WWE Stars Booker T. Huffman, Mick Foley and More React to Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson's Death
World Wrestling Entertainment confirmed the Hall of Famer's death on Wednesday
Many WWE superstars are mourning the death of Canadian professional wrestler and WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson.
The organization confirmed the news on Wednesday, writing on their website, “WWE is saddened to learn that Rocky ‘Soul Man’ Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles), a WWE Hall of Famer, former World Tag Team Champion, and father of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, has passed away at age 75.”
His cause of death is not currently known.
Since the news broke, many fans and WWE stars have shared messages in tribute on their social media.
“One of the men I looked up to and one of the best to ever do it. God rest his soul. #RIPRockyJohnson,” Booker T. Huffman, a fellow WWE Hall of Famer, wrote on Twitter, sharing an old photo of Rocky.
“I am so sorry to hear of the passing of the great Rocky Johnson,” Mick Foley tweeted. “Always a gentleman, I always enjoyed talking with him. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the fans who loved him. A very sad day for wrestling. #RIPRockyJohnson.”
Dana Brooke wrote, “My heart goes out to the family of @TheRock & May prayers be sent your way during this time ! I am sorry for your loss !
Sports journalist and editor of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Dave Meltzer first broke the news on Twitter, writing, “What horrible news, Rocky Johnson passed away, Dwayne’s father. Our best to Dwayne, Ricky, Ata and the entire family.”
Fans also shared their condolences, remembering the legend on the social media website.
“RIP Rocky Johnson/ After matches in Fredericton, early 1970’s, he always stopped to swap stories with young fans outside the Beaverbrook Arena,” one fan tweeted. “He would talk until we ran out of questions, but we never tired of just being in his presence
@TheRock @WWE #RockyJohnson #legend.”
“@TheRock so sorry to here [sic] about your father Rock #RockyJohnson was such a great wrestler with an amazing personality My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family,” another fan wrote.
Rocky was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, and first began wrestling at the age of 16. He started his professional career in 1964 and later became a National Wrestling Alliance Georgia Champion and won several other championships throughout the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.
He joined the WWE in 1983 and began wrestling with Tony Atlas. The two became a part of the first African American tag team — known as The Soul Patrol — to win the World Tag Team Championship in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
He retired in 1991 but went on to train his son, Dwayne. The now-actor has yet to break his silence about his father’s death.
A rep for the star did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s previous request for comment.
Back in June 2018, Dwayne paid tribute to his father on Father’s Day.
“Happy Father’s Day to this hardly ever smiling OG badass. Little boys by nature, look up to and idolize their old man. They want to be just like em, do whatever they do and are always looking for their approval. Funny thing is the day I stopped looking for that approval was the day I understood what it meant to be man and more importantly, a father,” Dwayne wrote.
“That shift lifted me to a new level of gratitude for the tough love he always gave. Years later as a man and father of three girls, I know that tough love, is a helluva lot better than no love at all. I’ll take it. It’s made me who I am today. Grateful to the original Rock. #HappyFathersDay #KingStache #RockyJohnson,” he concluded.
Rocky was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.
He married to Ata Maivia in 1970. The two welcomed their son, Dwayne, in 1972, and later divorced in 2003. In Dwayne’s first acting job, he portrayed his father in a 1999 episode of That ‘70s Show titled “That Wrestling Show.”