There are few film stars as widely regarded as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The man has a work ethic like no other and seems to be releasing a new film every six months as he dominates the box office and takes Hollywood by storm. He's one of the highest-paid actors in the business and uses what little spare time he has when not filming or training to help various charities and people in need. Not bad for a guy who started his career with only seven dollars to his name.
Beginning life as a college footballer and dreaming of an NFL career, Rocky suffered a career-threatening injury and was cut from his team. Finding himself floundering in his early 20s, Johnson decided to follow in his father's footsteps and become a wrestler. Initially resistant, The Rock's father, the great Rocky Johnson, eventually relented and agreed as long as he trained him. Rock worked hard on his craft and got the chance to impress the brass at the WWE in a number of dark show matches before eventually signing with the premiere wrestling company, and as they say, the rest is history.
Over the next decade, The Rock became one of the WWE's top drawcards, winning multiple championships and having feuds with the best wrestlers in the company. Not content with just being a wrestler, Rock wanted to break into Hollywood, with his first role as a cameo as the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns. This led to a spin-off film about the character and Johnson was quickly thrust into the world of film where he's become a multimillion-dollar commodity, staring in a string of blockbusters including Rampage, Fast Five, Moana, and San Andreas.
Throughout his career, Rocky has made many close friends both in the wrestling and film business and his interaction with fans both in real life and social media have seen him labeled as one of the nice guys in Hollywood. Although this may be the case, The Rock has also made his fair share of enemies over the journey, often due to his lack of empathy for people who are lazy or drama obsessed. This article will look at 10 of Johnson's closest friends along with 10 he's had beef with.
20 Friend: Kevin Hart
The bromance between Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart continues to flourish with every film the two do together. The pair seems to be everywhere when promoting films together, showing up on each other's social media accounts and regularly making fun of each other.
Despite only starring together in the action comedy Central Intelligence and the rebooted Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the two have become firm friends and genuinely seem to like each other, even if they do spend the majority of the time taking the mickey out of each other, like all true friendships. The most recent joke between the two occurred after the birth of Rocky's second child Tiana, with partner Lauren Hashian.
The Rock took a picture of him holding his daughter but photoshopped Hart's head onto the baby and posted it on Instagram with the caption; "To my beloved son, @kevinhart4real. Twinkle Twinkle little Hart. I just don’t know where to start. Daddy will always love and protect your tiny little soul. #Shhhh #AndGoNightNight #OnDaddysPecMeat."
Hart saw the funny side and replied to the post with this, "The Internet will forever be undefeated 😂😂😂😂😂 This is hilarious as [heck] 😂😂😂😂😂," before posting his own picture of him holding a baby with The Rock's face on his Instagram post with a hilarious caption. This type of tomfoolery is something the two engage in on a regular basis and is the reason why they are great friends.
19 No More: Tyrese Gibson
When The Rock joined the cast of Fast Five he helped reinvigorate the franchise and added another talented actor to an already impressive cast. The Rock was welcomed by fans of the franchise but soon earned the ire of some of his cast mates after he made some interesting comments during the press tour for the most recent film The Fate Of The Furious. Rocky questioned the unprofessional conduct of some of the cast, offending fellow Fast And The Furious regular Tyrese Gibson.
He was enraged when it was revealed The Rock's character Hobbs was getting his own spin-off film with Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw.
The shooting of the untitled spin-off means the next Fast film won't be out until 2020, causing Gibson to take to social media to call out The Rock in a number of now deleted posts and give him a piece of his mind on behalf of the cast and crew. Gibson threatened not to appear in the ninth film if The Rock was in it, but eventually came to his senses and admitted he said the things he did because he was extremely stressed as he's been going through a custody battle and is almost broke. Gibson revealed he spoke with The Rock and they patched things up, but considering Rocky has remained mum on the tiff I'm pretty sure he's still annoyed at Gibson and not overly concerned with what he says.
