Hollywood's action star Dwayne Johnson's father Rocky "Soul Man" Johnson, a former professional wrestler, passed away due to heart attack at the age of 75 earlier in January 2020. Rocky Johnson, famously known as Soulman, started his career in the 1960s with the National Wrestling Alliance before starting his journey in WWE, in 1983. Post his retirement, he trained Dwayne Johnson, who went onto become one of the most famous players as The Rock.
Dwayne Johnson has always fondly talked about his father. On Friday, he shared a video of himself delivering an emotional eulogy for his late father. Taking to Instagram, he wrote, "Dad, you lived a full and meaningful life • You trail blazed and even harder, you changed people’s harsh behaviors toward a man of color. Paving the way for me, my family and generations to come. You loved us with the capacity of which you could - given all the givens.
Raised me with an iron hand and a tough complicated love."
He further wrote, "A love that now, as a father and man, I’ve learned to refine as I raise my own children.
I wish I had one more shot. To say one more thing. You were taken too fast. Slipped right thru my hands. But you were so loved, lived so full, defined culture and now you rest high. Peacefully. And that makes my heart smile.
I love you and now I have an angel to call by name. I’ll see you down the road, Soulman. Til we meet again. Your son."
In a 10-minute video, Dwayne addressed everyone and said, "Man, I wish I had … I wish I had one more shot. I wish I had one more shot to say goodbye … to say I love you, to say thank you, but I have a feeling he’s watching. He’s listening.”
Recalling the day when he heard the news, he further said, "Lauren was with our babies, she was with my mom and she said, ‘You know, I really can’t talk… I think you should call Cora though’, so of course, I called Cora. I’m literally just pulling in and I’m looking at the whole crew, hundreds of guys and women milling around, carrying equipment and waving at me in the truck, and I’m waving back and it all got really foggy and it seemed like it was a big dream.”
“You know how you have those moments where you try and shake yourself out of it, and you’re like ‘No, it’s not a dream. … My dad’s gone.’ In that moment, I just thought ‘Well, what do I need to do? What’s the next thing that I need to do?’And I heard a voice say, ‘Well, hey, the show must go on,’ and that was my dad. That was my old man who told me that,” Dwayne Johnson said as video clips of Rocky Johnson played in the background.
Dwayne said that his father was a trailblazer. “The other side to it that I wanted to point out that I thought was important to say is that when somebody is a trailblazer that means that they actually, they have the ability to change behavior and audience’s behavior, people’s behavior,” he said. “And for my dad, when he broke into the business in the mid ’60s and throughout the late ’60s and into the ’70s in the United States where racial tension and divide was very strong and in the ’60s and the ’70s you have a black man coming in, it’s an all-white audience and all these small little towns that eventually I would go on to wrestle in — but at that time he changed the audience’s behavior and actually had them cheer for this black man.”
“And not when he was wrestling against other black men, because he was usually the only black guy in the territory, he was wrestling against other white wrestlers. I thought that was really unique, and I thought that was really powerful, and I thought that it deserved to be said. And that’s what this man did.”
“When you think of my dad’s name, you think hard work. You think ‘barrier-breaking,’ you think being the hardest worker in the room, always working out. He taught me how to work out at a very young age. Hard work, discipline — those are things and tenants that are synonymous with my dad’s name," he added.
He further continued, “What’s amazing to me now, after a day like today after we come here and we give our respect and our love, he’s galvanized, he’s responsible for galvanizing families now. Because through processes like this, we’ve all lost loved ones, but guaranteed when we walk out of these doors, we’re going to hold each other a bit tighter, we’re going to hug each other a bit harder, we’re going to kiss each other and we’re going to say, ‘I love you,’ and we’re going to be a bit more present.”
Dwayne Johnson concluded by saying, "I wish your soul at rest and at ease.”
On the work front, Dwayne Johnson, today, is the highest-paid entertainer in the world, as per Forbes. He is currently working on his supervillain role for DC's Black Adam.
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You trail blazed and even harder, you changed people’s harsh behaviors toward a man of color. Paving the way for me, my family and generations to come. You loved us with the capacity of which you could - given all the givens. Raised me with an iron hand and a tough complicated love. A love that now, as a father and man, I’ve learned to refine as I raise my own children. I wish I had one more shot. To say one more thing. You were taken too fast. Slipped right thru my hands. But you were so loved, lived so full, defined culture and now you rest high. Peacefully. And that makes my heart smile. I love you and now I have an angel to call by name. I’ll see you down the road, Soulman. Til we meet again. Your son ????????
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