by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Joe Layden
HarperEntertainment; First Edition edition, January 5, 2000
Tucker’s Rating: 4 / 10
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What’s it about?: The first autobiography of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, written when he was only a professional wrestler.
Tucker’s Opinion: Let me be very clear that I have an immense amount of respect for The Rock, as an entertainer, an athlete, and a person. But this book is just a paint-by-numbers celebrity memoir that was put out as a cash grab when wrestling books were selling really well. It took nothing more than a few days of speaking into microphone for The Rock, and maybe two or three weeks of writing for the co-author to churn out. Beyond that, he was 27 years old when it was published–it is exceedingly rare for anyone that age to have anything to say. If you aren’t a huge Rock fan, there is no reason to read this book. And even if you are a huge fan…I still don’t see much of a reason to read this book.
[That being said, at this point in his life I feel like The Rock could, if willing and given the right co-writer, do an amazing book. Ahem.]
Notable Quotes (as marked by Tucker):
The irony of his condition — that someone so strong could be so weak — both shocked and disappointed me. I blamed my father for letting it happen, for failing to fight the demons. The truth, of course, was that he had fought…and lost. The hardest part for me was knowing that my mother was absorbing the brunt of the abuse. I don’t mean to imply that my father was physically aggressive or hurtful toward my mom — he wasn’t. But was mentally abusive, and eventually the strain took its toll on their marriage. It never came to the point where my mother simply said, “The hell with it. I don’t care anymore.” But I wouldn’t have blamed her one bit. I remember saying to my father once, after he promised to quit for at least the tenth time, “God, Dad, why are you doing this? You’re destroying yourself and you’re destroying our family.”
“I agree with you,” my father said. “I’ve kind of been thinking about that all along. You know, so many guys in this business . . . they get their name and they get their gimmick, and they get everything else before they even know how to work. It’s too easy for guys to call themselves professional wrestlers. Wrestlers they may be. Professionals they’re not.”
Gerry Brisco was there, to. Gerry gets a kick out of reminding everyone of just how far we go back. “I knew The Rock when his name was Dewey,” Gerry will say. Dewey is what my parents sometimes called me when I was a little kid. “I knew him when he was eating dirt and he had shit in his diapers.” That’s Gerry’s favorite line for me, and he’ll use it anywhere, anytime. Doesn’t matter if we’re at a black-tie dinner.
I had been training in Stamford, Connecticut, for more than two months, primarily with Tom Prichard, Bruce Prichard’s brother and himself a fifteen-year veteran of the business, and Mark Henry, an Olympic weight-lifting champion. During that time I had gotten to know everybody in the office and the studio, and had begun to feel like a part of the World Wrestling Federation family. It was an invaluable learning experience. We trained for several hours each day, working on all kinds of moves and routines. With no spectators, no referees, no television cameras, we were encouraged to push the envelope, to really work on all aspects of the craft.