Rocky Johnson, the father of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, died this week at age 75. He was a Half of Fame wrestler known as the “Soul Man,” and one of his colleagues, Ric Flair, took time to remember Johnson via Twitter on Thursday.
“I’m Saddened To Hear About The Passing Of The GREAT ROCKY JOHNSON!” Flair wrote. “I Wrestled Him Many Times Throughout His Illustrious Career. His Physique And Conditioning Were Unparalleled! He Was So Proud Of His Son Dwayne! He Raised Him To Be The Rock!! RIP Rocky Johnson!”
I'm Saddened To Hear About The Passing Of The GREAT ROCKY JOHNSON! I Wrestled Him Many Times Throughout His Illustrious Career. His Physique And Conditioning Were Unparalleled! He Was So Proud Of His Son Dwayne! He Raised Him To Be The Rock!! RIP Rocky Johnson! pic.twitter.com/GiXXFQhGlE
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) January 16, 2020
Other wrestlers have offered their thoughts, as well. Mick Foley, who was a WWE superstar along side The Rock for many years, wrote, “So sorry to hear of the passing of the great Rocky Johnson. Always a gentleman, I always enjoyed talking with him. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the fans who loved him. A very sad day for wrestling.”
The WWE issued a statement about Johnson’s death on Wednesday.
WWE is saddened to learn that Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles), a WWE Hall of Famer, former World Tag Team Champion, and father of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, has passed away at age 75.
Johnson’s sports-entertainment career began in the mid-1960s when he made a memorable impression in the National Wrestling Alliance. However, Johnson found his highest levels of success when he began his WWE tenure in 1983.
The physically imposing and wildly charismatic Johnson had several memorable rivalries with the likes of Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Don Muraco and Adrian Adonis. He found his greatest success when he teamed up with Tony Atlas as The Soul Patrol. The two men became the first African-American World Tag Team Champions in WWE history when they defeated The Wild Samoans on Dec. 10, 1983.
The “Soul Man” retired from the ring in 1991, but his imprint continued to be felt on WWE for years to come. Post-retirement, Johnson had a hand in training his son, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The Rock would become one of the biggest stars in the history of sports-entertainment and carried on his father’s legacy with pride.
In 2008, Johnson achieved the highest honor in sports-entertainment when he was inducted by The Rock into the WWE Hall of Fame where he will be forever enshrined as one of sports-entertainment’s most influential performers.
WWE extends its condolences to Johnson’s family, friends and fans.