College Football on CBS Sports
College Football on CBS Sports is the branding used for broadcasts of college football games that are produced by CBS Sports , for CBS and CBS Sports Network .
CBS has been a television partner with the SEC since 1996, when the network returned to carrying regular-season college football on a weekly basis during the season. CBS also televises the annual Army-Navy Game . Recently, CBS Sports Network has also begun televising college football from the Mid American Conference , Conference USA and Mountain West Conference , as well as home football games from Army , UConn and Navy . Televised games featuring teams inside the Southeastern Conference are branded as SEC on CBS and the Mountain West Conference as Mountain West on CBS , all other televised football games are branded as College Football on CBS Sports .
CBS has been televising college football games since it launched a sports division, and did so on a weekly basis during a period from the 1950s to 1966, when ABC gained exclusive rights to all NCAA regular season games. During that time period, CBS used Joe Hasel , Bob Neal , Mal Stevens , Jack Drees , Francis Wallace, Tom Harmon , and Gil Stratton as commentators. Drees was usually paired on commentary with Wallace on Midwest games, while Hasel and subsequently, Neal was paired with Stevens on Eastern regional games, and Harmon was paired with Stratton in games taking place on the West Coast . CBS was reduced to airing the Cotton Bowl Classic , which it had aired since 1958. It added the Sun Bowl in 1968, which continues to air on CBS as of 2020. From 1974 to 1977, it also aired the Fiesta Bowl , and from 1978 to 1986 it carried the Peach Bowl . CBSSN carried the Cure Bowl from 2015 to 2019. Since 2017, CBSSN has carried the Arizona Bowl , though COVID-19 issues led to the 2020 edition being aired on the main CBS network.
For the 1982 season , CBS was made an additional partner in the NCAA contract, and regular season coverage returned to the network. CBS and ABC would alternate the 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. slots from week to week during the seasons, carrying either a national game or several regional games in those frames, and also occasionally aired games in prime time, and on Black Friday . CBS broadcast games from every major conference, as well as the games of the then major independents such as Penn State , Notre Dame member in 2020 only) and Miami .
Per the September 1, 1982, edition of the Elyria Chronicle Telegram and the September 1, 1982, edition of Sports Illustrated , ABC and CBS officials met with NCAA representatives and flipped a coin to determine “control dates”. This allowed the network with priority on a particular date to have first choice when selecting the game it wished to air and whether it wanted the 12:00 ET or 3:30 ET timeslot. CBS won the first toss and thus earned first choice on seven dates: September 18, September 25, October 2, October 9, October 16, November 6, and November 20. ABC then got first pick on six dates, September 11, October 23, October 30, November 13, November 27, and December 4. ABC and CBS also had the right to take away a game from WTBS as long as it did so no later than the Monday before the game. WTBS was only able to show teams that had not been on national TV in 1981 and a maximum of four teams that had been on regional TV on two occasions.
As required by the NCAA, the network also televised Division I-AA, II and III games to very small audiences, giving teams such as The Citadel and Clarion State some television exposure . The pregame show was titled The NCAA Today in the vein of its pro football counterpart The NFL Today . Both shows were hosted by Brent Musburger . However, for the NCAA pregame show, Pat O’Brien and Ara Parseghian were the analysts/feature reporters, although Lesley Visser made occasional appearances on the show. Gary Bender was the lead play-by-play announcer for game coverage, working with analysts such as Pat Haden and Steve Davis . Other CBS game commentators were Verne Lundquist , Lindsey Nelson , Frank Herzog , Jack Snow and Dennis Franklin . This arrangement was in place during the 1982 and 1983 seasons.
CBS originally wanted to air some Division I-A games on Sunday. However, according to Sports Illustrated , fellow NCAA football rights holders ABC and WTBS refused to sign off on the idea. Both networks demanded that CBS pay more in rights fees if it showed additional games. WTBS also objected to CBS moving games from Saturday to Sunday due to fears that such games would steal viewers from the NFLPA All-Star Games that WTBS planned to air. When the red tape made showing big time college football too difficult to pull off, CBS got the idea to run Division III games on that Sunday. It doesn’t appear that CBS had plans to air any more games, however, since, Division III or not, it would have likely meant having to kick more money to the NCAA per ABC’s and WTBS’ demands.
In 1984, after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the NCAA contract in NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Georgia , the College Football Association was formed to handle affairs between television networks and college football programs, the result was an exclusive contract with ABC that granted the network rights to all CFA partner conference games and the games of most major independents. However, the Big Ten and Pac-10 conferences were not included in this package, and signed their own agreement with CBS. Miami also reached an agreement for CBS to televise its most important home games, and in 1985, the Atlantic Coast Conference was added to CBS’ list of college football properties. In 1985, Musburger took over the role of lead play-by-play voice, with Parseghian moving to the booth with him. Jim Nantz succeeded Musburger as studio host.
In 1987, CBS took over the CFA contract, which it would hold until 1990. CBS’ tendency during this period was to air one marquee game each week, such as the legendary 1988 “Catholics vs Convicts” matchup between Notre Dame and Miami, though regional telecasts would occasionally be aired. For 1987 and 1988, Pat Haden joined Musburger in the booth, with John Dockery manning the sidelines. Nantz hosted what was now known as the ” Prudential College Football Report”, which was mostly a roundup of the day’s scores and top headlines , though sometimes key figures in the sport would be interviewed. Verne Lundquist, Tim Brant , Dick Stockton , Steve Zabriskie and Brad Nessler also called games for CBS during the CFA period. In 1989, Nantz became lead play-by-play announcer, but Haden remained the lead analyst for that year, being replaced by Brant in 1990. After 1990, ABC obtained exclusive network coverage of regular season college football, as it won back the CFA and retained the Pac-10/Big Ten rights.
As the 1990s began, CBS’ Division I-A college football coverage was reduced to its bowl game contracts, which it had with the then-John Hancock , Cotton and the then- Blockbuster bowls. However, it lost the rights to the Cotton Bowl to NBC after the 1992 game, leaving the network with just two bowl games to round out its college football coverage. CBS televised Major League Baseball from 1990 to 1993, so as a result the network was not without major sports coverage on Saturdays during the fall after the loss of college football. In 1994 and 1995, after losing the MLB contract and its NFL contract , trying but failing to buy NHL rights , and still unable to secure a college football contract, CBS did not have any major sports coverage in the fall.
For 1995, CBS re-acquired the rights to the Cotton Bowl Classic and also gained rights to the Fiesta Bowl and the Orange Bowl from NBC. This was an important move for CBS as those two bowls would become part of the Bowl Alliance with the Sugar Bowl beginning that season; the goal was to try to guarantee an undisputed national champion in college football, something its predecessor the Bowl Coalition had also tried but did not fully succeed in doing.
Under the terms of the contract, which ran from 1995 through 1997 , the Bowl Alliance games would be scheduled for New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Night, and January 2 with the last of the three serving as the national championship game. CBS would thus be guaranteed two national championship game matchups, with the Sugar Bowl airing on ABC.
CBS was the first network to air a Bowl Alliance national championship game, as Nebraska defeated Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl . CBS also continued to air the Sun Bowl, but lost the rights to the Carquest Bowl after the game was moved from New Year’s Day following the Orange Bowl’s move to the home of the Carquest Bowl, Joe Robbie Stadium .
