Two days after Rocky Johnson’s death at the age of 72, the pro wrestler’s son, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, took to social media to share a tribute that left fans in tears.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s father, Rocky Johnson, died at his home on Jan. 15 at 72 years old. The Rock stayed off of social media following his father’s death, but on Jan. 17, he returned to Instagram to share a touching tribute to his old man. Along with vintage video of himself in the audience of one of Rocky’s WWE matches, The Rock posted a lengthy message in memory of his father. “You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world,” he gushed. “I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar.”
After reminiscing on how his father helped him grow as a man, The Rock added, “Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. I’m in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me.” He concluded his message by telling his father to rest “pain free, regret free and satisfied at ease,” and told Rocky that he’ll always be his “proud and grateful son.”
Little information is known about the details surrounding Rocky’s passing, but according to Dwayne’s message, the news was sudden and unexpected. Like The Rock, Rocky was a professional wrestler who was part of the first-ever black tag team in the WWE. Along with his partner, Tony Atlas, Rocky won the Tag Team Championship in 1983.
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I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am. The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities. Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deeply complicated sides that needed to be held and understood. Son to father. Man to man. That’s when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude. Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life’s invaluable lessons. Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. Im in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish. Finally, I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease. You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high. #ripsoulman #rockyjohnson 🐐
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Rocky retired from wrestling in 1991, and turned his attention to training The Rock to have a similar successful career. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008, with The Rock proudly leading the induction. Rocky was married to his wife, Sheila, at the time of his death. He divorced The Rock’s mother, Ata Maivia, in 2003, and was previously married to Una Sparks, who he had two children, Curtis and Wanda, with.