“He Had a $10 Bill and Couple of Singles” – Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Almost Quit WWE Because He Was Broke

Published 06/29/2021, 7:39 AM EDT


Undoubtedly, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is one of the best people to come out of WWE into the mainstream media. It is hard to imagine that The Most Electrifying Man almost quit sports entertainment.

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As surprising as the abovementioned statement sounds, it is very true. According to legendary manager JJ Dillion, The Rock was actually looking to leave WWE to make better money elsewhere.

 

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NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 09: Actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson speaks onstage during ‘The Next Intersection For Hollywood with William Morris Endeavor’s Ari Emanuel, Patrick Whitesell and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at the Fast Company Innovation Festival on November 9, 2015, in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Fast Company)

“Rock, he was going to get the push of his life, but he couldn’t see at that point how really big that opportunity was going to be for him,” Dillon told JBL and Gerald Brisco. “He had everything, he was multiracial, he had the size, he had athletic ability. He had everything.”

As a former manager and leader of the legendary Four Horsemen, Dillion had connections all over the world. Back then, Johnson wanted his help to get him out of WWE. This was long before Dwayne Johnson became The Rock.

Dillion, a seasoned veteran, quickly realized there is more to the story. He asked Rock about what was actually going on in his mind for him to take such a drastic step.

After talking about it a little bit, he (The Rock) reached into his pocket and he had a $10 bill and a couple of singles, and he said, ‘This is all the money I have to my name. I’ve never been in a situation where everybody talks about this great potential that I have. But for me, I have 12 bucks in my pocket and that’s eating away at me.’”

Watch this story: Kurt Angle, Ronda Rousey, and More: WWE Superstars Who Competed in the Olympics.

How did JJ Dillion convince Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to stay in WWE?

Initially, in his WWE run, The Rock debuted as Rocky Maivia. Although he was getting pushed initially, the fans never liked him. Hence his push subsided after a while.

After Johnson confessed to Dillion about his financial crunch, he had to work fast. Dillion immediately withdrew $200 and gave it to Young Rock.

This is just a little speed bump in the road,” Dillion told the newbie. “I couldn’t do justice to the business by allowing you to just not take full advantage of this opportunity because you are just caught in a position where you don’t have any cash in your pocket and we’ve all been there.

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Thankfully, Dillion’s words and actions resonated with Johnson. He gave Dillion a hug and left. The legendary manager said this incident was the ultimate turning point for The Rock. Dillion was just there “in the right place at the right time and knew the right thing to do.”

Now, some decades later, The Rock is the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, with a plethora of projects under his wing. The Rock’s tale is nothing but a tale of hard work, perseverance, and patience. JJ Dillion will forever remain an integral part of the story.

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Angana Roy

1195 articles

Angana Roy is a WWE and AEW author for EssentiallySports, having published more than 800 professional wrestling articles. She is currently pursuing higher studies in English language and literature from the University of Calcutta and has over three years of experience in journalism. As a life-long fan of the sports entertainment brand of pro-wrestling, her work consists of live coverage of weekly shows, PPVs, speculating the future course of storylines and everything in between.

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