In a touching Instagram post on Sunday, the Rock, shared the story of how Tonga – who he has known since he was five years old – helped him when he first tried out for the WWE.
“I’ll never forget what he did for me when I had nothing,” Johnson wrote in the caption of the photo.
According to the Furious 7 star, the WWE wanted to fly him out for a tryout match, which would’ve been Johnson’s first match ever, but Johnson didn’t have any equipment. After buying some gear from Sports Authority, he turned to his uncle, a “vicious” veteran WWE wrestler from the ’70s, for help.
“[I] called my Uncle and asked if he had ANY trunks I could use for my tryout. He said all I have is a pair of shiny purple trunks (purple was his signature color),” he wrote. “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!”
The accompanying photo collage included a picture from Johnson’s first match in Corpus Christi, Texas, in front of 15,000 people where he’s sporting his “lucky purple trunks.”
Now, many years later, the Ballers actor bought his uncle a brand new pick-up truck as both a thank you and a merry Christmas gift.
“We walk outside and I said ‘Uncle how do you like my truck?’ He said, ‘Whoooaaa nephew it’s beautiful… I love it!’ I said “Good ’cause it’s yours.’ He was speechless,” Johnson wrote. “Thru tears (manly of course;) we monster hugged.”