Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s name is known far and wide for being one of the biggest and most influential stars in the pro wrestling business. He is also a Hollywood megastar and continues to make hit after hit. That being said, it was not always this easy for The Rock as he barely made money when he began his pro wrestling career.

The Rock certainly had a pretty bad start in WWE as his Rocky Maivia character was hated by almost everyone. The infamous ‘Die, Rocky, Die’ chants are something no one will ever forget, especially The Rock.

The Rock made his pro wrestling debut as Flex Kavana and worked in Memphis, trying to make a name for himself and all the struggles that followed. Despite being a third-generation pro wrestler, things were very difficult for The Rock.

While speaking on The Pivot podcast, The Rock was asked who made more money in comparison to himself and his daughter, when they first started wrestling. The Rock stated that his daughter Simone Johnson made more, as he made just $40 in the USWA.


“I would say her. My first paycheck, in wrestling, my first paycheck was $40. That’s what our guarantee was. This was before WWE. As you’re starting out, I wasn’t ready for WWE. I made my bones down in Tennessee. I wrestled down there, USWA, everybody came through there, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, everybody who became somebody went through there, and that’s where you made your bones and cut your teeth. The guarantee, every night, was $40. Didn’t matter where you were at on the card, that was your guarantee.

Additional money, there was the intermission and we’d go to the gimmick table. We’d have our polaroids. Anyone who wanted to take a Polaroid, you’d sign it, $5. Take [the photo], $5. Sign it, $10. That’s how we made additional money. On a good night, I could make maybe $80.”

The Rock also revealed how pro wrestling saved his relationship with his daughter. After living a life of poverty, The Rock is forever grateful for all he has gotten in his life so far and that is all that matters.

What’s your opinion on what The Rock said? Are you shocked he got such low pay? Sound off in the comments!

Tags: The Rock
Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet is a professional wrestling fan for over 22 years. He got captivated by the sport during the Monday Night Wars and has a passion for it ever since. He also enjoys TV shows, movies, anime, novels and music, which broadens his perspective and appreciation for wrestling. He is a knowledgeable and respected voice in the industry.

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