You know him as ‘The Rock’ from his WWE days, the actor from the Jumanji or Fast and Furious franchise. You can’t deny Dwayne Johnson’s style. The star’s larger-than-life persona has made him a widely admired public figure and one of the highest-paid actors today.
Johnson’s immense success can be traced back to his wrestling days when his ring name ‘The Rock’ was his identity. He signs his first contract with WWF, later WWE, back in 1996, and since then, his fame soar. Johnson enjoys a mega-successful stint in wrestling for 6-7 years. Then he tries his luck in Hollywood with his first leading role in the 2002 Scorpion King.
The Rock’s reputation as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. It can credit to his hard work and dedication, he is the right genes too. Wrestling runs deep in the Johnson family, and Dwayne is a third-generation wrestler. Dwayne, is part of the Anoa’i family, an American Samoan family of pro wrestlers, from his maternal grandfather, Maivia’s side. Without further ado, let’s look at Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson‘s impressive family tree.
Peter enters the wrestling scene in the 1960s as Prince Peter Maivia and takes the name High Chief. Maivia, who was recognized for his tribal tattoos, was a crowd favorite in Hawaii, New Zealand, and the U.S.
The main Anoa’i family, which produced a long list of pro wrestlers, began with Reverend Amituana’i Anoa’I, who was Maivia’s blood brother. Maivia enjoyed immense popularity as a wrestler until he died at the age of 45 of cancer.
Fun fact: Did you know Dwayne Johnson’s oldest daughter Simone is interested in becoming a professional wrestler? Earlier in 2020, she started training at the WWE Performance Center, and in May, she announced she had signed a contract with them. Simone will be the first fourth-generation wrestler in WWE – another overachiever in the Anoa’i family. Dwayne Johnson is also related to another familiar name in the women’s wrestling space. This someone has not only become a star in a short time, but she won the tag team championship earlier this year.
Continue watching to know the mystery lady is and how she is related to Dwayne Johnson. Before we move on, please take a moment to hit the like button if you’re enjoying this video. And don’t forget to subscribe to our channel for more interesting facts.
The Wild Samoans
The Anoa’i family patriarch’s two sons, Afa and Sika, not only made a big splash in the 1980s wrestling scene, they did so under the name of their ethnicity. Together known as the �Wild Samoans,’ Afa and Sika were formidable opponents in the ring, taking the term �wild’ to a whole new, literal level. The duo was known to eat raw fish and bite opponents as a part of the show.
The brothers won the World Tag Team championship thrice in the 1980s before they parted ways to pursue separate careers – Afa running his Wild Samoan Training Center and Sika pursuing a solo career. However, all seemed to be well between the two as they appeared as a team for the WWE Hall of Fame induction in 2007.
The link between Rocky Johnson and Peter Maivia was a deep one. Not only did Peter train Rocky in wrestling, but he was also his father in law. Rocky Johnson was a stellar wrestler who went by the ring name Soul Man. His skill in the sport was extraordinary, and he called himself �the king of the dropkick’ because of his signature jabs.
Rocky’s biggest claim to fame was his partnership with Tony Atlas in the tag team Snow Patrol. The duo emerged as the first Black tag team champions of WWF in 1983 after beating the Wild Samoans. Rocky faced a lot of racism in wrestling back then, but he didn’t back down. One of Rocky’s accomplishments was training his son, Dwayne Johnson. In 2008, the Rock helped induct his father into the WWE Hall of Fame. Rocky Johnson died at the age of 75 in early 2020 of a pulmonary embolism.
Jimmy Snuka was not born into the Anoa’i family; he married into it when he tied the knot with Sharon. Jimmy, who was known by his ring name Superfly, was another wrestling star that made it big in the 1980s when he defeated several big names in the sport, such as Hulk Hogan. His signature move, Superfly Splash, was a crowd favourite.
Jimmy was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996, and his legacy in the world of wrestling continued with his children Deuce and Tamina Snuka. While Jimmy did reasonably well in wrestling, his success was overshadowed by his alleged role in girlfriend Nancy Argentino’s death. In 1983, Snuka called an ambulance, and first responders found an injured Argentino who later died in the hospital of traumatic brain injuries. Her body had more than two dozen other wounds consistent with an extreme case of domestic violence.
Jimmy Snuka was the prime suspect in the murder of Nancy Argentino, but the case laid inactive for almost three decades. Almost 32 years after Argentino’s death, Snuka was arrested and charged, but he never served any time as the court found him mentally unfit to stand trial.
