Tributes have been paid to Dwayne’s father “The Rock” Johnson and former professional wrestler Rocky Johnson after his death at 75.
Johnson, who was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, pioneered the ring and was the first WWE African-American team champion.
He was known as “Soul Man” and retired in 1991, with his son Dwayne continuing his wrestling legacy before becoming a great Hollywood star.
Dwayne, known as “The Rock” and now a Hollywood actor, induced his father to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.
There was no cause of death.
In a statement announcing his death, WWE said it “extends its condolences to Johnson’s family, friends and fans.”
After the news, fans and figures from the world of fighting have paid tribute.
The retired professional actor and wrestler Mick Foley tweeted: “I am very sorry to hear the death of the great Rocky Johnson. Always a gentleman, I always enjoyed talking to him. My most sincere condolences to his family, friends and fans who loved him. One very day sad for the fight. “
Matt Hardy, who fought alongside his brother Jeff as Hardy Boyz, wrote: “Saddened to hear about the death of Rocky Johnson. Rocky was always extremely kind and kind to me every time I interacted with him over the years. My condolences. and thoughts going out with his family. “
Horrible news to convey. We just learned that Rocky Johnson passed away today at the age of 75. His praise in this business, all the people he influenced, all his achievements, and we deeply regret and wish his family nothing but the greatest of love at the moment. pic.twitter.com/3AvzVwylPH
– CauliflowerAlleyClub (@CACReunion) January 15, 2020
American professional wrestler Dana Brooke added: “My heart is with the @TheRock family and they can send you prayers during this time! I regret your loss!”
Johnson began his career as a professional wrestler in 1964 in southern Ontario, and shortly thereafter legally changed his name to his nickname “Rocky Johnson.”
Terrible breaking news. WWE Hall of Fame Rocky Johnson, father of @The rockUnfortunately, he died at 75.
Along with Tony Atlas, Johnson was half of the first black champions of the WWF tag team.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest in power, Rocky 🙏 pic.twitter.com/tnplMM5AwW
– Wrestling trip (@WrestlingTravel) January 15, 2020
I am very sorry to hear the death of the great Rocky Johnson. Always a gentleman, I always enjoyed talking to him. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and the fans who loved him. A very sad day for wrestling.#RIPRockyJohnson pic.twitter.com/4agKbOzAry
– Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) January 15, 2020
He was recruited by the World Wrestling Federation, where he fought with the likes of Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Don Muraco and Adrian Adonis.
He also enjoyed success when he partnered with Tony Atlas as The Soul Patrol, and the two men became the first African American Tag Team Champions in WWE history in 1983.