Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Reflects On His Risky WWE Retirement

Former WWE star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson discusses his risky retirement and transition into acting, as well as his temporary return to wrestling.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is speaking out about his retirement from WWE in a revealing new video. Johnson began his wrestling career in 1996, racking up a number of wins during his time there. He won the WWE championship an impressive eight times and was an unmatched draw for professional wrestling. However, after several years in the field, Johnson decided to retire to pursue an acting career, as others like Dave Bautista and John Cena have done. Johnson waited until his contract with WWE was up in 2004 before making the complete transition to acting. However, he’s returned to WWE since, making several appearances over the years.

Like with his wrestling career, Johnson has found immense success acting, effectively carving out a place for himself in Hollywood. Though perhaps best known for action movies like the Fast & Furious franchise, San Andreas, and the Jumanji movies, Johnson has also branched out to comedy and family films as well. For example, he played a key role in Disney’s Moana and sang one of the movie’s most popular songs. Johnson has also done TV work, starring in the HBO series Ballers, which just ended last year. He also hosts NBC’s The Titan Games, which will return for season 2 next week.

Related: The Rock & Vin Diesel’s Feud Will Become Marvel vs. DC In 2021

In a video posted to Instagram, Johnson discussed his retirement from WWE in detail, calling it “the biggest risk of my life.” He also reflected on his transition to acting, saying “the odds were stacked against me of having a Hollywood career that had any kind of long term, substantial global influence and value.” Additionally, the actor discussed his return to WWE, saying he did it “to give back,” and calling his 2014 WrestleMania match “the right way” to go out. Check out Johnson’s full video below:

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The risk was two fold/ I retired on top as pro wrestling’s #1 draw. And coming from the world of wrestling, the odds were stacked against me of having a Hollywood career that had any kind of long term, substantial global influence and value. After a bewildering 7 year career as a wrestler, I kept my hand shake bond – finished out my contractual obligations and quietly retired. But I knew in heart and in my gut what my WHY was. Once we identify OUR WHY, then our actions have powerful purpose. Almost 10yrs later in 2012, I returned to the industry that’s in my blood. I returned to the @wwe to give back. To bring value and impact the bottom line. Proud to say when I returned we, as a team – set all time box office and PPV records that will never be broken. And in 2014, I wrestled my very last match at WrestleMania in New York at a sold out Met Life Stadium. My wrestling career ended the only way I was willing — flat on my back, getting beat 1, 2, 3, looking up at the stars and being grateful for my blessings. I went out the right way. The respectful way. I retired from wrestling in 2013. Grateful to the bone. And on my shield🛡

A post shared by therock (@therock) on May 17, 2020 at 7:41am PDT

Luckily, Johnson’s risk paid off. If anything, his star is only continuing to rise in Hollywood, as he’s become one of the most sought after actors of the last several years. Johnson will appear in Disney’s Jungle Cruise with Emily Blunt, which is now slated to release next summer. He’ll follow that up with his debut in Black Adam, playing the title supervillain. With any luck, this will lead to a larger role in the DCEU and a meet up with Zachary Levi’s Shazam. Johnson will also appear in another superhero movie, the recently announced Ball and Chain for Netflix. That film will reunite him with Blunt, as the two play a married couple whose superpowers are dependent on one another.

It’s refreshing to hear Johnson speak so frankly about his retirement from WWE, especially considering what a risky decision it was. There are very few people in entertainment who have achieved the level of success Johnson has in two different industries. Despite the risk involved in leaving wrestling for acting, in Dwayne Johnson‘s case, it’s a gamble that paid off.

More: Why Doom Fans Have Turned Around On Dwayne Johnson’s Movie

Source: Dwayne Johnson

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About The Author

Rebecca VanAcker is a news writer and evening editor at Screen Rant. She enjoys covering all things superhero, especially Marvel and the Arrowverse. In the past, she’s written TV recaps for Screen Picks and reviews for Yahoo TV UK. Though Rebecca likes movies and other forms of storytelling, TV is her true passion, having written about it in some capacity since 2014. She especially loves female-driven shows like Parks and Recreation, Jane the Virgin, and Fleabag.
A graduate of Michigan State University, Rebecca got her teaching certificate before falling in love with writing and the entertainment industry. She has a B.A. in English, and her longtime love of reading has followed her into adulthood. While she enjoys discovering new books, right now she’s probably just re-reading Harry Potter for the millionth time. Her other hobbies include baking, anything Disney, and exploring with her dog, Beckett.
You can follow Rebecca on Twitter @BecksVanAcker, or contact her directly at rvanacker23(at)gmail(dot)com.

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