Wrestling lost another legend on Thursday as 75-year-old WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson passed away. Johnson is the father of professional wrestling and Hollywood superstar Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Rocky wrestled in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) before coming over to the WWE where he was part of the first black tag team (along with Tony Atlas) to win the World Tag Team Championship in the company (then WWF).
WWE issued a statement about Rocky Johnson’s death without revealing the reason behind his demise. There has been an outpour of tributes to the former champion.
“A loss for every fan of @WWE, Rocky Johnson was a barrier-breaking performer. Our thoughts are with his family at this time,” tweeted the WWE executive and wrestler Paul “Triple H” Levesque.
— Triple H (@TripleH) January 16, 2020
“So sorry to hear about your Dad. He was always very kind to me. Hung out in Louisville when I was coming back from my torn quad. Laughed and he shared me his knowledge. Again sorry Dwayne,” Kevin Nash tweeted to The Rock.
So sorry to hear about your Dad. He was always very kind to me. Hung out in Louisville when I was coming back from my torn quad. Laughed and he shared me his knowledge. Again sorry Dwayne.
— Kevin Nash (@RealKevinNash) January 16, 2020
‘I am so sorry to hear of the passing of the great Rocky Johnson. Always a gentleman, I always enjoyed talking with him. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the fans who loved him. A very sad day for wrestling,’ said Mick Foley.
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of the great Rocky Johnson. Always a gentleman, I always enjoyed talking with 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
We are saddened to learn wrestling legend Rocky Johnson has passed away. We extend our heartfelt condolences at this difficult time to his friends and family. pic.twitter.com/0AFyuu4AR3
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) January 16, 2020
— RIKISHI (@TheREALRIKISHI) January 16, 2020
Former wrestler Brian Blair, another 1980s WWE star, revealed that Johnson had complained of an unspecified illness before his death.
“He was just under the weather, he thought he had the flu or something. I said, ‘You need to get checked out, Rocky.’ He said he’d be OK. Then he missed this Sunday, a few days ago. When I talked to him again, he said he still wasn’t feeling good and he still missed church. He still didn’t get checked out. I talked to Sheila and she said he was just being stubborn. He died at home, today,” said Blair.
After retiring in 1991, Johnson started training his son, Dwayne for a career in professional wrestling.
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