Rocky Johnson has died aged 75.
The professional wrestler and father of fellow wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has passed away at the age of 75, according to The Cauliflower Alley Club – which is a fraternal organization for current and retired pro wrestlers – who broke the news on Wednesday (15.01.20).
In a tweet, the club wrote: “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 ”
Other key organizations in the wrestling world have shared their condolences to the family during this trying time.
The National Wrestling Alliance is saddened to hear of the passing of Rocky Johnson.
His legacy stretches across every promotion. He was a champion everywhere he went including holding the NWA Georgia Championship.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family. pic.twitter.com/KTqHZns6Hb
— NWA (@nwa) January 15, 2020
We are saddened to learn wrestling legend Rocky Johnson has passed away. We extend our heartfelt condolences at this difficult time to his friends and family. pic.twitter.com/0AFyuu4AR3
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) January 16, 2020
— WWE (@WWE) January 16, 2020
As of the time of writing, no cause of death has been revealed, and Rocky’s family – including Dwayne – have not yet commented publicly on the news.
Rocky – whose real name was Wayde Douglas Bowles – was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008 after a prolific career which spanned 25 years.
The star wrestled for numerous territories in his career and challenged NWA Worlds champions like Harley Race and Terry Funk in the 1970s, before finding his calling in tag team wrestling.
After holding several regional NWA tag belts, he joined the then-WWF in 1982 and was paired with Tony Atlas, and the pair became the first black WWF Tag champions in 1983 when they defeated The Wild Samoans.
Following the news of his passing, several of his industry pals have shared their condolences on social media, including former wrestler Mick Foley.
He wrote: “I am so sorry to hear of the passing of the great Rocky Johnson. Always a gentleman, I always enjoyed talking with him. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the fans who loved him. A very sad day for wrestling.
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of the great Rocky Johnson. Always a gentleman, I always enjoyed talking with him. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the fans who loved him. A very sad day for wrestling.#RIPRockyJohnson pic.twitter.com/4agKbOzAry
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) January 15, 2020
Rocky is survived by his son Dwayne, his widow Dana Martin – whom he married in 2004 – and his two other children, Curtis and Wanda.