Some questions in life are unanswerable, like “Do we have truly free will?” and “Who let the dogs out?” But thankfully, there are many questions that definitively have answers, including why Dwayne Johnson is called ‘The Rock.’
Johnson and Jungle Cruise co-star Emily Blunt answered the Internet’s most searched questions about them while promoting their new film, which is available for rent on Disney+, and along with discussing his daily diet and the meaning of his tattoos, Johnson revealed the origins of his iconic nickname. While many people know it’s from his early wrestling career — and many people my know that Dwayne Johnson comes from Samoan wrestling royalty — perhaps what is less well known are the origins of his iconic nickname.
“The birth story of the Rock is, before I did what I do now, many moons ago, I used to throw around 300-pound men for a living and get my ass kicked. And then my original nickname was ‘Rocky Miavia’ which was a combination of my dad’s first name and grandfather’s last name because both of them were pro wrestlers,” he said, answering the Google question.
The name was pitched to him by WWE CEO Vince McMahon, but Johnson dropped some honest truth on his boss and told him he hated it because even though “the lineage I had gave me the opportunity to at least knock on the door… I wanted my own identity,” he explained.
Despite his complaints, McMahon told him, basically, too bad, and made him stick with the nickname anyway. The statuesque former wrestler decided to embrace being ‘Rocky Miavia’ but he ended up getting his wish because the name didn’t end up resonating with fans.
Once he became a heel (a term for a bad guy in the wrestling world), Johnson switched to the nickname ‘The Rock’ which was given to him by the late Hall of Fame wrestler Pat Patterson. The revised nickname obviously became a hit and helped make him one of the biggest names in the wrestling world and helped him launch into the career he has today, as an actor who enjoys worldwide fame.
Back in 2005, Johnson briefly tried to drop ‘The Rock’ moniker when he was getting into acting but eventually, he learned to once again embrace the name. And in any case, we all love to smell what ‘The Rock’ is cooking (and this time, it’s his new movie.)