CBS resumed full-time college football coverage in 1996, as the network signed television contracts with the Big East Conference and Southeastern Conference to be the exclusive national television home of their in-conference schedules. The coverage was originally branded “College Football on CBS”, sponsored initially by NASDAQ , a tag it retains for non-SEC games broadcast on the network.
CBS also televised games featuring non-Big East or SEC teams during this time. As part of the contract signed in 1996, CBS succeeded ABC Sports as the television home of the Army-Navy Game .
CBS lost the rights to three of its bowl games following the 1997 season, as ABC gained the rights to the Orange and Fiesta Bowls as the exclusive television home of the newly formed Bowl Championship Series and Fox acquired the rights to the Cotton Bowl Classic. However beginning in 2001, CBS became the home of the SEC Championship Game , the rights to which had been retained by ABC following the SEC’s move. Following the 2000 season, the Big East decided not to renew its contract with CBS and instead signed with ABC, leading to the telecasts taking on the SEC on CBS branding.
Today, CBS airs the top SEC weekly in-conference games as well as rivalry games with various other conferences when the SEC team is the home team. The network shares the rights to SEC conference games with the ESPN family of networks, which also airs the interconference rivalry games when the SEC team is not the home team , as well as all Pac-12/SEC regular season games.
On September 26, 1998, CBS planned to show UCLA @ Miami at noon, but this game was postponed due to a hurricane. Sean McDonough and Terry Donahue were the scheduled announcers. In 2000, CBS installed Verne Lundquist on its No. 1 team following Sean McDonough’s departure from CBS Sports. The events of September 11, 2001, resulted in postponements for games scheduled the weekend of September 15. The Tennessee – Florida game was rescheduled to December 1, which pushed the SEC title game one week later to December 8.
In 2005 CBS Sports Network , then operating as CTV, signed a multi-year agreement to air select Conference USA football games. CBS Sports Network has aired the Conference USA football championship game since 2018.
Until 2014, CBS maintained exclusivity during its 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time window. As part of an extension to CBS’s contract with the SEC through the 2023–24 season, CBS no longer has exclusivity during its afternoon window, but still has the first choice of games. CBS is limited to airing five games featuring a particular team per season, and is allowed to air one game in primetime per season. In 2014, the Iron Bowl was given to ESPN in favor of the Egg Bowl , due to its potential effects on Mississippi State ‘s participation in the College Football Playoff ).
CBS aired the Gator Bowl from 2007 to 2010, its biggest bowl acquisition since the Orange and Fiesta Bowls. The Sun Bowl continues to air on CBS.
Before 2019, CBS had rights to three non-SEC regular season matchups, including the Army-Navy Game. CBS and NBC Sports split coverage of the annual matchup between Notre Dame and Navy, with CBS televising the game in years where Navy serves as the host team. CBS also added the Mountain West championship game to its coverage per a pre-existing contract that the network has with the conference ; the game began in the last hour of primetime for the Eastern and Central time zones, meaning stations in those zones in most cases would not carry a late local newscast that evening. The Mountain West Championship Game was moved to ESPN networks beginning in 2015.
In 2011, in addition to Army–Navy, CBS also broadcast the other two service academy games: Navy-Air Force on October 1 and Army-Air Force on November 5, 2011 . Air Force’s annual games vs. Army and Navy continue to air on CBS or CBS Sports Network .
In 2015, CBS Sports acquired the rights to 12 MAC football games through a sublicensing agreement with ESPN . In 2019, CBS Sports extended its contract with the MAC for four more years.
Verne Lundquist retired from his role as lead play-by-play commentator for CBS after the 2016 Army-Navy Game . Brad Nessler , formerly of ESPN, joined CBS as a secondary play-by-play announcer during the 2016 season, and officially replaced Lundquist on December 30, 2016, for CBS’s coverage of the 2016 Sun Bowl .
In 2019, CBS lost its alternating rights to the Navy–Notre Dame due to ESPN’s new media rights with the American Athletic Conference .
On December 20, 2019, it was reported by Sports Business Journal that after having offered $300 million per-season, CBS had exited negotiations to renew its SEC package beyond the 2023 season. The network cited a need to “aggressively focus on other important strategic priorities moving forward”. On December 10, 2020, ESPN announced that it had acquired the top SEC rights under a 10-year deal beginning in 2024, valued at $3 billion over the length of the contract. The games are slated to air on ABC, thus centralizing the entirety of the SEC’s media rights with The Walt Disney Company.
On May 11, 2020, CBS Sports agreed to a multi-year deal through the 2023 season to become the home of UConn Huskies home games, which will mostly air on CBS Sports Network.
Typically only SEC on CBS games, select Mountain West games featuring Boise State, games involving the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy and the Sun Bowl air on CBS with all other College Football on CBS games airing on CBS Sports Network or Facebook.
The games aired as part of the CBS on SEC package are the premiere SEC matchups of the week. Since 1996, Alabama has had the most appearances with 117 of their games broadcast by CBS, followed by Florida with 107, Georgia with 83, LSU with 79, and Tennessee with 69. The ESPN family of networks get the subsequent picks of games among the SEC’s national television partners. Since 2001 , the SEC Championship Game has been televised by CBS.
The Vanderbilt Commodores have appeared on the CBS package only six times, with a 2013 game against Georgia marking their first appearance since 2001, and the first Vanderbilt home game televised by the network since 1982. Before their remarkable 2014 season, when they appeared four times , Mississippi State had only seven CBS games as part of the package.
During the regular season, typical games that are shown almost every year include Florida–Tennessee , Florida–Georgia , Auburn–Alabama , LSU–Alabama , Florida–LSU , LSU–Ole Miss and LSU–Arkansas , which was traditionally aired the day after Thanksgiving . The Arkansas–Missouri game is now aired the Friday after Thanksgiving, since Texas A&M has replaced Arkansas as the final opponent on LSU’s schedule.
In addition, the interconference rivalry games, Florida–Florida State , South Carolina–Clemson , Georgia–Georgia Tech and Kentucky–Louisville , occasionally air on the network when the SEC schools host the games and they fall into SEC television contracts . When the interconference rivalries air on CBS, the broadcasts are generally branded as “College Football on CBS” instead of “SEC on CBS”. In addition, CBS will occasionally televise games where SEC schools host marquee non-conference opponents, such as the Miami Hurricanes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish .
Typical games that air on CBS that don’t involve the SEC include games involving the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy , select Mountain West games featuring Boise State and the Sun Bowl .
CBS Sports Network airs weekly games from the Mid-American Conference , C-USA and Mountain West and the Conference USA Football Championship Game .
1996 through December 11, 2021 – does not include bowl games
Note: 1 One Penn State win over Pittsburgh was vacated following the NCAA investigation into the Jerry Sandusky case .
In addition, CBS Sports Network aired the hour-long SEC Post-Game Show Presented by Geico at 7:00 pm. Eastern Time, featuring the wrap-up of the CBS SEC game.
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Dwayne Douglas Johnson , also known by his ring name The Rock , is an American actor, businessman, and former professional wrestler . Regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, he wrestled for WWE for eight years prior to pursuing an acting career. His films have grossed over $3.5 billion in North America and over $10.5 billion worldwide, making him one of the world’s highest-grossing and highest-paid actors.
