February 21, 2024

By Michelle Chapman
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ACTOR AND FORMER WWE SUPERSTAR DWAYNE “THE ROCK” JOHNSON participates in a Wrestlemania XXVII press convention on the Laborious Rock Cafe in Occasions Sq. on Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2011 in New York. It’s a identify that has turn into nearly synonymous with skilled wrestling however its bearer, Dwayne Johnson, has by no means legally owned “The Rock.” That can change below a brand new settlement with the WWE below which Johnson may also be a part of the board of TKO Group, the sports activities and leisure firm that homes WWE and UFC. (AP Photograph/Evan Agostini, file)

It’s a identify that has turn into nearly synonymous with skilled wrestling however its bearer, Dwayne Johnson, has by no means legally owned “The Rock.”

That can change below a brand new settlement with the WWE below which Johnson may also be a part of the board of TKO Group, the sports activities and leisure firm that homes WWE and UFC.

“The Rock” is a reputation is derived from Johnson’s father, WWE Corridor of Famer Rocky Johnson, who was the primary Black champion in WWE historical past (alongside companion Tony Atlas), in accordance the WWE.

Johnson, in an interview on CNBC, wouldn’t focus on the monetary worth of the cope with WWE, however stated that the identify “The Rock” means loads to him personally.

“I owe that identify all the pieces,” Johnson stated. “With out that identify there’d be no wrestling profession. There’d be no Hollywood profession.”

Johnson, a film and wrestling star, has a enterprise portfolio that features his manufacturing firm Seven Bucks Productions, tequila model Teremana Tequila, power drink firm ZOA Vitality, Undertaking Rock attire model and the United Soccer League. Johnson stated on CNBC that this might be his first time serving on the board of a publicly traded firm.

“I’m very motivated to assist proceed to globally increase our TKO, WWE, and UFC companies because the worldwide leaders in sports activities and leisure — whereas proudly representing so many phenomenal athletes and performers who present up each day placing within the laborious work with their very own two fingers to make their desires come true and ship for our audiences,” Johnson stated in a ready assertion. “I’ve been there, I’m nonetheless there and that is for them.”

TKO Group Holdings Inc. says Johnson’s board appointment, efficient Tuesday, displays its “dedication to delivering long-term worth and robust efficiency for shareholders by strategic development initiatives throughout each UFC and WWE.”

Wrestler John Cena, high, chokes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at a Wrestlemania occasion on April 7, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. It’s a identify that has turn into nearly synonymous with skilled wrestling however its bearer, Dwayne Johnson, has by no means legally owned “The Rock.” (AP Photograph/Mel Evans, File)

Johnson started his wrestling profession with WWE in 1996. The third-generation wrestler turned well-known for rivalries with wrestlers together with “Stone Chilly” Steve Austin and Triple H and his ending maneuver, The Rock Backside, in accordance with his biography on WWE’s web site. He has gained eight WWE championships, has a New York Occasions bestselling autobiography, “The Rock Says,” and starred in motion pictures together with “Quick X,” “Black Adam,” “Jungle Cruise” and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.”

Johnson has just lately appeared on World Wrestling Leisure Inc.’s “Smackdown” and “Uncooked” tv applications, with rumors swirling that he could compete at this 12 months’s WrestleMania.

“I’m thrilled to companion with Dwayne and welcome his immense expertise to TKO’s Board,” TKO CEO Ariel Emanuel stated in a ready assertion. “Dwayne brings an unimaginable observe document of making content material and constructing globally acknowledged shopper manufacturers, and he’ll play a key function in realizing our ambitions for TKO.”

TKO additionally introduced Tuesday that Brad Keywell will turn into a board member. Keywell has co-founded and led a number of corporations, together with Groupon, Echo International Logistics, MediaOcean, and Uptake Applied sciences, the place he’s at the moment founder and govt chairman.
The additions of Johnson and Keywell will improve TKO’s board from 11 to 13 members.

Shares of TKO Group surged greater than 19% in morning buying and selling after TKO introduced WWE’s weekly tv present “Uncooked” will transfer to Netflix subsequent 12 months as a part of a significant streaming deal price greater than $5 billion.