$800M Rich Black Adam Star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Hates His Original Wrestling Name: “I hated it. I wanted my own identity”

$800M Rich Black Adam Star Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Hates His Original Wrestling Name: "I hated it. I wanted my own identity"
Featured Video

Action star Dwayne Johnson is well known for big-budget commercial blockbusters like Jungle Cruise and Fast and the Furious. He also became a DC superhero in Black Adam. It is common knowledge that before venturing into the movies, the celebrity was a hugely popular wrestling star in the WWE. During his peak years in the federation, Dwayne Johnson earned the now-famous moniker, The Rock. But fans of the actor will be interested to know that he was also known by a different wrestling name before being christened The Rock. By the celebrity’s admission, it wasn’t a preferred one by him.

WWE star Dwayne Johnson
Former pro wrestler Dwayne Johnson

Also Read Black Adam Debacle, Dwayne Johnson Reveals Why He Paid $15M for Dying XFL Franchise: “Second chances for guys like me”

Who was Dwayne Johnson before The Rock?

During a recent interview along with co-star Emily Blunt for Wired, Dwayne Johnson spoke about his history in the WWE and also shared some interesting titbits about his name. While the world knows him by his famous wrestling name The Rock, the Black Adam actor confessed that it was not the original moniker that he was given. Many years before the birth of The Rock, he was called Rocky Maivia, which was a combination of his father’s first name and his grandfather’s last name, both of whom were professional wrestlers.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with WWE CEO Vince McMahon

WWE CEO Vince McMahon wanted to play into the fact that he was a third-generation talent, but Dwayne Johnson wasn’t a big fan of the idea. The former wrestler explained his reasons and said,

I hated it because — the lineage I had gave me the opportunity to at least knock on the door. I wanted my own identity, I wanted my own space. So while I was very proud to come from who I  came from, with my dad and my grandfather — and my whole family is in wrestling — I still wanted my own space”

Also Read: Dwayne Johnson Made Career Blunder by Refusing to Star in $6.5B Franchise, Settled for $244M Movie Role That Couldn’t Even Land a Sequel

Here’s how Dwayne Johnson became The Rock

Despite Dwayne Johnson detesting the name Rocky Maivia, he decided to stick with it for emotional reasons. But as it turned out, the Jungle Cruise star and his name were not well received among the wrestling fraternity and fans, leading him to be one of the most hated wrestlers in the country. Realizing that the impact and connotation of the name were doing him a disservice, WWE CEO Vince McMahon allowed Dwayne Johnson to choose a different title. It was at this time that the celebrity’s mentor Pat Patterson who was also a father figure to him came up with a brilliant plan to truncate the actor’s name.


Why don’t we call you The Rock?’ I said, ‘I love it!’ He goes, ‘Ok. You’re The Rock.’

Black Adam
Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam

After the shortening of Rocky Maivia to The Rock, Dwayne Johnson’s career skyrocketed, allowing him to step into the world of cinema as well. Now there was no looking back for the wrestling star, who was also the highest-paid actor in 2022 according to the Forbes list.

Also Read: “I bust in the bedroom completely”: Black Adam Star Dwayne Johnson Revealed Secret To His Titan Physique is S*x, Not Steroids

Source: Cheatsheet


Written by Sharanya Sankar

Articles Published: 1180

Sharanya Sankar, Writer for Fandomwire
Having completed her Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Sharanya has a solid foundation in writing which is also one of her passions. She has worked previously with Book My show for a couple of years where she gained experience reviewing films and writing feature articles. Sharanya’s articles on film and pop culture have also been published on Film Companion, a popular film-based website. Apart from movies and pop culture, her interests include music and sports. She has contributed over 650 articles to Fandomwire so far.