Johnson played college football at the University of Miami , and won a national championship in 1991 . He aspired a professional career in football, but went undrafted in the 1995 NFL Draft . He signed with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League , but was cut from the team in his first season. Part of the Anoa’i family , Johnson’s father Rocky and maternal grandfather Peter Maivia were professional wrestlers, and he secured a contract with the World Wrestling Federation in 1996. He rose to prominence after developing the gimmick of a charismatic, boastful, trash-talker and helped usher in the Attitude Era , an industry boom period in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Johnson left WWE in 2004 and returned in 2011 as a part-time performer until 2013, making sporadic appearances until retiring in 2019. A 10-time world champion , including the promotion’s first of African-American descent, he is also a two-time Intercontinental Champion , a five-time Tag Team Champion , the 2000 Royal Rumble winner, and WWE’s sixth Triple Crown champion. Johnson headlined the most-bought professional wrestling pay-per-view and was featured among the most watched episodes of WWE’s flagship television series .
Johnson’s first leading role was as the titular character in the sword and sorcery film The Scorpion King , and has since starred in the comedies The Game Plan , Tooth Fairy , and Central Intelligence ; the action-adventure films Journey 2: The Mysterious Island , G.I. Joe: Retaliation , Hercules , and Skyscraper ; the science-fiction films San Andreas and Rampage , and the animated film Moana . His role as Luke Hobbs in the Fast & Furious films, beginning with Fast Five , has helped it become one of the highest-grossing film franchises . Johnson also stars in the Jumanji films, appearing in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Jumanji: The Next Level , and is set to portray Black Adam in its superhero film adaptation .
Johnson produced and starred in the HBO comedy-drama series Ballers , and stars and produces the autobiographical sitcom Young Rock . In 2000, Johnson released the autobiography The Rock Says , which was a New York Times bestseller . In 2012, he co-founded the entertainment production company Seven Bucks Productions , and is the co-owner of American football league, the XFL . In 2016 and 2019, Johnson was named by Time as one of the world’s most influential people .
Johnson was born in Hayward, California on May 2, 1972, the son of Ata Johnson and former professional wrestler Rocky Johnson . Growing up, Johnson lived briefly in Grey Lynn in New Zealand with his mother’s family, where he played rugby and attended Richmond Road Primary School before returning to the U.S.
Johnson’s father was a Black Nova Scotian , with a small amount of Irish ancestry. His mother is Samoan . His father was part of the first black tag team champions in WWE history, along with Tony Atlas . His mother is the adopted daughter of Peter Maivia , who was also a pro wrestler. Johnson’s maternal grandmother, Maivia’s wife Lia , was the first female pro wrestling promoter , taking over Polynesian Pacific Pro Wrestling after her husband’s death in 1982, and managing it until 1988. Through his grandfather Maivia, Johnson is considered a non-blood relative to the Anoa’i wrestling family . In 2008, Johnson inducted his father and grandfather into the WWE Hall of Fame .
Johnson attended Montclaire Elementary School in Charlotte, North Carolina before moving to Hamden, Connecticut , where he spent a couple of years at Shepherd Glen Elementary School and Hamden Middle School. He attended President William McKinley High School in Honolulu, Hawaii , then Glencliff High School and McGavock High School in Nashville, Tennessee , and finally Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania .
Before the age of 17, he struggled, being arrested multiple times for fighting, theft, and check fraud. A gifted athlete, he was on his high schools’ football , track and field , and wrestling teams.
Johnson was a promising football prospect and received offers from many Division I collegiate programs. He attended the University of Miami on a full football scholarship, where he mostly played defensive tackle .
In 1991, he was on the Miami Hurricanes ‘ national championship team . Johnson would appear in a backup role, starting only one game in four years, playing behind players such as Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp .
After Johnson graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of General Studies in criminology and physiology . In college, he was one of UM’s most prolific speakers to the community. He frequently spoke to youths, delivering a positive message about staying in school and the dangers of drugs. After graduation, he signed with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League as a linebacker . He was assigned to the practice roster but was cut two months into the season.
After his football career, Johnson decided to pursue a career as a professional wrestler. Veteran wrestler Pat Patterson got Johnson several tryout matches with the World Wrestling Federation in 1996. Under his real name, he defeated The Brooklyn Brawler at a house show on March 10 and lost matches to Chris Candido and Owen Hart . After wrestling at Jerry Lawler ‘s United States Wrestling Association as Flex Kavana and winning the USWA World Tag Team Championship twice with Bart Sawyer in the summer of 1996, Johnson signed a WWF contract. He received additional training from Tom Prichard , alongside Achim Albrecht and Mark Henry .
Johnson made his WWF debut as Rocky Maivia, a combination of his father and grandfather’s ring names, although his real name was acknowledged by the announcers. He was initially reluctant to take this ring name but was persuaded by Vince McMahon and Jim Ross . He was given the nickname “The Blue Chipper” and his lineage was played to on TV, where he was hyped as the WWF’s first third-generation wrestler. Maivia, a clean-cut face character, was pushed heavily from the start despite his wrestling inexperience. He debuted on Monday Night Raw as a member of Marc Mero ‘s entourage on November 4, 1996. His first match came at Survivor Series , on November 17, in an eight-man elimination tag match ; he was the sole survivor and eliminated the final two members of the opposing team, Crush and Goldust . On February 13, 1997, he won the Intercontinental Championship from Hunter Hearst Helmsley on Monday Night Raw . Maivia then successfully defended the title against Helmsley at In Your House 13: Final Four . He had his first WrestleMania match at WrestleMania 13 where he was victorious in his Intercontinental Championship defense against The Sultan . WWF fans started to reject his character and push from the company. He defeated Bret Hart by disqualification in a title defense on the March 31 episode of Raw is War . Behind the scenes, Hart mentored Johnson for his first year in WWF and refused to be booked to take the title from him. On April 20, at In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker , he lost to Savio Vega by countout but retained the title. Audiences became increasingly hostile toward Maivia, with chants of “die, Rocky, die” and “Rocky sucks” being heard during his matches.
After losing the Intercontinental Championship to Owen Hart on the April 28, 1997 episode of Raw Is War and suffering a legitimate knee injury in a match against Mankind , Maivia returned in August 1997 and turned heel for the first time in his career by lashing out at fans who had been booing him and joining Faarooq , D’Lo Brown and Kama in the stable called the Nation of Domination . He then refused to acknowledge the Rocky Maivia name, instead referring to himself in the third person as The Rock, though he would still be billed as “The Rock” Rocky Maivia until 1998. The Rock would then regularly insult the audience, WWF performers, and interviewers in his promos .
At D-Generation X: In Your House , Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated the Rock in under six minutes to retain the Intercontinental Championship. The next night on Raw Is War , Austin was ordered by Mr. McMahon to defend the title in a rematch, but forfeited it to the Rock instead, handing him the title belt before hitting him with the Stone Cold Stunner . The Rock feuded with Austin and Ken Shamrock through the end of 1997 and beginning of 1998. On January 19, 1998, at Royal Rumble , the Rock defeated Shamrock by disqualification to retain the Intercontinental title. Later that night, he entered the Royal Rumble match and lasted until the final two before he was eliminated by Stone Cold Steve Austin. On March 29, at WrestleMania XIV , he defeated Shamrock by disqualification once again to retain the title. The next night, on Raw is War , the Rock debuted a new Intercontinental Championship design and would later overthrow Faarooq as leader of the Nation of Domination to spark a feud between the two. He then successfully defended the Intercontinental title against Faarooq at Over the Edge: In Your House on May 31. The stable would then refer to themselves as simply “The Nation”.
