Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson may be a braggadocios blowhard on the mic and an occasional bad guy in the ring, but he also has a lot of heart, as you’re about to see in a story he shared to Instagram.
The story involves himself and his “Uncle Tonga,” former WWE/WCW bad guy King Haku/Meng the Merciless.
Those of you who follow wrestling will also know Tonga as one of the toughest men to ever be in the wrestling business. There is a legendary story about him that allegedly took place on March 3, 1989,
On that day, Tonga got into a spat with a group of guys at the Baltimore Airport bar after one of the men called wrestling “fake.” During the fight, multiple witnesses said he actually bit the nose off one of the men.
Here he is splattering a young Edge on a WCW canvas.
That aside, The Rock grew up knowing his uncle as a big teddy bear and the one person who gave him the confidence to endure a high-pressure tryout with WWE in spite of the fact that he had no wrestling experience.
“For me, I wasn’t just having ‘a tryout match,’ because I had never actually HAD a real match in my life. Ever. WWE thought that I already had multiple matches under my belt, but little did they know. What they also didn’t know was that I was broke as hell and didn’t actually own wrestling gear — no boots, knee pads or most importantly, wrestling trunks.”
The Rock took care of part of the problem on his own, going to the Sports Authority and buying “some bright a** white volleyball knee pads.”
He then called his Uncle Tonga and asked if he had any trunks that he could use for the tryout.
“He said all I have is a pair of shiny purple trunks (purple was his signature color), I told him I don’t care if the trunks are all the colors of Skittles, I’ll happily wear them,” The Rock said.
When Johnson picked up the trunks from Tonga, he received a “monster hug” and some touching words of encouragement.
“I’m so proud of you. Go get ’em nephew!” Tonga said.
To give the story a little color, Johnson published pictures from his first match on the Instagram post in which he is wearing the trunks in front of 15,000 people.
To wrap up the heartwarming tale, The Rock shared what he’d just done for Uncle Tonga in response to that one act and all the years of support and encouragement.
“My Uncle Tonga is a family man, humble man and champion,” Johnson said. “Most importantly one of the greatest human beings I know. So we walk outside and I said ‘Uncle how do you like my truck?’”
To that, Tonga said, “Whoooaaa nephew it’s beautiful… I love it!”
And The Rock said, “Good ’cause it’s yours,” adding that Tonga “was speechless.”
“Thru tears (manly of course;) we monster hugged ’cause I’ll never forget what he did for me when I had nothing. Merry Christmas Uncle and ofa atu. #LuckyPurpleTrunks”
Here are the rest of the pics from Instagram. Follow this link for the story in Johnson’s own words.
The story has taken off since The Rock shared it to the photo sharing site six hours ago with 440,000 likes and more than 5,500 comments (and counting).
It has also been picked up by the popular wrestling portion of Cageside Seats.
As for The Rock, if you’d like to see more of him, you won’t have to look very far. In addition to having a highly active Instagram account, he will next appear in 2016’s Kevin Hart action-comedy Central Intelligence.
[Image via The Rock Instagram, linked above]