18 Friend: Vince McMahon
Wrestling makes up a huge part of Dwayne Johnson's life so it should come as no surprise this list will feature people heavily involved with the squared circle. Of all the people The Rock has interacted with over the years, none have been as supportive as Vince McMahon, the chairman and CEO of the WWE. Having taken over the company after his father's passing, McMahon turned the WWE into the number one wrestling promotion and has ruled over the sport these past three decades, earning millions of dollars in revenue thanks to stars like Rocky. Along with Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock was responsible for the WWE winning the Monday Night War against rival promotion WCW and this is something McMahon has never forgotten.
When The Rock wanted to test his luck in Hollywood, McMahon gave him his blessing and enabled the eight-time WWE Champion the opportunity to leave the company and chase his dreams. In return, The Rock has come back intermittently over the years to help promote the company and the films he is starring in, with his most notable return being in 2013 when he captured his eighth WWE championship from CM Punk at the Royal Rumble before losing it 70 days later to John Cena at WrestleMania. Throughout their time together The Rock and McMahon have had a father-son relationship that is still going strong today and you never quite know when the Great One might appear on Monday Night RAW.
17 No More: CM Punk
When it comes to indie wrestlers turned superstars few can match the charisma and natural ability shown by CM Punk. After working for years with indie promotions, Punk finally got his chance with the WWE and made sure to make the most of it. He held many championships during his time with the company, even being named Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Wrestler of the Year in 2011 and 2012. But all good things must come to an end and in 2014 Punk quit the company amid reports of a falling out with Vince McMahon and the creative team.
Many people cite Punk's feud with the Rock as the turning point when the former champ decided he'd had enough of the company.
At the time Punk was the longest reigning WWE Champion in history (and still is although Brock Lesnar is closing in) and was riding a wave of acclaim from critics and fans. When it was announced The Rock was returning to WWE he was given a shot at Punk's title at the Royal Rumble, where he defeated Punk and ended his record-setting 434-day reign. Punk was not happy about losing the title to a part-timer and made it known both on television and in a number of interviews, criticizing The Great One for only attending a few events here and there and not being a full-time champion. Although Punk has never said he has anything personally against The Rock, it's obvious he wasn't a fan of his return and the two definitely aren't on each other's Christmas card list.
16 Friend: Dany Garcia
More often than not when a couple hit the skids and decide the only way forward is to get a divorce it usually ends up messy. This is compounded when there are children involved, but proving just how much of a great guy he is, when Dwayne Johnson and his wife Dany Garcia decided to end their relationship, it was done with humility and care. Both Johnson and Garcia managed to split amicably after 11 years of marriage together. The two were college sweethearts and had one daughter together but grew apart over the years.
Not only were they married but Garcia is Rocky's manager and business partner in his production company Seven Bucks. It's a credit to both parties they could put aside their relationship problems and move forward with their lives without affecting any of their business endeavors. They still work together closely and have managed to make things work as friends while sharing custody of their 17-year-old daughter Simone. Both have also found love again, with Garcia now married to bodybuilder Dave Rienzi and Johnson having been in a relationship with partner Lauren Hashian for over a decade. If you ever needed any proof that people can handle a break up with dignity and respect and remain friends you need look no further than these two.
15 No More: John Cena
There is a begrudging respect between The Rock and John Cena but for a long time, the two couldn't stand each other. Their dislike of one another stems from their different views on the business of professional wrestling. Cena took aim at Rocky for abandoning the WWE and wrestling fans for Hollywood, pointing out The Rock was never truly a man of the people. On the flip side, The Rock always believed he gave everything to the business and that getting into the movie industry was just the next evolution of his working life.