The Rock and The Nation then feuded with Triple H and D-Generation X , with the two stable leaders first meeting in the quarter-final of the 1998 King of the Ring tournament , which the Rock won. At King of the Ring , the Rock defeated Dan Severn in the semi-final match and lost to rival Ken Shamrock in the final. The Rock then resumed his feud with Triple H, as the two had a two out of three falls match at Fully Loaded: In Your House for the Intercontinental title, which the Rock retained in controversial fashion. This led to a ladder match at SummerSlam , where the Rock lost the title.
The Rock saw a big uptick in fan support during this time, causing him to be booked in a feud with fellow Nation members Mark Henry and D’Lo Brown, turning babyface in the process. Henry defeated him at Judgment Day: In Your House , after interference from Brown, effectively breaking up the stable.
The Rock was then entered into the “Deadly Game” tournament for the vacant WWF Championship. The finals occurred at Survivor Series , where the Rock defeated Vince McMahon’s associate, Mankind , to win his first WWF Championship. A “double turn” then occurred as the Rock turned heel again after allying with Vince and Shane McMahon as the crown jewel of their stable, The Corporation, after the McMahons betrayed Mankind. On December 13, 1998, at the pay-per-view named after him, Rock Bottom: In Your House , the Rock had a rematch with Mankind for the WWF Championship. Mankind appeared to win the match when the Rock passed out to the Mandible Claw submission move, but Vince McMahon ruled that since the Rock did not tap out, he retained his title.
The Rock continued to feud with Mankind over the WWF Championship, which was traded back and forth between them. First, in the main event of the January 4, 1999 episode of Raw Is War , Mankind defeated the Rock after interference from Stone Cold Steve Austin. Then at the Royal Rumble on January 24, the Rock regained the title in a brutal “I Quit” match , a type of submission match that only ends if one of the combatants says “I quit” on a microphone. Intended to show a vicious mean streak in the Rock’s character, this match went horribly wrong as at the end of the match the Rock hit Mankind in the head with a steel chair 11 times instead of the scripted five, five shots already being a risky amount . After the 5th shot, Mankind was still at ringside instead of being two-thirds up the entrance ramp where he was supposed to be, and after the eleventh shot which knocked a bloodied Mankind out, a recording of Mankind saying “I Quit” from an earlier interview was played over the public address system. On January 31, during an episode of Sunday Night Heat , the Rock and Mankind participated in an Empty Arena match , a match that took place in an arena with 22,000 empty seats where any part of the facility could be used to contest the match. After 20 minutes of chaotic brawling in the ring, the stands, a kitchen, the catering area, an office, the arena corridors and finally a basement loading area, Mankind pinned the Rock using a forklift truck to win the WWF title. This match was referred to as “Halftime Heat” as it was televised during halftime of that year’s Super Bowl . The two faced off again, at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: In Your House , in a Last Man Standing match which ended in a draw, meaning Mankind retained the title. Their feud ended on the February 15 Raw Is War , when the Rock won his third WWF Championship in a Ladder Match after a debuting Big Show interfered on his behalf. The Rock then lost the WWF Championship to Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania XV .
The Rock’s popularity continued to grow and audiences still cheered for him even though he was a heel. He then lost the title rematch against Stone Cold Steve Austin at Backlash: In Your House . The next night on Raw is War he was fired from the Corporation after he was betrayed by Shane McMahon, turning him face again and starting a feud with Triple H, The Undertaker and The Corporate Ministry . On April 29, 1999, WWF aired the pilot episode of SmackDown! , a term derived from one of the Rock’s catchphrases. In the episode, the Rock continued his feud with The Corporate Ministry. This led to a match with Triple H, at Over the Edge , which the Rock won, and a match for the WWF Championship against The Undertaker, at King of the Ring , which the Rock lost. The Rock then lost a number one contender’s match to Triple H, at Fully Loaded , after interference from “Mr. Ass” Billy Gunn . The Rock then defeated Gunn in a Kiss My Ass match at SummerSlam . The Rock was also given the privilege of having his own signature match, like The Undertaker with the Buried Alive match, Kane with the Inferno Match and Mankind with the Boiler Room Brawl: the Brahma Bullrope match, a variant of a strap match was a normal singles match where the components are tied together with a rope used for cattle farming, and the rope and its attached cowbell could both be used as weapons. The Rock contested this match twice, both times in Texas .
Shortly after SummerSlam, the Rock began teaming with former opponent Mankind and the two became known as the Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection . They became WWF Tag Team Champions for the first time after defeating The Undertaker and Big Show for the titles on the August 30, 1999 episode of Raw is War . The two performed a number of critically acclaimed comedic skits together, including one called “This Is Your Life”, which saw Mankind bring parody versions of people from the Rock’s past on television, such as his high school girlfriend and his high school football coach, only to have the Rock insult them. The segment earned an 8.4 Nielsen rating , one of the highest ratings ever for a Raw segment. The two lost the titles back to Undertaker and Big Show on the September 9, 1999 episode of SmackDown! and won them back from them on the September 20, 1999 episode of Raw is War . Rock and Mankind then lost the titles to The New Age Outlaws on the very next episode of SmackDown! . Rock and Mankind would win the tag titles for the third and final time after beating the New Age Outlaws on the October 14, 1999 episode of SmackDown! before losing the titles to The Holly Cousins on the October 18, 1999 episode of Raw is War .
At Royal Rumble , on January 23, 2000, the Rock entered the Royal Rumble match and was one of the final two remaining, along with Big Show. In an attempt at a “false finish”, Big Show intended to throw the Rock over the top rope in a running powerslam -like position, Andre Johnson Air Jordan 11 Miami Hurricanes PE before the Rock countered the move on the ring apron, sending Big Show to the floor before re-entering the ring as the winner. However, the Rock’s feet accidentally hit the floor during the reversal attempt although those watching the event on television did not see that. This was played up in the storyline as Big Show provided additional video footage showing this fact, and claimed to be the rightful winner. The Rock’s number one contendership for the WWF Championship was then put on the line against Big Show at No Way Out , which Big Show won after Shane McMahon interfered. The Rock then defeated Big Show, on the March 13 episode of Raw Is War , to regain the right to face the WWF Champion, Triple H, at WrestleMania 2000 in a Fatal Four-way elimination match , also including Big Show and Mick Foley. Each wrestler had a McMahon in his corner: Triple H had his wife Stephanie , Foley had Linda , the Rock had Vince and Big Show had Shane. The Rock lasted until the final two but was eliminated by then-reigning champion Triple H after Vince betrayed him by hitting him with a chair.
Due to his image at the time, a Magic: The Gathering deck archetype was named after him.
