If anyone knows about hard times, it’s The Rock. He says that in the big moments, he always remembers the hard times, putting things into perspective and finding gratitude in every situation. Whatever he’s doing, it seems to be working. Rock went from a no-name CFL player to the face of WWE. He struggled in Hollywood early but clearly, that’s another obstacle he would conquer, becoming the biggest and most popular star in the industry today.
In this article, we’ll take a look at his crazy transformations throughout the years. From high school to his days with the film Pain & Gain, Johnson looks like an entirely different person.
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17 Early Days
Before The Rock, it was his dad getting it done in the ring. He performed under the gimmick of Rocky Johnson.
Dwayne looked up to his father early on, he wrestled with NWA for almost two decades and later, he would transfer to WWE for a brief time period of three years. Little did he know, his son would change the business forever.
16 Repping His Dad
Like a proud son, he’s repping his dad rocking the Rocky Johnson t-shirt. Dwayne must’ve been on cloud nine at this point, watching his dad sign some autographs for the fans.
Rock would go in another direction from his father early on, as you’ll see in the following photos. Though ultimately, it all worked out the way it was supposed to.
15 The Gaining Phase
He grew up alongside his mom and his childhood wasn’t the easiest. Johnson was arrested on more than a few occasions, whether it was for theft or even fraud.
He wasn’t heading in the right direction and a lot of that had to do with his support system at the time.
14 High School Days
Johnson spent time in several different high schools during his youth. He and his mom did a lot of moving around, he spent some time in a high school out in Honolulu.
In truth, things could’ve easily worked out a lot differently for The Rock. No doubt, he’s thankful for how everything fell into place.
13 Miami Ball
Let’s just say these were some of Dwayne’s heavier days. He thrived with the University of Miami and he needed to be a little chunkier given his position as a defensive tackle.
He looks unrecognizable in his prior days, spending four years at the college level with Miami playing in prestigious games like the Cotton Bowl Classic.
12 CFL Days
For Dwayne, this was the ultimate low. He joined the CFL making a mere $200 Canadian, on top of that he was ultimately cut by the Calgary Stampeders in 1995, a decision that turned out to be a blessing.
He left the CFL with a mere seven bucks in his pocket, hence his (now) company’s name, Seven Bucks Production.
11 The Turtle Neck
When Johnson posted this picture, it didn’t take long for it to go absolutely viral. Soon enough, the picture turned into a must for Halloween, as fans from around the world mimicked The Rock’s look from back in the ‘90s.
Hilariously enough, it was a hot costume once again this past Halloween.
10 WWE Debut
He made his in-ring debut at Survivor Series and he was instantly pegged as a big prospect for the future. His look wasn’t quite there however, Dwayne himself ridicules his past look, under the name of Rocky Mavia.
Despite the look, the charisma and natural talent were already evident at such a young age.
9 Nation Of Domination
He started coming into his own right around this point. Rock needed a heel turn and that’s exactly what took place. He was pegged as a big future star, winning the IC Championship.
It was obvious that he would go on to bigger and better things. He oozed with charisma, especially on the microphone.
8 The People’s Champ
During the Attitude Era boom, Johnson was on top of the wrestling world, alongside Stone Cold Steve Austin. The two helped to shift the tide with WWE starting to dethrone WCW in the ratings war.
Rock was at his personal prime with WWE at this point, he was must-watch television. His “This Is Your Life” segment alongside Mick Foley drew record numbers. WWE’s lucky to get a third of the 8.4 million viewers that tuned in nowadays.
7 Final Run
He left the wrestling industry on top. It was a massive risk, at this point Rock was still the biggest draw in all of pro wrestling. He managed to change things up completely, altering both his look and persona, turning into a heel.
Who can forget his epic concerts which were always must-watch television!?
6 Tooth Fairy
In 2010, the Tooth Fairy featuring The Rock was released to the masses. At that point, he was all-in when it came to his Hollywood life.
His films weren’t doing all that well and Rock was questioning his life choices at this point, away from WWE. Thankfully, he stuck to it and clearly, it all worked the way it should have.
5 Pain & Gain Transformation
Just three years later, Rock looked unrecognizable in Pain and Gain. He completely altered his look, shaving his head and adding an insane amount of muscle.
Suddenly, the roles started pouring in, with franchises like Fast & Furious. It was only the beginning of his to the very top of Hollywood.
4 With John Cena
He would return to WWE in a big way, feuding with John Cena in what was his final prominent program. It turned out to be a year-long feud, which culminated in two WrestleMania main event matches.
The final one took place at WM 29, with Cena defeating The Rock and capturing the WWE Title.
3 Spencer On Ballers
There really isn’t anything Dwayne won’t and can’t do. He expanded on his resume joining the HBO show, Ballers. He took on the demanding role of Spencer Strasmore, super agent.
The show was a huge success and it recently came to an end, pulling in solid numbers throughout its run.
Despite his mad schedule, Johnson managed to get hitched in 2019, marrying his long-time partner Lauren Hashian.
The happy couple has since started a family, with two children. We’re not sure how he finds the time, but Rock has a hectic life both at work and away from the camera in his personal life.
1 WWE Return
Finally, the Great One returned. Making its debut on FOX, McMahon needed something huge and The Rock was the answer. After all, the show is literally named after the WWE legend – so it was only fitting that he not only appeared but also kicked off the show alongside The Man, Becky Lynch.
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