history of WWE”

Further, Dwayne Johnson wrote an autobiography The Rock Says…, co-written with Joe Layden, which was published in 2000. It debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list, spent 20 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and sold 720,000 copies in hardcover alone. Johnson’s first leading film role was in The Scorpion King in 2002. For this role, he was paid US $5.5 million, a world record for an actor in his first starring role. He has since appeared in various films, and become known for his ability to reinvigorate film franchises. Perhaps his greatest success in his acting career can be sourced to his role as Luke Hobbs in The Fast and the Furious franchise. He hosted and produced The Hero, a reality competition series; and has since continued to produce TV series and films through his production company Seven Bucks Productions, each of which he also stars in. The man has been working!

Host Dwayne Johnson speaks onstage during the 2016 MTV Movie Awards (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for MTV)

Forbes listed Dwayne Johnson #25 in the Top 100 Most Powerful Celebrities in 2013. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2016. He’s now even used that influence to headline the newest Disney film, Moana, where he plays a god. Because of course he does.

According to Forbes magazine, Dwayne Johnson became the highest-paid actor in 2016 earning $64.5 million.

In Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s words on being the highest paid actor in 2016, “Want to say two things about this,” Johnson tweeted about the news. “I started w/$7 bucks. If I can overcome, so can you. Waffle House on me!”

Next: Kristen Bell Stars in Video About Pay Equality That’s Funny Cause It’s True

This muscle-bound, big personality, likeable super human also known as “The Rock” has literally worked his butt off to gain the success he is currently basking in. From playing football to playing a high-profile NFL agent in Ballers, Dwayne Johnson clearly knows what it takes physically and mentally to be successful.