In the following weeks, the Rock continued his feud with Triple H and eventually won his fourth WWF Championship, which he won on April 30, at Backlash , after Stone Cold Steve Austin intervened on his behalf. The following night on Raw , he successfully defended his title against Shane McMahon in a Steel Cage match. On May 21, at Judgment Day , the Rock faced Triple H in an Iron Man match with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee. With the score tied at five falls each, and with seconds left on the time limit, the Rock was disqualified when The Undertaker attacked Triple H, thus giving Triple H the 6–5 win and the title. The Rock won the WWF Championship for a fifth time at King of the Ring on June 25 by scoring the winning pin in a six-man tag team match, teaming with Kane and The Undertaker against Shane McMahon, Triple H and Vince McMahon, whom he pinned. The Rock successfully defended the championship against Chris Benoit , on July 23, at Fully Loaded . The next month, he successfully defended his title against Kurt Angle and Triple H at SummerSlam . The Rock had another successful title defense against Benoit, Kane and The Undertaker, on September 24, at Unforgiven .
The Rock then lost the WWF Championship to Kurt Angle, at No Mercy , in October. The next month, the Rock feuded with Rikishi and defeated him at Survivor Series . The Rock wrestled a six-man Hell in a Cell match for the WWF Championship, at Armageddon , which Angle won to retain the title. On the December 18 episode of Raw , the Rock won the WWF Tag Team Championship with The Undertaker, defeating Edge and Christian , before losing it back to them the next night at a SmackDown! taping. In 2001, the Rock continued to feud with Angle over the WWF Championship, culminating at No Way Out in February, where he pinned Angle to win the WWF Championship for a sixth time. The Rock then feuded with the Royal Rumble winner, Stone Cold Steve Austin, whom he lost the title to at WrestleMania X-Seven after Austin allied with Vince McMahon, who interfered on his behalf. On the next night’s Raw Is War , during a steel cage title rematch, Triple H attacked the Rock, allying with McMahon and Austin and helping Austin retain the championship. Austin and Triple H then formed a tag team called The Power Trip , while the Rock was indefinitely suspended in storyline. Johnson used this time off to act in The Scorpion King .
The Rock returned in late July 2001 when the WWF was feuding with rival promotions World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling during what’s known as The Invasion storyline. In reality, WCW was purchased by Vince McMahon and the WWF, and ECW had gone out of business in early 2001. Many former WCW and ECW wrestlers were then brought onto WWF television and formed The Alliance to compete with WWF in storyline. The Alliance and Vince McMahon then both attempted to persuade the Rock to join their team. The Rock then aligned with McMahon and the WWF. The next month, the Rock defeated Booker T , at SummerSlam , to win the WCW Championship for the first time. He later lost the title to Chris Jericho at No Mercy . The next night on Raw , he teamed with Jericho to win the WWF Tag Team Championship from The Dudley Boyz . The two then lost the tag titles to Booker T and Test on the November 1, 2001 episode of SmackDown! . The Rock defeated Jericho on the November 5 episode of Raw for his second WCW Championship.
As part of the WWF’s battle against The Alliance, the Rock wrestled in a “winner takes all” five-on-five elimination tag team match at Survivor Series where the losing team’s company would be dissolved in storyline. He was a member of Team WWF along with Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, Kane, and Big Show. The Alliance’s team consisted of Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Rob Van Dam , and Shane McMahon. In the end, it came down to a one-on-one between the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Rock seemed to have the upper hand, until his teammate Jericho entered the ring and attacked the Rock. Austin tried to capitalize on this by pinning the Rock, but Kurt Angle revealed his true allegiance by attacking Austin. The Rock then pinned Austin, giving Team WWF the victory and forcing The Alliance to disband. The Rock’s WCW Championship was renamed the unbranded “World Championship” following the Alliance’s loss. At the next pay-per-view, Vengeance , the Rock lost the World Championship to Jericho, who would then unify the WWF and World titles later that night. The Rock then unsuccessfully challenged Jericho for the now Undisputed WWF Championship at Royal Rumble .
At the next pay-per-view, No Way Out , the Rock defeated The Undertaker in a singles match. The event also saw the WWF debut of the famed WCW faction New World Order , which at the time consisted of “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan , Kevin Nash , and Scott Hall . This later led to a match between the Rock and Hogan at WrestleMania X8 . The match was billed as “icon versus icon”, with both men representing the top tier of two generations of wrestling; ultimately the Rock pinned Hogan at WrestleMania X8. Despite the Rock portraying a heroic character and Hogan a villain, a portion of the crowd attending the SkyDome was rooting heavily for Hogan. In an interview in 2013, Hogan said he and the Rock changed the style of the match on the fly based on the crowd’s response. After the introduction of the first-ever brand extension , the WWF held a ” draft lottery ” on the March 25, 2002 episode of Raw . The Rock was the number one overall pick, going to the SmackDown! brand before taking a sabbatical from wrestling.
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The Rock made a surprise return on a June episode of Raw before going to his assigned brand of SmackDown!. There, he was named the number one contender for the WWE Undisputed Championship, which he won for a record-setting seventh time at Vengeance , on July 21, by defeating Kurt Angle and then-champion The Undertaker in a Triple Threat match. The Rock successfully defended the title at the Global Warning event in Melbourne , Australia , against Triple H and Brock Lesnar after pinning Triple H. On August 25, at SummerSlam , after interference from Lesnar’s manager Paul Heyman , the Rock lost the WWE Undisputed Championship to Lesnar along with the record for the youngest WWE Champion, which he had set in 1998. In 2018, writing for ESPN.com , Sean Coyle noted in a retrospective review of the event, that following his victory over Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X8, the Rock “started to see a dip in fan support” and “that dip turned into a plunge” by the time Rock had his match with Lesnar at SummerSlam because fans knew he was leaving WWE to pursue an acting career. This was evident by the fact that he was met with a negative crowd response during his match against Lesnar. After SummerSlam ended, the Rock was visibly angry at the crowd reaction. When he tried to do a post-show speech for the crowd, the fans attending the Nassau Coliseum would still boo him. The Rock then took time off to kickstart his acting career.
The Rock returned on the January 30, 2003 episode of SmackDown! to set up another match with Hulk Hogan at No Way Out . Because of negative fan reaction during his previous couple of matches as a result of his budding acting career, the Rock turned heel for the first time since 1999. The Rock then defeated Hogan at No Way Out before moving to the Raw brand. There, he had various small feuds, including one with the Hurricane . He also began performing “Rock Concerts”, segments in which he played the guitar and mocked WWE performers and fans in song.
After failing to win a number one contendership for the World Heavyweight Championship , the Rock went into another program with Stone Cold Steve Austin. This led to a match at WrestleMania XIX , which called back to their previous two WrestleMania encounters, both of which Austin had won. The Rock won after delivering three consecutive Rock Bottoms , ending their long-running rivalry in what turned out to be Austin’s final match. The next night, Raw was billed as “The Rock Appreciation Night”, in honor of his victory over Austin. That night, he was attacked by a debuting Goldberg . At Backlash , Goldberg defeated the Rock, who then briefly left WWE to film Walking Tall .
