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WWE Statement on Rocky Johnson Passing Away

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As noted earlier today, WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson has passed away at the age of 75.

WWE issued the following statement on Johnson’s passing:

WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson passes away

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.

Johnson’s sports-entertainment career began in the mid-1960s when he made a memorable impression in the National Wrestling Alliance. However, Johnson found his highest levels of success when he began his WWE tenure in 1983.

The physically imposing and wildly charismatic Johnson had several memorable rivalries with the likes of Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Don Muraco and Adrian Adonis. He found his greatest success when he teamed up with Tony Atlas as The Soul Patrol. The two men became the first African-American World Tag Team Champions in WWE history when they defeated The Wild Samoans on Dec. 10, 1983.

The “Soul Man” retired from the ring in 1991, but his imprint continued to be felt on WWE for years to come. Post-retirement, Johnson had a hand in training his son, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The Rock would become one of the biggest stars in the history of sports-entertainment and carried on his father’s legacy with pride.

In 2008, Johnson achieved the highest honor in sports-entertainment when he was inducted by The Rock into the WWE Hall of Fame where he will be forever enshrined as one of sports-entertainment’s most influential performers.

WWE extends its condolences to Johnson’s family, friends and fans.

Johnson’s son, The Rock, has not commented on his father’s passing as of this writing. There’s also no word yet on the cause of death, but we will keep you updated.

Below are some of the photos WWE put into their gallery for the former WWE Tag Team Champion:

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