The Rock by Rob Schamberger © 2013 Rob. All rights reserved.

The Rock

The Rock painting by Rob Schamberger

Acrylic and spray on 30″ x 40″ canvas

The Rock was my first favorite wrestler. I started watching wrestling around 1998, right when he was really taking off in a huge way. His charisma, his way of turning a phrase, his entire x-factor made me tune in twice a week to see what was going to happen.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is a third-generation wrestler. His grandfather on his mother’s side is ‘High Chief’ Peter Maivia and his father is Rocky Johnson. Rock first debuted as Rocky Maivia, combining both of their names. That iteration of the character didn’t really catch on, and it was when he turned heel and joined the Nation of Domination that The Rock, the shit-talking wise-cracking bully started to really take shape. But his in-ring skills and the aforementioned x-factor were what really made him one of the major stars of the Attitude Era, and that went into overdrive when he, at his peak, was competing with a game Stone Cold Steve Austin. It was cool to cheer for the bad guy, as long as they were cool, too. It was the James Bond formula: Every guy wants to be him, and every woman wants to be with him. The ladies LOVED Rock and naturally the guys wanted to be wherever the ladies were. Put all of that together and you have a top draw.

I used to work at a bank and several of the ladies there had a book club where they read those Harlequin Romance bodice-rippers. One of the younger women always described the male lead of the book as looking “like the Rock, but with long hair.” I’m sure she was thrilled when The Scorpion King dropped. Rock has largely stepped away from wrestling to focus on his extremely successful movie career, where he has really found his niche and is one of the top draws in the business.

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