Throughout the rest of the year, the Rock made occasional appearances, returning to a face character. In 2004, the Rock aided Mick Foley in his feud against Evolution , leading to a reunion of the Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection. They lost against Ric Flair , Randy Orton , and Batista in a handicap match at WrestleMania XX , when Orton pinned Foley after an RKO . This would be Johnson’s final wrestling match until November 2011. The Rock appeared in WWE sporadically following WrestleMania XX. He made returns to provide support for Eugene against Jonathan Coachman , and made a cameo in his hometown of Miami and helped Mick Foley against La Résistance . Later in 2004, he hosted a pie-eating contest, as part of the WWE Diva Search , and ended the segment by giving Coachman a People’s Elbow . The Rock’s contract with WWE then ended and he started his full-time acting career.
On March 12, 2007, the Rock appeared on a WWE show after nearly three years, via a pre-taped promo shown during Raw . He correctly predicted that Bobby Lashley would defeat Umaga at WrestleMania 23 in Donald Trump and Vince McMahon’s “Battle of the Billionaires” Hair vs Hair match. On March 29, 2008, Johnson appeared to induct his father Rocky Johnson and grandfather Peter Maivia into the WWE Hall of Fame . Johnson’s next appearance was through a pre-taped promo on October 2, 2009 during the Decade of SmackDown .
On September 30, 2009, the Rock appeared at a World Xtreme Wrestling show to support the professional wrestling debut of Sarona Snuka , the daughter of his long-time friend and mentor Jimmy Snuka .
On February 14, 2011, the Rock was revealed as the host of WrestleMania XXVII , appearing live on Raw for the first time in almost seven years. During a lengthy promo, he addressed the fans and started a feud with John Cena . After numerous appearances via satellite, the Rock appeared live on the Raw before WrestleMania XXVII to confront Cena. After he and Cena exchanged insults, The Miz and Alex Riley appeared and attacked the Rock; he fended off Miz and Riley, only for Cena to blindside him with an Attitude Adjustment .
On April 3, at WrestleMania XXVII, the Rock opened the show by cutting a promo. After appearing in numerous backstage segments, the Rock came to ringside to restart the main event between Cena and The Miz as a No Disqualification match, after it had ended in a draw. As revenge for the Attitude Adjustment Cena had given him on Raw , Rock hit Cena with the Rock Bottom , allowing The Miz to pin him and retain the WWE Championship. After the match, Rock attacked Miz and hit him with the People’s Elbow . The following night on Raw , the Rock and Cena agreed to a match at WrestleMania XXVIII the next year. They then worked together to fend off an attack by The Corre , which at the time consisted of Wade Barrett , Heath Slater , Justin Gabriel , and Ezekiel Jackson .
The Rock appeared live on Raw in his hometown of Miami to celebrate his 39th birthday. On September 16, WWE announced the Rock would wrestle in a traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series tag team match, teaming with Cena at Survivor Series in November. However, on the October 24 episode of Raw , Cena instead suggested the Rock be his partner in a standard tag team match against The Miz and R-Truth , a team called Awesome Truth, which Rock agreed to the following week. On November 14, during the special Raw Gets Rocked , the Rock appeared live, delivering Rock Bottom s to Mick Foley, who had been hosting a “This Is Your Life”-style segment for Cena, and later both members of Awesome Truth. The Rock and Cena defeated Awesome Truth on November 20 at Survivor Series, when the Rock pinned The Miz. After the match, the Rock gave Cena a Rock Bottom .
Leading up to WrestleMania, the Rock and Cena had several verbal confrontations on Raw . On the March 12, 2012 episode of Raw , the Rock hosted his first “Rock Concert” segment since 2004, mocking Cena in his songs. On April 1, at WrestleMania XXVIII, the Rock beat Cena in the main event after countering Cena’s attempt at a People’s Elbow into a Rock Bottom . This event broke the record for biggest professional wrestling pay-per-view buyrate. The following night on Raw , the Rock praised Cena, calling their match “an honor”. He then vowed to once again become WWE Champion.
On July 23, at Raw 1000 , the Rock announced he would wrestle for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. During the show, he encountered then-reigning WWE Champion CM Punk , Daniel Bryan , and John Cena, all of whom expressed a desire to face him. The Rock later saved Cena from an assault by Big Show , only to be laid out by CM Punk. On the January 7, 2013 episode of Raw , the Rock returned to confront his Rumble opponent CM Punk. On January 11, he made his first SmackDown appearance in ten years, getting into an altercation with Team Rhodes Scholars, resulting in him delivering a Rock Bottom to Damien Sandow and a People’s Elbow to Cody Rhodes . The Rock closed out the 20th-anniversary episode of Raw , on January 14, with one of his “Rock Concerts”, leading to a brawl with CM Punk. The following week on Raw , the Rock was attacked by The Shield . Vince McMahon then asserted that if The Shield attacked the Rock in his title match with CM Punk, Punk would be stripped of the WWE Championship.
On January 27, at Royal Rumble , CM Punk would seemingly defeat the Rock after the arena lights went out and someone attacked the Rock. Vince McMahon then came out and was about to strip Punk of the championship, however, at the Rock’s request, he instead restarted the match. This culminated in the Rock defeating Punk to win his eighth WWE Championship. Punk received a title rematch with the Rock, at Elimination Chamber , with the added stipulation that if the Rock was disqualified or counted out, he would still lose the WWE Championship. The Rock would pin Punk to retain the championship. The following night on Raw , the Rock unveiled a new WWE Championship design, with a different center plate and removable customizable side-plates which had his “Brahma Bull” logo. The Rock then resumed his rivalry with John Cena, who won that year’s Royal Rumble to set up a rematch of the previous WrestleMania match between the two at WrestleMania 29 , only this time with the WWE Championship on the line.
On April 7, at WrestleMania 29, Rock lost the WWE Championship to Cena, ending his reign at 70 days. Despite being advertised for Raw after WrestleMania, where it was stated that the Rock was still entitled a rematch for the WWE Championship, The Rock did not appear because of a legitimate injury sustained during his match with Cena, in which his abdominal and adductor tendons tore from his pelvis . Johnson underwent surgery on April 23 to reattach the torn tendons.
In April 2014, the Rock appeared in the opening segment of WrestleMania XXX along with Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan. On the October 6 episode of Raw , the Rock made a surprise appearance to confront Rusev and Lana ; this resulted in the Rock clearing Rusev from the ring.
The Rock appeared at the 2015 Royal Rumble event during the main event match, where he helped his relative Roman Reigns fend off Big Show and Kane after Reigns eliminated them from the match. Reigns then won the match and the Rock endorsed him in the ring. The Rock appeared at WrestleMania 31 alongside Ronda Rousey , getting into an in-ring altercation with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon . Rock and Rousey prevailed after he attacked Triple H and she overpowered McMahon. On June 27, the Rock appeared at a live event in Boston where he confronted Bo Dallas and gave him a Rock Bottom .
On the January 25, 2016 episode of Raw , the Rock was in a segment that saw him converse with The Miz, Big Show, Lana and Rusev before he and his relatives, The Usos , got into an altercation with then-WWE Tag Team Champions, The New Day . The Rock appeared at WrestleMania 32 where he announced that WWE had broken the all-time WrestleMania attendance record before being interrupted by The Wyatt Family . The Rock got into a verbal back-and-forth with Bray Wyatt before having an impromptu match with Wyatt Family member Erick Rowan . The Rock won after giving Rowan a Rock Bottom and pinning him in six seconds , which set the record for the fastest win in WrestleMania history. The Rock was then aided by a returning John Cena to fend off Wyatt, Rowan and Braun Strowman . On the February 20, 2017 episode of Raw , the Rock made an untelevised appearance after the broadcast had gone off the air, where he promoted and filmed a scene for his then-upcoming film Fighting with My Family .
