There is simply no bigger name in entertainment today than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Whether he’s lighting up the silver screen, headlining the small screen or dropping “The People’s Elbow” in the squared circle, few aren’t paying attention to what The Rock does.
However, he wasn’t always the king of modern entertainment, nor the world’s highest paid actor. The Rock actually struggled coming out of college, to the point of being cut by the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL in 1995.
But, as the story broke of The Rock’s time with the Stampeders on Thursday, we also got a glimpse of the fuel that fired Dwayne Johnson’s rise to stardom. It all apparently started with one person, the man who cut him from the Stampeders — Wally Buono.
As the story goes, Johnson had just $7 to his name at the time, yet it was the motivation and encouragement of Buono that got him out of the rough times and partially led to the man we see today.
— CTV – Ian White (@CTVIanWhite) August 25, 2016
The Rock took to Twitter to respond to the claim and he didn’t deny it, rather he chose to praise Buono for what he did for him.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) August 25, 2016
Go give that man @GM_Brillo a big ass bear hug from me. He has no idea what cutting me did for my psyche and drive
How could anyone cut one of the biggest physical specimens of our time? Well, physicality is but one component of the football world and after a career at the University of Miami (FL), Johnson tried his hand at pro football.
Little did anyone know that Dwayne Johnson would become “The Rock” and rule the squared circle at the height of modern professional wrestling (excuse me, Sports Entertainment). Heck, there’s no way anyone would’ve known we’d also be seing the world’s highest paid actor taking flight either.
Interestingly enough, had the CFL had the rules it does about citizenship requirements, and Canada had the rules for citizenship it now has back then, we may be talking about Dwayne Johnson, the long-term star in the CFL instead.
Back in 1995, Johnson counted as an American citizen and that limited his options. Today, with his father being a Canadian citizen, he would qualify as a citizen himself and thus a non-import player and much easier to keep on a roster in the CFL.
We’re guessing everything worked out the way it was supposed to, as both The Rock and Buono have legendary statuses for what they’ve accomplished since that fateful day.