Rocky Johnson was the first African-American heavyweight champion from Florida. Recently, he published his book as an autobiography, the Soulman-The Rocky Johnson Story. More than 40 years ago, Rocky Johnson was making history when he won the title as the best heavyweight wrestler in Tampa Bay, Florida.
He decides for a book because he wanted it to be an inspiration to others. The interview with him was at his home in Lutz, in a house that is worth 800,000 dollars. The Rocky Johnson, who is 72 years old now, said that if he and his son succeeded, anyone can.
The family of Johnson is descendants of slaves who escaped to Canada. The place of Rocky Johnson’s birth is Wayde Bowles in Nova Scotia. He was 12 when his father died, and two years later, he starts his training for boxing. In the years after, he chose wrestling over boxing, because it was more engaging to him.
The story about how he chose his wrestling name is also very interesting. The Johnson is because he admires the career of first African -American Jack Johnson. The other part of his name comes from Rocky Marciano, who also was one of his favorite boxers.
He was implementing a lot of boxing skills in his moves during the wrestling matches. His best and the most popular move was a dropkick with both legs. Rocky Johnson was a real superstar in WWE during the 70s and he has a lot of attractive moves for cheering the public.
One of the people who became a great fan of WWE because of Rocky Johnson is Barry Rose, who was a president of Rocky Johnson Fan Club in the 70s. Today, he is working on the promotion of former legends of this sport. A similar event is going to be held in Lutz, where one of the former stars will be Johnson itself.
During the 70s, World Wrestling Entertainment became the dominating industry in this sport, and there were promotions for WWE in every state and region. Rocky Johnson was the first African-American heavyweight champion in Texas, Florida, and Georgia. He won his first title in Florida in 1975 at the Fort Homer tournament.
Later during his career, he formed the first team of African-American world champions in WWE, with Tony Atlas. They were so good in this entertaining sports events that even people from the south became their fans. Johnson said that he could break down the walls of intolerance with his popularity at that time.
However, in that time there were still a lot of stereotypes about the African-Americans, so Rocky Johnson was trying to put that on the side, and show himself only as a successful athlete. But still, there was a lot of racism that he experienced because of the color of the skin. Rocky chose to be a confident sportsman and never let go for intolerance to get on his way.
His son is today one of the most popular wrestlers and actors in the world. Both of them, Rocky Johnson and Dwayne Johnson lived in South Florida until Dwayne went to live in Georgia. Also, Rocky Johnson is very proud of his family and says that his grandchildren will accomplish even more.