On August 3, 2019, the Rock officially announced his retirement from professional wrestling. On September 30, 2019, after weeks of speculation, the Rock announced that he would be making an appearance on SmackDown ‘ s 20th Anniversary on October 4, 2019, marking his first appearance on SmackDown since October 2014 and his first televised appearance since April 2016. At the event, he would cut a promo with Becky Lynch before they were interrupted by King Corbin . After attacking Corbin, the Rock and Lynch celebrated in the ring.
The Rock made an appearance at Impact Wrestling ‘s 2020 Bound for Glory via a recorded video message to induct Ken Shamrock into the Impact Hall of Fame .
The Rock appeared on Wyclef Jean ‘s 2000 single ” It Doesn’t Matter ” and in its music video. He also recorded “Pie” with Slick Rick for WWF The Music, Vol. 5 .
In 1999, Johnson appeared on That ’70s Show as his father Rocky Johnson . The next year, he was on Star Trek: Voyager as an alien wrestler that used the Rock’s famous moves.
In 2000, he hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time. Fellow wrestlers Triple H , Big Show , and Mick Foley also appeared on the show. Johnson has stated the success of that episode is the reason he began receiving offers from Hollywood studios. He has since hosted SNL another four times.
In 1999, the Rock was listed No. 5 on Entertainment Weekly ‘ s Top 12 Entertainers of the Year. In 2000, Access Hollywood ranked him number six in their list of the Top 10 Celebrities of 2000. That year, Rock was also listed in the Forbes Celebrity 100 and People Magazine’s 25 Most Intriguing People.
The Rock was listed on Entertainment Weekly ‘ s 101 Most Influential People in both 2000 and 2001. In 2001, he was also listed on E!’s 20 Top Entertainers. In 2002, the Rock was listed on E!’s 25 Toughest Stars. In 2003, he was listed in VH1’s 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons and was No. 13 in People Magazine’s 50 Favorite TV Stars.
The Rock made a surprise appearance at the official Xbox unveiling during Bill Gates ‘s keynote speech at the ongoing Computer Electronics Show in 2001.
Johnson’s motion picture debut was as The Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns . The movie broke a two-year record for the highest-grossing single day in film history by earning US$28,594,667. The movie’s financial success led to Johnson’s first leading role in the spin-off The Scorpion King . He received US$5.5 million for the role and Guinness World Records named him the record-holder for highest-paid actor in their first leading role.
The Rock has appeared on the covers of many magazines, including Rolling Stone , Entertainment Weekly , and TV Guide . He has also appeared in, and been the cover athlete for, several video games.
As of November 2021 , his Instagram account is the fourth most-followed in the world with over 280 million followers.
The Rock has been listed as one of the all-time greatest professional wrestlers as well as one of the top draws in wrestling history. Many have placed the Rock on their ” Mount Rushmore of Pro Wrestling”, including Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and John Cena. In “Cable Visions: Television Beyond Broadcasting”, the Rock was described as “for a long time, the WWE’s biggest star and probably held the greatest international appeal”. R. D. Reynolds stated in his book “The WrestleCrap Book of Lists” that the Rock was “the biggest star for WWE from 1999 until 2004”.
The Rock main-evented the most bought pay-per-view worldwide in WWE history , the most bought pay-per-view domestically in WWE history , the highest rated Raw in history, the highest rated SmackDown in history, and was part of the highest rated cable segment in WWE history with Mankind entitled “This is Your Life”, in which Mankind would honor The Rock with various gifts and reunions. His return in 2001 did a 7.1 rating which was the highest rated segment of the entire year. The Rock was also part of the highest rated match of the 21st century with his WWF Championship defense, on May 1, 2000, against Shane McMahon did an 8.3 rating making it the highest rated segment of all time behind ‘This is your life’.
In 2011, the Rock’s return to an episode of Raw generated an average of 4.7 million viewers in the United States, with 7.4 million tuning in during his promo. Raw 1000 was the highest rated Raw episode of 2012 and his segment with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan was the highest rated segment of the show. In 2013, the night after the Rock won the WWE Championship for the first time in over a decade, at Royal Rumble , Raw got its highest rating of that year.
Derived from one of his catchphrases “lay the smackdown”, WWE introduced its second flagship program WWE SmackDown in 1999 which later became television’s second longest-running weekly episodic program in history. The term “smackdown” was instituted in Merriam-Webster dictionaries since 2007.
The Rock holds the record for most Raw shows main-evented in one year , most SmackDown shows main-evented in one year and tied with Stone Cold Steve Austin for most PPV shows main evented in one year .
At the 2021 Survivor Series , WWE held a 25-man Battle Roayal to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of The Rock’s WWE debut. The match was won by Omos .
Johnson entered Hollywood and the film industry, becoming a star initially through his wrestling popularity and noted work ethic. Over his acting career, he became one of the highest paid and most successful actors in Hollywood. He began his acting career on television while wrestling. In his first television acting job, in 1999, he played his own father in an episode of That ’70s Show called “That Wrestling Show”. Nearly a year later, he appeared in the Star Trek: Voyager episode ” Tsunkatse ” as an alien wrestler who fought popular character Seven of Nine . While Johnson was away from WWE, the company continued to sell “The Rock” merchandise, and he continued to be featured prominently in the opening montages of their television shows.
Johnson began his theatrical career in The Mummy Returns , The Scorpion King , The Rundown , and Walking Tall . He played a supporting role in Be Cool – most notable for the meta element of playing a bodyguard that wants to become an actor – and was the primary antagonist in Doom . He also had roles in Gridiron Gang , Reno 911!: Miami , and Southland Tales . He played a cocky famous American football player in The Game Plan and Agent 23 in Get Smart . He presented the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects at the 80th Academy Awards .
Johnson’s first big box office success came in 2011, portraying Luke Hobbs in Fast Five , the film becomes the seventh highest-grossing film of 2011 . He became known for reinvigorating film franchises after portraying Marvin F. Hinton / Roadblock in G.I. Joe: Retaliation and reprising his role as Luke Hobbs in Fast & Furious 6 , while also starring in true-story films Pain & Gain and Empire State . That same year, he hosted and produced the TNT reality competition series The Hero , and won the Favorite Male Buttkicker Award at the 2013 Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards . In May 2013, it was announced that he would executive produce and star in Ballers , an HBO comedy-drama series about NFL players living in Miami . By December of that year, Forbes named him the top-grossing actor of 2013, with his films bringing in $1.3 billion worldwide for the year. Forbes credited the success of Fast & Furious 6 , which grossed $789 million globally, and his frequent acting work as primary reasons for topping the list.
