WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi spoke to The Brandon Robinson of Bally Sports about The Rock and the expectations he had of him. "Well, the Rock was younger and we weren’t really around each other that much, you know? I’m from the West Coast, he was out there on the East Coast,” Rikishi said, as quoted by Wrestling Inc.
“We all knew him and his father and they flew all over the place, but when we finally did get together, it was all good! A young kid from Allentown, Pennsylvania going to high school; he was always in the gym… I for sure thought that he was going to play NFL Football, you know? Like, really be that because he was jacked up if you see some of the documentaries, you know? That’s real!
At 13 years old, he was a grown adult size! He was a BEAST! But you know, with everything, God has a plan for everybody and I’m so grateful to be able to see what Dwayne has done with his life, you know?
The Rock on Holywood career
The Rock did a lot for other wrestlers who wanted to build a career in Hollywood.
He took the first step and gave a lesson to everyone to believe in themselves and their dreams. Rikishi said, “He came into the family business, and went out there and opened the doors in Hollywood not only for himself, but opened the door for a lot of the wrestlers in our industry to be able to adapt and go into Hollywood, and that too, they can do just by seeing what Dwayne did – you got a wrestler coming from our industry into Hollywood and pretty much took over the whole Hollywood!
I mean, that’s that work ethic as a professional wrestler… we know nothing but the grind hard, we figure things out and we see things coming from a mile away. When you’re on TV, shooting things live, there is no pre-tape.
You just give me your pointers and we put it in our own words and we make it happen! And by the time you see the Rock in Hollywood, we all knew unless something happened to him, that dude is going to take over Hollywood! Years later, there it is”.