Whether you agree or disagree with either man it made for compelling television when The Rock returned to the WWE in 2011 and entered a feud with Cena. As The Rock revealed on Jimmy Kimmel last month, the heat between the two was real, with Rocky saying they "had real problems with each other." It's believed The Rock took great offense to Cena's comments and addressed them in various promos, with the two eventually clashing a year later at WrestleMania XXVIII in a match billed as "Once In a Lifetime." The Rock would claim victory over Cena and eventually go on to win the WWE Championship from CM Punk before losing the title to Cena in a rematch a year later at WrestleMania 29. As is the case with many real-life feuds in wrestling, if there is money to be made then airing each wrestler's dirty laundry in public is always encouraged.
14 Friend: Roman Reigns
If there's one thing Dwayne Johnson is known for it's looking after his own. Family is a huge part of Rocky's life as evidenced by the relationship he still has with his ex-wife. As a third generation wrestler with Samoan heritage, The Rock finds himself related to many past and present superstars who have entered the wrestling ring. One who he is very close with is current WWE superstar and cousin Roman Reigns.
The Rock has always been in Reigns' corner during his time in the WWE and believes he is destined to become a Hall of Famer like himself.
WWE even tried to use Rock to help get the controversial Reigns over with the crowd. After he outlasted 29 other wrestlers during the 2015 Royal Rumble and was proclaimed the victor, The Rock came out to celebrate with his younger cousin, but things didn't quite go to plan with the audience booing both Reigns and Rocky. Fans haven't taken to kindly to Vince McMahon anointing Reigns as the chosen one to lead the company into the future, and they showed their displeasure after the Rumble. Since then The Rock and Roman haven't shared the screen but are believed to keep in touch, with Rocky always happy to offer tips and words of support for Reigns.
13 No More: Shawn Michaels
During his first run in the company, Shawn Michaels was considered up there with the best of the best. An athletic wrestler with a fantastic gimmick, he was loved by the fans for his cocky and arrogant persona. Unfortunately, this also translated into Michaels real-life image meaning he was not well-liked by other wrestlers backstage. One of these wrestlers was the recently hired Rocky Maivia, soon to be known as The Rock. According to legend, The Rock already had it in for Michaels before he even arrived at the WWE. As a teenager growing up in Hawaii, Michaels came through town with the promotion and was said to have slandered Rock’s promoter grandmother, Lia Maivia. Not one to forget, The Rock carried this animosity towards Michaels when he first entered the wrestling world, refusing to ever work with HBK. Rocky shed a little light on the situation when talking with WWE.com, saying; "I was never ever interested in working with [Shawn Michaels] to be honest with you. I’ve known him for a long time. He came in and worked for my family in Hawaii when I was like 13. It was just one of those things."
While he didn't go into detail, it's fair to say his early interactions with Michaels helped shape his view on Mr. WrestleMania going forward and because of this the fans never got to see a match between the wrestlers.
12 Friend: Mark Henry
Billed as both The Strongest Man Alive, Mark Henry has had a colorful wrestling career. He got his big start as a member of the Nation Of Domination alongside leader Farooq and allies Kama Mustafa, D'Lo Brown, and The Rock. It's during this time Henry and The Rock became good friends, and even though Rocky would break away from the group and go on to have tremendous success as a singles wrestler, the bond between he and Henry remains. Henry credits Rocky for helping him do the right things backstage and stay on the straight and narrow, as detailed in an interview posted on Wrestling Inc.
Although they don't see each other as regularly as they would like, Henry has fond memories of their time together and cites The Rock's match with Hulk Hogan as the greatest moment in his wrestling career. This is quite the compliment considering Henry held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, ECW Championship, and European Championship during his decorated career. Henry says he was so happy to see The Rock get the chance to face one of his idols in the ring, making him extremely proud to count the Samoan as a close friend. It's pretty amazing Henry would put his friend's achievements over his own but this says a lot about the type of person The Rock is.
