- Oct 25, 2017
I didn't even know the Rock was from that Samoan family of wrestlers until well into his career. When he was introduced as Rocky Maivia, it was the son of Rocky Johnson, and as the grandson of Peter Maivia... But they never did an adequate job of explaining, at the time to a 12 year old, that Rocky Johnson was the Rock's dad, and Peter Maivia was his maternal grandfather. I always assumed that when they called the Rock/Rocky a 3rd generation wrestler, it was his father and his paternal grandfather.I think it's because everyone just kinda primarily thought of Rock as a Samoan.
Samoan heritage is such a big deal in wrestling that people look to it to give rubs to people like Roman Reigns, the Usos, Umaga, or Nia Jax. In hindsight, people look at that as a bigger deal for Rock than him being part Black.
Still, I've always thought it was really weird that some people don't count the Rock as being black given who his father was and that he was part of the Nation of Domination when he first turned heel.
But, also I think when I was watching the Anoai family was known in WWF/E for The Headshrinkers (w/ Afa) and Yokozuna (and even then WWF kayfabe pretended that Yokozuna was Japanese and there was no relation), and they wouldn't really reach "epic wrestling family status" until they'd get big singles pushes with RIkishi/Fatu, Umaga, Usos, etc. And then eventually The Rock. But that was also the era when WWF/E didn't recognize family relationships. Like, even with Afa managing the Headshrinkers, they never mentioned Afa as Samu's dad... or that he ever wrestled as the Wild Samoans, etc.