Rocky Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles; August 24, 1944 – January 15, 2020) was a professional wrestler of Canadian descent. Among many National Wrestling Alliance titles, the Canadian wrestler was the first black Georgia Heavyweight Champion. He has also won the World Tag Team Championship held in 1983. H e won the championship with the help of his partner Tony Atlas, a feat which made him the first black champions in WWE history. In our Rocky Johnson’s Biography, Facts, Childhood, Personal Life, age we also shed some light upon his early life from childhood to present. This should not come as a surprise to you, he was the father of popular Hollywood actor and former WWE wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Rocky Johnson Biography, Facts, Age, Wiki
- Full Name: Wayde Douglas Bowles
- Nick Name: Sweet Ebony Diamond
- Date of Birth: August 24, 1944
- Place of Birth: Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada
- Died: January 15, 2020 (aged 75) Lutz, Florida, U.S.
- Nationality: Canadian
- Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
- Weight: 260 lb (120 kg; 18 st 8 lb)
- Occupation: Wrestler
- Playing Career: 2016 till date
- Father: Leonard François
- Mother: Tamaki Osaka
- Siblings: Mari Osaka
- Spouse:Una Sparks (m. 1966; div. 1978), Ata Maivia (m. 1978; div. 2003), Sheila Northern (m. 2004)
- Children: Dwayne Johnson
- Net Worth: $1.5 Million USD
- Zodiac: Libra
- Debut: 1961
- Retired: 1994
- Trained By: Rocky Bollie, Peter Maivia, Kurt Von Steiger
Rocky Johnson Biography, Facts, Childhood, Early Life
Rocky Johnson was born Wayde Douglas Bowles in Amherst, Nova Scotia, a place where he had his humble beginnings.Not many facts are told about his childhood and early life. He is fourth of five sons of parents Lillian and James Henry Bowles. (1888–1957). A Black Nova Scotian, he is a descendant of Black Loyalists who at the time, immigrated to Nova Scotia after their escape from a southern plantation in the United States, this was after the American Revolutionary War. At a young age of 16, Johnson m relocated to Canada’s capital city Toronto, where his wrestling career took flight. The young champion began wrestling working a side job as a truck driver. Earlier on, he trained for boxing and also sparred with greats such as Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, but the young champion was always enchanted by wrestling. That’s it for Rocky Johnson’s Biography Facts, Childhood & early life in subsequent sections we look into his Personal Life, Net Worth & Professional Career.
Rocky Johnson Professional Career
National Wrestling Alliance (1964–1982)
Johnson’s career as a professional wrestler did not start until 1964, in Southern Ontario; this was shortly after his debut, he made a decision to legally change his name to “Rocky Johnson” moniker. The name was not chosen randomly, it was a gesture in tribute two of his favorite boxing veterans: Rocky Marciano and Jack Johnson, the latter who is on record as the first black heavyweight boxing champion.
Rocky was strong and sturdy, he was a top contender in the National Wrestling Alliance in the 1970s, where he was honored with title matches against veteran-World Champions Terry Funk and Harley Race. He was great at for tag team wrestling, seizing so many regional tag team championships in the NWA. The young champion would wrestle off and on in the Memphis promotion, many times with Jerry Lawler, winning Lawler’s crown at a certain point. He also at a point in time wrestled anonymously as “Sweet Ebony Diamond” in the Mid-Atlantic area.
World Wrestling Federation (1982–1985)
In 1982, Johnson squabbled with Don Muraco, Greg Valentine, Mike Sharpe, Buddy Rose, and Adrian Adonis. He then partnered with Tony Atlas forming a tag team. Together, they defeated the Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) for the Tag Team Championship on the December 10, 1983 episode of Championship Wrestling (taped November 15). Their victory made them the first black men to hold a WWF championship. Together, they were billed as “The Soul Patrol”.
He retired in 1991, he alongside Pat Patterson, trained his son Dwayne to wrestle. While earlier on, he was not in support of his son joining them in a business he knew to be extremely difficult, Johnson agreed to train him only on the condition that he wouldn’t be soft with him. Johnson was a key part of Dwayne (later dubbed “Rocky Maivia” after both Rocky Johnson’s and Peter Maivia’s ring names) entered into a WWF developmental deal. Earlier on, Johnson had an on-camera presence at his son’s matches, and rushed into the ring on his sons behalf after he was attacked by The Sultan and The Iron Sheik at WrestleMania 13. Johnson left the spotlight after the Rocky Maivia character flopped, and soon Dwayne achieved crossover popularity as a cocky heel, The Rock.
In early 2003, Johnson got a job as a trainer for the WWE developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling, the job did not last for long as he was relieved in May. He returned to the ring, defeating Mabel in a boxing match at Memphis Wrestling on November 29, 2003. On February 25, 2008, Johnson gained some recognition when he was announced as an inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame with his father-in-law, “High Chief” Peter Maivia. Both of them would eventually be inducted into the Hall of Fame on March 29, 2008 by his son, The Rock.
By December 20, 2019, Johnson was added to the Board of Directors of the International Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Rocky Johnson Relationship, Personal Life
Johnson once gave an account of how he met his first wife in his autobiography Soulman. He stated he met his first wife Una Sparks at a dance during one of his training sessions to become a boxer. Una was from Cherrybrook, Nova Scotia and a reverent Jehovah’s Witness. Together, they welcomed two children, Curtis and Wanda, whom he thanked at his 2008 WWE Hall of Fame induction. While still being married to Una, Johnson became romantically-involved with Ata Maivia, the daughter of wrestling legend “High Chief” Peter Maivia. Ata connected with Rocky after Maivia and Johnson were tag team partners in a match on the independent circuit. Maivia was not in support of his daughter’s relationship with Johnson due to his chosen profession, he was aware of of the difficulties involved in raising a family with a lifestyle of always being on the road. They welcomed their son Dwayne on May 2, 1972. Johnson noted that in order to provide for his two families, he developed a strict lifestyle on the road, whic saw him cut back on beer, sliced cheese, and bologna, and “unlike most of the other boys, he avoided parties”. He never said if Una knew about Ata and Dwayne, but stated that she gave asked him to leave wrestling or they’ll have to part ways stating that Jehovah’s Witnesses “didn’t believe in blood sport”. Johnson also mentioned that he and Una parted amicably, and continued to remain good friends. He eventually obtained a divorce in Texas, then proceeded to file for a marriage license in Florida on December 21, 1978 to marry Ata; they divorced in 2003. He again remarried, this time to a speech pathologist named Sheila Northern.
Rocky Johnson Death
On January 15, 2020 at the age 75 in the Lutz, Florida home his son Dwayne bought for him, Johnson kicked the bucke, he died due to pulmonary embolism caused by a blood clot that travelled from a deep vein thrombosis in his leg. B. Brian Blair told the Associated Press that Johnson “thought he had the flu or something”, but was hesitant to visit a doctor. Dwayne in his tribute, said “I’m in pain” and “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. Tweets from greats such as Hulk Hogan followed, describing Rocky as “a great man, great friend” and “one of only a few that was kind and helpful when I first broke in.
Rocky Johnson Net Worth & Salary
Johnson’s Estimated Net Worth of him was $1.5 Million USD. He stands 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs around 85KG.
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