11 No More: Carlito
When The Rock returned to the WWE in 2011 the fans were ecstatic, but that same couldn't be said for the locker room. There were rumblings that numerous talents were upset with Rocky coming back and being given the big matches while they slaved away week in week out for no reward. But it wasn't just the locker room who was critical of The Rock, with former WWE superstar Carlito making some rather provocative accusations towards the former champ. When The Rock headlined WrestleMania 29 against John Cena and put his title on the line he went down swinging, succumbing to Cena after a grueling match. What makes his performance so remarkable is Rocky injured himself early in the bout. He tore his ab and abductor tendons but managed to finish the match and put Cena over as the new champion.
A few days after the match, Puerto Rican wrestler Carlito spat in the face of The Rock by taking to Twitter and insinuating his injuries were caused by steroids.
In the tweet Carlito wrote, "I guess instead of getting in tremendous shape for mania…he get in TREN-mendous shape!" For those in the dark, Tren is a popular steroid used by wrestlers to get a physic as impressive as The Rock's. While I'm not suggesting Rocky was on the roids, and it appears the tweet was tongue in cheek, it still caused a stir amongst the wrestling community, with many other wrestlers responding to the tweet, although The Rock doesn't seem to notice or care, having never addressed the issue.
10 Friend: Chris Jericho
There's no doubt when he eventually retires Chris Jericho will go down as one of the best wrestlers ever to enter the squared circle. The Canadian has had a long and successful career that's seen him wrestle for major promotions in Canada, America, Mexico, and Japan while managing to keep his image fresh and enjoyable everytime he returns to the WWE. When he first joined the WWE, Jericho debuted on RAW where he interrupted The Rock during a promo, managing to match wits with one of the best talkers in the game. Although nothing eventuated from the verbal sparring the two would finally meet a few years later when The Rock put over Jericho in a match for the WCW Championship, helping Y2J win his first world title in the process.
Although Rocky won the title back a month later Jericho has always praised The Great One for helping him with his career. The two have battled on multiple occasions during their careers and have a deep mutual respect for each other. The Rock has even stated in an interview one of his favorite matches of all time was a house show against Jericho in Hawaii. High praise from one of the most accomplished wrestlers of all time. Hopefully, the two will have another match someday in the near future as it's certainly something all fans would love to witness before the two officially hang up their boots.
9 No More: Kevin Nash
It's not surprising The Rock has had beef with Kevin Nash in the past. Big Daddy Cool is known as an outspoken leader of the locker room who controlled much of the booking during his time in WCW. Known for his large frame and quick wit, Nash has always thought himself as rather handy on the mic. During his days in WCW, a rumor abounded that for years the man also known as Diesel said he was much better on the mic than The Rock, who's often regarded as one of the best talkers in the wrestling business.
When WCW was purchased by WWE and many of the talents were hired, Nash entered into a rivalry with The Rock in 2002. Believing this would give him a great chance to take down Rocky in a war of words, Nash came armed with some zingers. What Nash didn't know is someone tipped off The Rock to Nash's forthcoming verbal assault, so Johnson got in first and cut a promo on Nash, calling him "Big daddy b****,” something that wasn't scripted. Nash was furious at being humiliated and held a grudge against The Rock for many years, although the two are said to be on good terms these days.
8 Friend: Haku
Family is everything and that's especially evident when it comes to The Rock. The third generation professional wrestler not only has a terrific legacy to live up to but has a multitude of cousins and uncles who are also wrestlers. The Rock's relatives include current WWE stars Roman Reigns and Nia Jax along with former legends Rikishi and Peter Maivia. Haku is another former wrestler The Rock considers family, despite not being blood-related. In his prime, Haku was a powerful Tongan wrestler who everybody respected due to his intimidating physicality and good-natured personality. When The Rock got his first big break he didn't have any ring gear and was forced to contact Haku for help.
Haku considered Rocky family and let him have a pair of his trunks and gave him his blessing.
In an Instagram post, The Rock said, "When I picked the trunks up from him I’ll never forget the monster hug he gave me, look me in the eyes and said, “I’m so proud of you. Go get ’em nephew!” Decades later The Rock repaid his debt to Haku by purchasing him a custom-made Ford pickup. Now if that doesn't make you a little teary-eyed then you've got no heart.
