'Biggest risk of my life': Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's candid career confession

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (pictured left) in the WWE ring and (pictured right) at the Hollywood Stars.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has finally opened up to his fans about why he left the WWE at the height of his fame to pursue a career in Hollywood. (Getty Images)

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has finally answered the question his millions, and millions, of fans have been wondering as to why he felt compelled to leave his wrestling career during the height of his WWE popularity.

Johnson, known as the The Rock during his wrestling career, spent just seven years in the WWE before leaving in 2004 to pursue a career in Hollywood.

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While Johnson has gone on to become one of Hollywood’s biggest names and featured in numerous box office hits, many have long wondered why he left the WWE at such a young age.

The moved stunned everyone as the ‘Brahma Bull’, aged just 32, was in his prime and was arguably the biggest draw card at the time.

But in a candid Instagram post on Monday, Johnson said he felt it was finally time to reveal to his fans why he left the WWE on top.

“I retired from WWE in 2004, at the age of 32,” he said.

“At that time. Well, here’s the why, at that time, there were two reasons; my contract had expired, and the most important thing is that an agreement I have with anybody in the world, any company, any individual it’s always important to me.

“It means everything to me to shake that person’s hand and look him in the eye and deliver what I gave him my word on what I would deliver.

“So, in 2004 when my contract expired, I had delivered on my agreement with the WWE and my long term mentor and very good friend Vince McMahon.”

But the Rock said his ambition was to have global influence, which could be achieved in Hollywood.

Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, holds a microphone in a WWE ring.
Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, enters the ring to talk smack about his upcoming opponent John Cena in 2012. (Photo by Chris Ryan/Corbis via Getty Images)

“I was at the top. I was the biggest number one draw. Retired from this world that I loved so much, and I know it’s a lot for some people to swallow,” he said.

“This philosophy, if I could leave and become successful in Hollywood and become successful outside of the world of professional wrestling, of the world of WWE and when I say successful, my ambition was I wanted global success. I wanted to have global influence in a very very real and powerful way.”

The Rock’s return to WWE to face Cena

But Johnson wasn’t completely done with pro-wrestling.

In 2011, he called McMahon and mapped out a plan where he could return at WrestleMania to face John Cena.

Johnson defeated Cena and went on to claim the WWE Championship belt.

But, in a passing of the torch moment, he finally lost the title in a rematch to Cena at the following WrestleMania event.

John Cena slams 'The Rock' during WrestleMania XXVIII.
Dwayne ''The Rock'' Johnson and John Cena in action during WrestleMania XXVIII at Sun Life Stadium on April 1, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)

Johnson explained this was so he could give back to the business that helped propel him to stardom.

But it was also to go out on his shield.

“I was going to close out my career in a respectful way. A man in my place, the right way to do it is how we did it,” he added.

“I made John Cena Champion; the company made Cena Champion. And then he goes on to lead the company and be the man.”