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The M&F faithful are well-aware of Dwayne Johnson’s story. Before he was one of the busiest superstars in showbiz, The Rock overcame some tough struggles. After tearing every ligament in his shoulder, he struggled to get his football career going again. When he wasn’t drafted by the NFL and was later cut by the CFL, things started to look bleak. The former football player fell into a deep depression. But, as with any story, the key is in the details. When Johnson was featured in “Oprah’s Master Class” this month, he told another side to his story.
“I found that with depression one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone,” Johnson tells OWN. “You’re not the first to go through it…I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and [say], ‘Hey, it’s going to be okay.'” Johnson’s father reluctantly agreed to train him for a wrestling career and, of course, it wasn’t all roses from there. Johnson wasn’t loved by fans early on, and it wasn’t just because of his “heel” status. At one point, Johnson, then known as “Rocky Maivia” (a combination of his father’s and grandfather’s names), was booed by more than 20,000 fans at Madison Square Garden. It was another key moment in Johnson’s life. Instead of breaking, he had an epiphany that transformed him into The Rock.
“About a month later, I was the hottest heel in the company and things were on fire,” Johnson says. “And the greatest lesson about that is be you … The most powerful thing you can be is yourself.”