7 No More: Randy Orton
Randy Orton is one of the most decorated and talented wrestlers on the current WWE roster. A third-generation wrestler like The Rock, Orton debut at the tender age of 22 and quickly found fame as part of Evolution, a faction made up of Triple H, Ric Flair, and Dave Bautista. Orton found early success with the group, winning the Intercontinental Championship before getting his first taste of WrestleMania in a handicap match with Flair and Bautista against The Rock and Mankind.
Realizing he could hang with the big boys it wasn't long before Orton was back on the grandest stage of them all, winning his first WWE Heavyweight Championship and became the youngest champion of all time, cementing his legacy in the WWE. Despite Rocky helping prepare Orton for the rigors of a big crowd at WrestleMania, the son of Cowboy Bob Orton didn't mince his words when talking about the rivalry between Rocky and John Cena. Interviewed by ESPN Orton claimed Cena was a much better wrestler than The Rock and would beat him easily at their WrestleMania match. Although Orton has never backed down from his comments he has softened on his stance about The Rock's wrestling ability and the two appear to be on good terms.
6 Friend: Pat Patterson
As far as Hall Of Fame legends go, they don't get much bigger than Canadian-American Pat Patterson. The first-ever winner of the Intercontinental Championship Patterson has been an integral part of WWE over the years. He's responsible for the creation of the Royal Rumble and has been described as Vince McMahon's right-hand man. Patterson is also the reason The Rock got his first big break in wrestling. Calling Patterson up out of the blue The Rock told the former champion he was wrestling and ready to join the big leagues. Although it had been 10 years since Patterson had seen The Rock he remained friendly with his family and immediately called McMahon and organized to meet with Rocky.
He tells the story in his book, Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE, and explains, "When I saw him in action, I called Vince [McMahon, WWE chairman] and told him he wanted to see this kid, not tomorrow but yesterday. They brought him to the office and he had a meeting with Vince and he was hired."
The two would remain friends and continued to keep in contact after The Rock left the WWE for Hollywood.
Patterson adds in his biography The Rock returned Patterson's favor years later by inviting him to a movie premiere and walked the red carpet with him. "I gave him one final piece of advice that night: 'Make sure you enjoy it,'" Patterson wrote. This is just another demonstration of how great a guy Rocky really is.
5 No More: Mick Foley (Mankind)
During their time in the ring together the Rock 'n' Sock connection appeared to gel well as a team but this wasn't the case when the cameras stopped filming. The reason for the duo's lack of friendship outside the ring occurred after the pair engaged in a violent "I Quit" match at the 1999 Royal Rumble. It was a vicious no holds barred contest where Rocky handcuffed Mankind and hit him over the head with a steel chair 11 times (it was only meant to be 5 as discussed by Mankind in an interview with Stone Cold Steve Austin).
The match left Mankind with a bloody cut on his head and a dislocated jaw and was captured for the wrestling documentary Beyond The Mat. Although Mick Foley had been through many similar matches in his career he realized things had gone too far when he saw the reaction from his family, with his wife looking extremely worried and his kids crying. To make matters worse after the match when Foley was getting treatment for his injuries and everyone was checking up on him The Rock was nowhere to be seen. Foley says The Rock never apologized for taking things to far and the two had heat for a number of years. They didn't talk even though they wrestled as a tag team on numerous occasions. Eventually, the two buried the hatchet a few years later and are now on good terms.
4 Friend: The Dudley Boyz
Along with Edge & Christian and The Hardy Boyz, The Dudley Boyz were one of the best tag teams during the Attitude Era and went on to claim the gold nine times over their illustrious career with the company. As you can imagine, they became close with the guys they wrestled on the regular, but The Dudley's friendship also extended to The Great One. Even though the duo only shared screen time with Rocky on a couple of occasions during their long and storied careers, the three men became great buddies.
