It was announced today that WWE Hall of Famer, Rocky Johnson, passed away today at the age of 75.
Born Wayde Bowles in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Johnson was a natural athlete who had initially trained to be a boxer. While he once sparred with Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, his true calling was professional wrestling, which he began in 1964.
Taking on the name of (which he would also legally change his name to) of Rocky Johnson, he would wrestled across North America, breaking out in 1970, when he won the NWA Americas Heavyweight Championship in Los Angeles. Throughout the 1970s, he performed for various NWA promotions. In 1971, he wrestled in San Francisco, where he was their United States Champion and later four-time Tag Team Champion, three of those reigns held alongside Pat Patterson. “The Soulman” would also win other major singles titles in the United States, among which were the NWA Georgia Heavyweight (1974), NWA Florida Heavyweight (1975), NWA Texas Heavyweight (1976), and NWA Mid-America Southern Heavyweight (1976).
In the early 80s, a run in Mid-Atlantic would precede the WWF, where he teamed with Tony Atlas to defeat the Wild Samoans for the Tag Team Championship. He would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008, and prior to that his last major appearance for the company was appearing from the crowd to help his son (Rocky Maivia) at Wrestlemania 13.
In his personal life, he married Ata Maivia, the daughter of “High Chief” Peter Maivia, and the oldest member of the famed Samoan wrestling clan. They had a son, Dwayne Johnson, who followed in his father’s footsteps in wrestling, becoming “The Rock”.
We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to extend our condolences to the fans, friends and family of Rocky Johnson at this time.