Dwayne Johnson is one of the biggest names in Hollywood, but in recent years he has become a great deal more. Johnson launched a tequila brand and an energy drink. He owns a share of the XFL football league, and now he sits on the board of directors of TKO Group, which owns his former employer, WWE. As part of that deal, Dwayne Johnson has officially gained total control of the name “The Rock” which he says means “everything.”
When Dwayne Johnson became The Rock in WWE, the name was the property of WWE, not Dwayne Johnson. When his movie career began, movies would advertise that they starred The Rock, because the name was more well known than the name Dwayne Johnson, which was done in cooperation with WWE. In the years since, the name The Rock has been shared between the actor and the wrestling organization, and Johnson has been building his real name to be more recognizable. In a video posted to his Instagram, Johnson says owning the name means a lot to him because he credits it with launching his entire career. He said…
The name of The Rock, for me, I owe that name everything. Without that name there would be no wrestling career; there would be no Hollywood career. The name The Rock years ago really allowed me to be me. And that’s very special.
The Rock was certainly the beginning of something special. Dwayne Johnson had originally debuted in WWE as Rocky Maivia, a character that combined the first name of his father with the last name of his grandfather, signifying Johnson’s lineage in professional wrestling, but the character didn’t take off. It was only after he was rebranded as The Rock that he became a massive star in WWE, which then opened the door to Hollywood.
Getting the rights to his name was part of the deal that brought Johnson to the board of TKO, so he’ll be one of the people shaping the future of the company at a very high level. Johnson certainly has an understanding of professional wrestling from a lifetime spent in it, so he’ll bring that to the organization. Johnson seems excited to be part of this team.
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Getting ownership of the name The Rock is likely a personal success, but it will also be a financial one. The Rock is a name that is worth a lot of money. WWE still makes The Rock merchandise, and Johnson will likely see a larger share of the profit on that as the sole owner of the name.
It will be interesting to see if Dwayne Johnson starts to do anything significant with The Rock name going forward. He’s successfully rebranded himself as Dwayne Johnson. Fans tend to refer to the man with both names interchangeably. Movies haven't used The Rock name for years, but perhaps we'll see it make a comeback in the upcoming Dwayne Johnson movies on the 2024 movie schedule.
Dwayne Johnson has become a savvy businessman over the years, so it seems likely that he has plans for The Rock, but we’ll have to wait and see what they are.