Johnson starred as the title character in Hercules and reprised his role as Luke Hobbs in Furious 7 . He hosted another reality series for TNT in 2014, entitled Wake Up Call , which saw him “lending a helping hand to everyday people who were facing enormous challenges in their lives” alongside guest experts such as Rocco DiSpirito , Jillian Michaels , and Josh Shipp . In 2016, Johnson co-starred with Kevin Hart in the action-comedy Central Intelligence and had a lead voice role in the Disney animated film Moana , in which he voiced the Polynesian demigod Maui . He reprised his role as Luke Hobbs in The Fate of the Furious , which was released in 2017. Johnson starred in two other blockbuster movies that year, Baywatch and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle as Mitchell “Mitch” Buchannon and Dr. Smolder Bravestone , respectively. In 2018, he starred in the action films Rampage and Skyscraper .
Johnson’s role within The Fast and the Furious franchise continued with Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw , co-starring Johnson and Jason Statham . David Leitch directed the project from a script co-written by franchise-writer Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce . The film began principal photography in September 2018, and was released on July 26, 2019. Though initially believed to be a part of F9 , Johnson did not appear in the film; instead, he opted to begin development on a sequel to Hobbs & Shaw . Johnson reprised his role as Bravestone, in Jumanji: The Next Level . With the critical and financial success of Welcome to the Jungle , production of the movie began in early 2019, and was released on December 13, 2019.
In 2021, Johnson co-starred with Emily Blunt in The Walt Disney Company ‘s Jungle Cruise , as Frank Wolff and Lily Houghton, respectively. Cast in the role in August 2015, the film was based on the theme-park ride of the same name . Jaume Collet-Serra served as director, with a script by Michael Green from a previous one co-written by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. In addition to his work on the film, Johnson assisted with re-designing the titular ride for all Disney theme parks. Jungle Cruise was released on July 30, 2021. Also in 2021, Johnson starred in Netflix ‘s film Red Notice , written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber . It is the third time that the two collaborated, following Central Intelligence and Skyscraper . The film, co-starring Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds , began production in the fall of 2019.
Johnson is noted for his busy schedule and developing multiple projects at once. A sequel to the box-office hit San Andreas was announced to be in the pre-production stage with the director of the first film, Brad Peyton , returning as director along with the main cast .
On November 14, 2019, he announced a December 2021 release date for the standalone Black Adam film. Production on Black Adam began filming in April 2021 with it set to release on July 29, 2022.
Johnson has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Actor’s Branch since 2017.
On March 16, 2021, he appeared for the first time as The Foundation in Fortnite Battle Royale . Johnson was initially uncredited in his role, yet teased his involvement in a cryptic instagram post shared on the day of the event. Following another instagram video for Johnson’s ZOA Energy drink, in which The Foundation’s helmet and sidearm were subtly featured in the background, his involvement was finally confirmed during the Chapter 2 End Event on December 4, 2021, with The Foundation removing his helmet to reveal that he shared Johnson’s voice and likeness.
In 2012, Johnson founded his production company Seven Bucks Productions .
Though originally attached as producer and star, Johnson will now serve solely as the former on a film adaptation of The Janson Directive . John Cena will fill the leading role, with Akiva Goldsman attached as screenwriter. Additionally, he will produce and star in a Netflix exclusive film titled John Henry & The Statesmen , as the titular folklore hero . The film will be directed by Jake Kasdan, from a script co-written by Kasdan and Tom Wheeler . With the first official teaser trailer released in October 2018, the project marks Kasdan and Johnson’s third collaboration, following Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Jumanji: The Next Level .
In 2019, Johnson produced and appeared as himself in Fighting with My Family , a comedy-drama about Paige and her family, who are also professional wrestlers.
Johnson will co-produce and star in The King , a film about king Kamehameha Kūnuiākea , founder and first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi . The project will be directed by Robert Zemeckis from a script written by Randall Wallace . The movie will be comparable to Braveheart in tone, given Wallace’s work on both films, and will depict the king’s role in resolving the wars among the islands of Hawaiʻi . The King was scheduled to begin production in 2020, but was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic . Johnson is also attached to produce/star in a sequel to Big Trouble in Little China , as well as project under development with Shane Black focusing on a new interpretation of Doc Savage .
In 2021, his biographical comedy-drama series Young Rock began airing on NBC.
A film centered around Teth-Adam/Black Adam , a part of the DC Extended Universe , was announced to be in development in January 2017. Originally cast in the role as early as September 2014 as the antagonist, in a film centered around the superhero Billy Batson/Shazam , his villainous role for Shazam! was re-worked into two separate films. Though Johnson would not appear in Shazam! , he served as a producer and his likeness was used through special effects in flashback scenes.
In 2000, Johnson published his autobiography, titled The Rock Says… , which he co-wrote with Joe Layden. It debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list and remained on the list for several weeks.
In 2013, Johnson hosted and produced the TNT reality competition series The Hero . In 2014, he hosted another TNT reality series entitled Wake Up Call . In 2019, Johnson started hosting an NBC competition series called The Titan Games .
In March 2016, Johnson partnered with American fitness apparel manufacturer Under Armour to release “Project Rock”. The first item in his partnership with Under Armour, a gym bag, sold out in a couple of days. His second item, a black T-shirt sporting his signature “Brahma bull”, sold out after being worn at WrestleMania 32. Johnson also released an alarm clock app as part of “Project Rock” that received more than one million downloads in its first week of release. Since then, they have released sneakers, headphones, and other apparel.
In 2016, Johnson started his YouTube channel. His first video, The YouTube Factory , featured online personality Lilly Singh and several other internet stars.
In 2019, Johnson announced he would be launching his own competitive bodybuilding show alongside his business partner and ex-wife Dany Garcia , called Athleticon. It is set to rival other long-standing bodybuilding shows such as The Arnold Classic and Joe Weider’s Mr. Olympia . The show was set to debut in October 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia , but plans were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic .
Johnson, who is a fan of the rapper Tech N9ne , featured on a song titled “Face Off” on the rapper’s 2021 album Asin9ne .
Johnson attended the 2000 Democratic National Convention as part of WWE’s non-partisan “Smackdown Your Vote” campaign, which aimed to influence young people to vote. He also had a speaking role at the 2000 Republican National Convention that same year.
Johnson voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections . He did not vote in the 2016 election , and is an independent voter as of 2017 . He endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election .
In 2006, Johnson founded the Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation, a charity working with at-risk and terminally ill children. On October 2, 2007, he and his ex-wife donated $1 million to the University of Miami to support the renovation of its football facilities. The University of Miami renamed the Hurricanes’ locker room in Johnson’s honor. In 2015, Johnson donated $1,500 to a GoFundMe to pay for an abandoned dog’s surgery. In 2017, he donated $25,000 to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. In 2018, Johnson donated a gym to a military base in Oahu, Hawaii. After the 2018 Hawaii floods , he worked with Malama Kauai, a nonprofit organization, to help repair damages caused by the floods. Johnson has also worked with Make-A-Wish Foundation on a number of occasions.
Johnson married Dany Garcia on May 3, 1997. She is a businesswoman, IFBB professional bodybuilder, and producer. Their daughter, Simone, was born on August 14, 2001. They announced they were separating amicably on June 1, 2007, and their divorce was finalized in May 2008.
Johnson subsequently began dating Lauren Hashian, the daughter of Boston drummer Sib Hashian . They first met in 2006 while Johnson was filming The Game Plan . They were married on August 18, White Snakeskin Air Jordan 11 Retro Prem HC 378037-103 For Sale