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Dwayne Johnson Was Once Forced To Go To Pride for “Real Money” As ‘The Rock’ Confesses About Atrocious WWE Stint to Joe Rogan- “I Started Talking to Ken Shamrock”

Published 11/15/2023, 9:50 PM EST

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Have you ever wondered why WWE wrestlers don’t fight in MMA? Maybe not. Wrestlers,͏ specifically ͏WWE wrestlers, take their time to adjust to MMA and often don’t focus on the dynamics of MMA. Despite this, some WWE fighters have ͏graced the MMA stage but couldn’t reach the same level of success as they did ͏in WWE. In the midst of the debate, we get the revelation that ‘The Rock’ once considered a ͏shift to MMA.

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Dwayne Johnson might be one of the most well-known faces in the history of WWE. The Samoan fighter was a multiple-time WWE champion and has a great career in Hollywood as well. In a conversation with Joe Rogan, he expressed his willingness to transition to MMA. “The Rock” made this revelation during the discussion.

Dwayne Johnson confesses about joining MMA in front of Joe Rogan


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‘The Rock’ recently graced Joe Rogan’s Podcast. While in conversation about the early stages of Johnson’s career, he stated that there was a time when he was willing to leave WWE and shift to Pride MMA. Johnson claimed that during the late 90’s many MMA fighters were moving to Japan as Pride MMA was paying them a hefty $500k compared to the $150K that Johnson was earning through WWE.

“I start talking to Ken Shamrock, who was wrestling with us. I run into Mark Kerr, and I start talking to him. He tells me a little bit about Pride, and I have this idea in my head – well, maybe I should train for MMA and go to Pride, make real money.” Said Johnson


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He further added “Then I don’t have to smile. I’m sure I’m gonna get Fu**ed up over there and maybe knock one of my lungs loose, but maybe I could do something like that. Find the right coach and train. So, I had this whole thing in my head. I was talking to my wife at that time, and I said, “I think that’s the way to go ’cause those guys are paying real money, and these fans are booing me over here for 150 Grand.” It would not have been a surprise if ‘The Rock’ had turned to MMA considering the fact that he is known to change fields multiple times.

However, it should be noted that WWE supremo Vince McMahon saved ‘The Rock’s career after calling him back to Wresting back in 1997. Johnson described how a call from McMahon stopped him from shifting to MMA.

Johnson stated that Vince McMahon’s call stopped him from gracing MMA


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Down in the conversation, Johnson stated that when he was astute in his stance to shift to Pride MMA, he got a call from Vince McMahon which ultimately stopped him from shifting from WWE.“I get a call from Vince and he says how’s your knee I said it’s healing up I don’t tell him about this idea after I’ve talked to Shamrock and kerr and all these guys.”

He further added “He[Vince McMahon]  goes, ‘I want to try and bring you back one time, see how it works out. I want to turn you heel, and we have a faction called the Nation of Domination, who DC [Daniel Cormier] loves, by the way. That was his famous, his favorite, Daniel, the black militant group.’ He goes, ‘I want to have you join them, and we’ll see how it works out.’ I come in, I said, ‘Okay.”. “TheRock’s decision to stay in WWE changed his career as we can see how far he has succeeded.


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Would you have loved to see Dwayne Johnson in MMA? Who do you think would have been the perfect opponent for him? Tell us in the comments below.

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Written by:

Suryakant Das


One take at a time

I'm Suryakant Das, an avid sports enthusiast from a family that cherishes the world of sports. I still vividly recall the day my father took me to watch Indian wrestling, sparking my fascination with the discipline and the aura of those warriors. Over time, my love for combat sports grew, and now, I'm a UFC writer at EssentiallySports.
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Edited by:

Joyita Das