The Anoa’i family also produced one of the best-known wrestlers of the 90s. The legendary Japanese sumo wrestler villain Yokozuna was actually an American Samoan, and the sumo wrestler appearance was a gimmick. Ironically, two members of the family chose to enter the wrestling scene wearing their ethnicity as a name tag, while another chose to fake an ethnicity from halfway around the world.
Irrespective of the name and appearance, Rodney Anoa’I, who’s better known as Yokozuna, did splendidly as a wrestler. The 600-pounder owned the ring, defeating big names such as Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan. Unfortunately, what made Yokozuna famous also led to many problems, health and otherwise. His weight made him ineligible to wrestle in some states. Yokozuna died at the young age of 34 of pulmonary oedema.
Another famous wrestler from the Anoa’i family is Solofa Fatu. The 400-pound agile giant who went by the name Fatu did reasonably in the early 90s. He teamed up with his cousin Samu to form the tag team Headshrinkers, and together, they followed the path of their uncles, the Wild Samoans, to win the World Tag Team Championship in 1994.
But Fatu found real success in 1999, when he re-entered the wrestling scene with blonde hair and sunglasses finished with a sumo wrestler avatar under the name Rikishi. With the new stage persona, he gained several tag team victories and was eventually inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015. His signature move, the Stink Face, was awful – he would plant his bottom on the opponent’s face when he was incapacitated. Many players thus closely know Rikishi’s backside, and one of these wrestlers is his cousin, the Rock.
Rikishi’s younger brother Eddie Fatu enjoyed a short but successful stint in the world of wrestling. The response to Eddie’s entry to WWE as Jamal was initially lukewarm, and the wrestler returned with a new ring persona, Umaga.
Eddie was a formidable opponent as Umaga, a 350-pound bulldozer. He ruled the ring for eight months straight before losing to none other than John Cena. Eddie’s wrestling career seemed like it would continue on an upward trend had it not been for his drug addiction. After Eddie failed two drug tests, he was no longer a part of WWE, and shortly after, he died of a heart attack.
Leati Anoa’I, the younger son of Sika of the savage Wild Samoans, almost didn’t enter the wrestling scene. Leati aspired to make it big in professional football, and for a while, it seemed like he would. He was hired by the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos for a season, after which he was promptly released.
Despite the setback, Leati managed to turn his life around with a successful entry in WWE. He took the ring name Roman Reigns and did reasonably as part of The Shield trio. Although he was never an audience favourite, he didn’t fizzle out either.
Twins Jonathan and Joshua Fatu didn’t want to follow their father Rikishi’s footsteps when it came to their career. Like their cousin Leati, they aspired to crack into the world of pro football, but alas, that was not to be. In 2010, Jonathan and Joshua appeared on WWE as Jimmy and Jey Uso. Their energy in the rings was phenomenal, and their performance of the Samoan Siva Tau war dance garnered quite the attention. The duo won six World Tag Team Championships over their wrestling career, and they were the first tag team to win both Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
Savelina Fanene is a distant relative of Dwayne Johnson’s family. She is Johnson’s grandfather, Peter Maivia’s cousin’s daughter. Wrestling was never on the cards for the Australian born, but somehow the force was strong this one. Born in 1984, Savelina was interested in basketball during her college days, and afterwards, she tried her luck as a plus-size model. Eventually, she joined the world of professional wrestling in 2014 under the ring name Zada. The start of her career was bumpy; she was defeated in her debut match at an NXT house show.
A few months after the failure, Savelina made another entrance; this time under the ring name Nia Jax. Her second shot worked out, as she defeated her opponent in a singles match. Over the last few years, Nia Jax emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the women’s wrestling world. Most recently, she won the Raw title in 2018 and a tag team championship in 2020 alongside Shayna Baszler.
Dwayne Johnson is a classic example of how a great work ethic, hard work, dedication, and skill can take you places. As a man who started out seeking a career in professional football and ended up as one of Hollywood’s most successful and highest-paid actors, the Rock has made it big.
If you by some rare chance haven’t watched him on screen yet, grab a bowl of popcorn and tune in to one of his many epic flicks. We suggest you start with Central Intelligence or Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, if you’re looking for something light-hearted to simply kill time. Which are your favourite Dwayne Johnson movies? Drop a comment to let us know, we love hearing from you. If you enjoyed watching this video, please hit the like button and subscribe to Facts Verse for more interesting facts. Also, don’t forget to hit the bell icon to stay updated with our latest content.