Rock gives insight on why he walked away from full-time wrestling

By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


In the early 2000s, “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson decided to walk away from full-time wrestling and pursue acting. Now a decade later, Johnson reflected on the decision in a new episode of “Oprah’s Master Class,” which is scheduled to air Sunday (Nov. 15) at 8:00 p.m. EST on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

“When I was at the height of my career, I felt for the very first time that I was close to accomplishing everything that I was close to accomplishing in wrestling. So, I quietly walked away,” Johnson said.

“It kind of shook me a little bit because wrestling was all I knew at the time. I had dabbled in acting (The Mummy), but I also felt that I wanted to do more. I wanted to achieve more. I wanted to grow. I wanted to grow as a person. I wanted to reach as many people as people as possible. Not for the box office value of it, but the connection.

“I had come from a world where I was connecting with an audience every night. And, I wanted that connection.”

Johnson said if he was going to make the transition into acting, he wanted to be great, not just live off his popularity and have a short shelf live.

“I wanted longevity,” he said. “If that’s the goal, then I have to do everything I can possibly do to know the business of Hollywood from top to bottom.”

Johnson closed his comments on the topic by encouraging viewers to be a student of their game, surround themselves with good people, and “go to work.”

Also included in the episode will be what Rock learned from being booed by 20,000 wrestling fans, depression after his football career ended, and other topics.

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