Despite being on different levels of the card The Dudley's and The Rock spent heaps of time together and often traveled to shows in the same car. This was confirmed by Bubba Ray Dudley when he appeared on Chris Jericho's wildly successful and entertaining podcast Talk Is Jericho. Bubba Ray revealed he believed both he and D-Von were two of Rock's closest friends during his time in the business. While it sounds strange Rocky would become friends with The Dudley's it shouldn't be too much of a surprise considering how all three men are known for being not only great in the ring but stand up guys outside of it.
3 No More: Triple H
There's a running joke amongst wrestling fans that Triple H has buried talent over the years to get himself ahead. In simple terms, the man who is married to Vince McMahon's daughter Stephanie and is the current Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative has been accused by many wrestlers and fans of making sure he wins the big matches and holds the title belts, even when it's not best for business. When The Rock and Triple H were competing against each other during their heyday they both used different methods to get ahead. The Rock relied on his charisma and in-ring ability while Triple H used his backstage power to pull the strings and play the political game. It's rumored when The Rock turned heel and was set to face Stone Cold Steve Austin for the title at WrestleMania XV, Shawn Michaels (he has already been mentioned as someone The Rock doesn't like) tried to get the match changed to Austin v Triple H, his good friend. Hunter Hurst Helmsley believed he deserved the spot more than Rocky and along with Michaels tried to convince Vince McMahon to dump The Rock.
Of course, this never eventuated and the jealousy and friction between Triple H and Rocky remained for years.
Although the two seem to have put their rivalry behind them every time they appear on WWE television together there is tension in the air and a sense of unfinished business between the men.
2 Friend: Stone Cold Steve Austin
Arguably the two biggest talents during the Attitude Era, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin were the reason the WWE managed to defeat WCW in the Monday Night War. The Rock played the cocky heel who wore flashy clothes and would do anything to win while Stone Cold was the everyman who took no bull and fought like a brawler. Although both wildly different personalities in the ring the two wrestlers are great friends outside of the squared circle and credit each other for their wrestling careers. Even before the two met on the grandest stage of them all at WrestleMania they bonded behinds the scenes, no doubt helping the authenticity of their matches. In an Instagram post recounting their appearance at Mania The Rock details how when certain parties tried to get Rocky out of the picture Stone Cold told him not to worry and that they would put on a sensational match and make the company lots of money, proving they were both worthy of headlining Mania. In the post Rocky claims, "Today, me and the Texas Rattlesnake are good buddies. Love that dude and I'll always be grateful to him for takin' me under his wing, teaching me the business philosophy that I still utilize today of "[Forget] them we're here to make money" and making me drink more nightly than I've ever had in my life."
This is just one of many times Rocky has praised Stone Cold, who has similar feelings about The Great One and is another depiction of why he's so loved amongst his wrestling peers.
1 No More: Vin Diesel
Tyrese Gibson isn't the only Fast And Furious cast member Rocky has upset over the journey with the architect of the series, Vin Diesel, also clashing with the former WWE Champion. After the filming of Fast And The Furious 8 The Rock took to Instagram to reveal not all was well with the Furious family. Rocky's post had a long caption about the flick and included explaining that, "Some [male co-stars] conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don't. The ones that don't are too chicken to do anything about it anyway."
While no names were mentioned it was quickly asserted Rocky was talking about Vin Diesel, with Michelle Rodriguez all but confirming the feud when talking with People at a Call of Duty event in Los Angeles. Despite the falling out both men have been complimentary of each other in the public space, with The Rock explaining to Entertainment Tonight the beef was about "different philosophies" and Vin Diesel telling reporters, "We still love each other, that's my boy." It's believed a meeting was held for the two to squash their differences so they could concentrate on Fast And Furious 9, although in a recent issue of Rolling Stone Magazine The Rock did say, "Actually, you can erase that last part about 'no ill will.' We'll just keep it with the clarity," in regards to where the two are at. Seems like this is one feud that isn't quite over yet.