Wayde Douglas Bowles, better known as WWE Hall Of Famer Rocky Johnson has passed away at the age of 75.
He was the father of American actor and former WWE wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Cauliflower Alley Club has confirmed the news, issuing the following message.
Horrible news to pass along. We just learned that Rocky Johnson passed away today at the age of 75. His accolades in this business, all the people he influenced, all his accomplishments, and we are so deeply sorry and wish his family nothing but the most love at this time
Rocky Johnson was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, but later moved to Toronto at the age of 16. He initially trained as a boxer, eventually sparring with legends such as George Foreman and Muhammad Ali.
Regarded as one of the greatest African-American pioneers in pro-wrestling, Johnson started his career in the mid-1960s.
He was trained by High Chief Peter Maivia, who later became his father-in-law. When Johnson married Peters daughter, Ata Maivia, he became a part of the Anaoi’ Samoan wrestling dynasty.
During his wrestling career, Johnson became the NWA Georgia and South Heavyweight Memphis Champion.
In the WWE, Johnson along with his partner Tony Atlas became the first black tag team to win the WWE Tag Team championship.
In 2008, Johnson was induced into the WWE Hall Of Fame.
WWE issued a statement shortly after the news was released.
WWE is saddened to learn that Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles), a WWE Hall of Famer and former World Tag Team Champion, has passed away at age 75.
The cause of his death has yet to be revealed. We send our condolences Rocky Johnson’s family during this difficult time.