Grab a tissue, folks. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s eulogy for her father Rocky was nothing short of absolutely heart-wrenching to witness.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson delivered an emotional eulogy at his father’s funeral after the WWE legend tragically died of a heart attack at the age of 75. The 47-year-old shared a 10-minute Instagram video of the moving speech on Feb. 7, which commemorated the life of his dad Rocky Johnson. Dwayne was in his feelings as he took the podium, holding back tears and taking a few moments to gain his composure. “Man, I wish I had one more shot,” he began. “I wish I had one more shot to say goodbye, to say I love you, to say thank you, but I have a feeling he’s watching. He’s listening.” The actor admitted his father’s sudden death was something he never expected, and explained how he learned of the news. “I was on my way to work, the other day on Jan. 15 and I was just pulling into work and we were shooting that day and it was the very first day of production, and then I get a call from my wife Lauren who says ‘seems like somethings going on with your dad’,” he explained.
Dwayne told the crowd — which included close family and friends, including fellow wrestler Hulk Hogan, 66 — that “it all got really foggy” and seemed like a dream. “You know how you have those moments where you try and shake yourself out of it, and you’re like ‘No, it’s not a dream. … My dad’s gone. In that moment, I just thought ‘Well, what do I need to do? What’s the next thing that I need to do?’ And I heard a voice say, ‘Well, hey, the show must go on,’ and that was my dad. That was my old man who told me that,” Dwayne said, as clips of his dad’s days as a wrestler played on a screen behind him.
Nicknamed the ”Soul Man”, Rocky was inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame in 2008. As one-half of the “Soul Patrol” alongside Tony Atlas, they broke records as the first African-American World Tag Team Champion in WWE history. Rocky was also instrumental in getting his son Dwayne involved in the wrestling world, and trained him alongside friend and pro Pat Patterson. Dwayne signed to the WWE — then known as the WWF — back in 1996. Originally going by Rocky Maivia, The Rock made history as the first third-generation pro wrestler after his dad and grandfather Peter Maivia. In his eulogy, Dwayne went on to say his dad was a trailblazer. “For my dad, when he broke into the business in the mid ’60s and throughout the late ’60s and into the ’70s in the United States where racial tension and divide was very strong and in the ’60s and the ’70s you have a black man coming in, it’s an all-white audience and all these small little towns that eventually I would go on to wrestle in — but at that time he changed the audience’s behavior and actually had them cheer for this black man.”
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You trail blazed and even harder, you changed people’s harsh behaviors toward a man of color. Paving the way for me, my family and generations to come. You loved us with the capacity of which you could – given all the givens. Raised me with an iron hand and a tough complicated love. A love that now, as a father and man, I’ve learned to refine as I raise my own children. I wish I had one more shot. To say one more thing. You were taken too fast. Slipped right thru my hands. But you were so loved, lived so full, defined culture and now you rest high. Peacefully. And that makes my heart smile. I love you and now I have an angel to call by name. I’ll see you down the road, Soulman. Til we meet again. Your son 🥃🖤
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Dwayne, who transcended the wrestling world to become a successful film actor, said that when you think of his dad, you think of “hard work”. “What’s amazing to me now, after a day like today after we come here and we give our respect and our love, he’s galvanized, he’s responsible for galvanizing families now. Because through processes like this, we’ve all lost loved ones, but guaranteed when we walk out of these doors, we’re going to hold each other a bit tighter, we’re going to hug each other a bit harder, we’re going to kiss each other and we’re going to say, ‘I love you,’ and we’re going to be a bit more present.”
His caption on the Instagram clip was just as emotional as the speech, writing, “Dad, you lived a full and meaningful life. You trail blazed and even harder, you changed people’s harsh behaviors toward a man of color. Paving the way for me, my family and generations to come. You loved us with the capacity of which you could – given all the givens,” he began. “Raised me with an iron hand and a tough complicated love. A love that now, as a father and man, I’ve learned to refine as I raise my own children. You were taken too fast. Slipped right thru my hands. But you were so loved, lived so full, defined culture and now you rest high. Peacefully. And that makes my heart smile. I love you and now I have an angel to call by name. I’ll see you down the road, Soulman. Til we meet again. Your son.” Rest in peace, Rocky.