Although it has been almost two decades since he left the wrestling ring to focus full-time on his career in Hollywood, Dwayne Johnson is still one of the most talked about professional wrestlers in the field. But like everyone else, The Rock started small and lowkey as well, and his first-ever amateur wrestling match isn’t something he’s too proud of.
In fact, as Johnson himself revealed, The Rock faced some seriously harsh reality after his first-ever amateur wrestling match shattered his entire confidence in getting into the wrestling field in the first place.
Dwayne Johnson’s First Wrestling Match Wasn’t The Most Pleasant Experience
Dwayne Johnson might be one of the biggest names in the wrestling industry now, but at the beginning of his career, his amateur match almost shook his confidence in entering the wrestling field in the first place.
Recently appearing on the #2063 episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, The Rock shared the story of how, back when he was in Pennsylvania, as a teenager, he wrestled his first amateur wrestling match. He said:
“So, I was 15 years old. The wrestling coach–who was also the football coach–said, ‘Hey, would you come out right for wrestling? You come from a wrestling family.’ I’m like, yeah, great.”
Initially, he was super confident in himself because he had been rolling on the mats since he was five, thanks to his late old man, Rocky Johnson, who was one of the most renowned professional wrestlers himself.
“I had this thought in my head: ‘I’m gonna f****** kill this. I’ve already got [it].’ Because my dad was working my a** out on the mats when I was five. And the Von Erics were working me out when I was five. So, I had this base: holds, lockups–everything.”
However, the series of events that unfolded in front of him were hardly what he expected, and The Rock’s confidence in himself was shattered right there and then.
“And in my first wrestling practice, I was like, ‘F***. This is the most boring s*** I’ve ever felt in my life.’ [Laughs] I told my guys, I was like, ‘Guys, I don’t [like this].’ Because I was just so out of condition. Because, now, of course, it’s the hardest f****** sport out there. I have so much respect for it, but you know what it was: It was just me at 15 [going], ‘Dude, I love the pile drivers. I love the bad guys. I wanna be a pro wrestler, you know?’”
Despite that, Dwayne Johnson wasn’t one to just give up something like that, and he went on to further pursue a career in wrestling only to end up becoming one of the most famous professional wrestlers cum Hollywood icons of all time.
Dwayne Johnson Shares One Of The Most Important Parts Of Wrestling
During the same podcast, Dwayne Johnson also shared what he felt is one of the most important parts of wrestling: the basics of wrestling.
“One of the most important elements, which I know you’ll appreciate and a lot of MMA fighters appreciate, is the–as you say, wrestling’s a cornerstone of MMA, but also for decades and decades and even still today, having a great base of wrestling is important. Even though there’s antics and showmanship and this guy’s jumping off this thing and going to the building and bringing the car in and doing all this s***, there’s still the basics of wrestling [which] is always very important.”
Continuing, he then explained why the basics, indeed, played an important part in a wrestler’s life.
“As you know, with catch wrestling, it taught a lot of wrestlers–myself included because I came up old-school–to have real respect for the holds. And to be able to get out of holds and put people into holds, know how to work them or know how to apply them. So, I always appreciate that about the basics of pro-wrestling.”
All in all, Dwayne Johnson might have been moved from his goal at the very beginning of his wrestling career, but he soon found his way to reach his ultimate position to be able to share with his juniors what he feels the most important part of wrestling is according to him!