The Rock officially announced his retirement Sunday from WWE. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson said that he “quietly retired” from the squared circle but did not rule out a comeback in the future. This is the first time that The Rock has publicly admitted that he retired from wrestling.
Speaking on a chat show ‘Live with Kelly and Ryan in the States’, the eight-time WWE champion admitted: “I miss wrestling. I love wrestling.”
“I quietly retired from wrestling because I was lucky enough to have a wonderful career and accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.
“But there’s nothing like a live crowd, live audience, live microphone,” he said.
The Rock’s last big showdown in the WWE was his famous feud with John Cena at WrestleMania 29. However, his last official match took place at WrestleMania 32, where he defeated one half of the Wyatt Brothers – Erick Rowan – in six seconds.
Last week, the 47-year-old, who has been busy promoting new film ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’, was named the highest-paid actor for 2019 by Forbes – raking in a cool $124 million.
The son of WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson, the University of Miami football standout showed promise early when he won the Intercontinental Championship within months of first setting foot in the ring.
From there, The Rock’s momentum never slowed, as he laid smackdown on “Attitude Era” rivals like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Triple H while spouting endless catchphrases that immediately became part of pop culture.
With one eyebrow cocked, Johnson, who referred to himself as ‘The People’s Champion’, would warn jabronis to “Know your role and shut your mouth” or “Just bring it!” before delivering his devastating finishing manoeuver, The Rock Bottom, to finish bouts.
Looking back at his debut at Madison Square Garden in the Survivor Series in 1997, then known as ‘Rocky Maivia’, Johnson said, “I had my very first match ever in the WWE in Madison Square Garden. It was a big pay-per-view and, it’s funny because I credit my journey in pro wrestling to getting me to where I am today — especially that particular night.”
“Generally, your first match, you have it in a small town, small crowd, non-televised. This is Madison Square Garden, sold out, one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year, Survivor Series. I was in one of the main events. No one knew who I was.
There is the saying, ‘If you can make it New York, you can make it anywhere’ because it’s the toughest crowd and they really test you, especially in the world of wrestling.
“At the 15-minute mark of my match, 22,000 people are chanting ‘Rocky, Rocky, Rocky.’ It just set me on a path in my career that I’ll never forget,” he said on the talk show.