WWE released a video package on Friday night paying tribute to the late Rocky Johnson, who passed away this week at the age of 75. Johnson, the father of legendary former WWE Champion Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, wrestled in the World Wrestling Federation from 1982-85, and made history in 1983 alongside Tony Atlas as the first black tag team to hold the WWF Tag Team Championships. Since his death, numerous wrestlers, promoters and promotions have released statements offering their condolences to Johnson's family.
On Friday morning Dwayne posted a tribute to his father on his Instagram account. After retiring in 1991, Johnson helped train his son on how to become a pro wrestler alongside Pat Patterson.
View this post on Instagram
I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am. The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities. Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deeply complicated sides that needed to be held and understood. Son to father. Man to man. That’s when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude. Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life’s invaluable lessons. Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. Im in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish. Finally, I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease. You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high. #ripsoulman #rockyjohnson 🐐
Johnson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2008.
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