Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

Dwayne Johnson pays tribute as late grandfather enters Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame

Dwayne Johnson, better know as 'The Rock' - has paid tribute to his grandfather in a touching post on social media. Photo / Getty Images
Dwayne Johnson, better know as 'The Rock' - has paid tribute to his grandfather in a touching post on social media. Photo / Getty Images

The late grandfather of former pro wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has been inducted in the esteemed Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.

High Chief Peter Maivia, who died in the 1980s aged 45, was honoured this month in the US for his role and influence in the professional wrestling business.

His famous grandson -- who originally took up the wrestling stage name Rocky Maivia before changing it to just The Rock -- paid tribute to his grandfather in a touching post on social media.

On his Instagram page, Johnson said: "He was considered one of the best and toughest men in pro-wrestling history ... during a very cool era in the 60s and 70s -- when wrestlers took great pride in being 'catch wrestlers' and 'shooters' which would eventually become the foundation of any MMA champions today.

"He was also considered the kindest and most warm soul you'd ever meet. He was truly a walking contradiction in the most inspiring way. He was also handsome as all hell like his grandson," Johnson wrote.

"Congratulations to my grandpa, High Chief Peter Maivia, of Samoa ... on being recently inducted into the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame."

Maivia is considered one of Samoa's and the Pacific's pro wrestling forefathers and is widely credited as helping to put the small island nation on the map.

The Rock's post was accompanied with a photo of a fit-looking Maivia wrestling with Superstar Billy Graham.

Maivia, who was known for showing off Samoan culture in traditional dress and traditions, is pictured wearing a colorful lavalava.

As a result, the wrestler's pe'a, or traditional Samoan tattoo reserved only for men, is featured beautifully in the photograph.

Maivia moved to New Zealand in the early 60s to begin his wrestling career. Among his accolades, he held the title of the NWA New Zealand Heavyweight Championship in 1964.

Johnson went on to say how proud his family was of his grandfather's achievements. Being inducted to the Hall of Fame was particularly special for his mother, Maivia's daughter, Ata Johnson.

Johnson said his mother was happy to attend the event in honour of her late father "even though she couldn't get [through] the first sentence without breaking down".

He finished the post by saying: "Matou te alofa ia oe, Grandpa. (We love you, Grandpa). We're so proud."

He was considered one of the best and toughest men in pro-wrestling history (legendary stories of his real street fights w/ fellow wrestlers) during a very cool era in the 60's & 70's when wrestlers took great pride in being "catch wrestlers" and "shooters" which would eventually become the foundation of many MMA Champions today. He was also considered the kindest and most warm soul you'd ever meet. He was truly a walking contradiction in the most inspiring way. He was also handsome as all hell like his grandson.;) Congratulations to my grandpa, High Chief Peter Maivia of Samoa (pictured here w/ Superstar Billy Graham in Madison Square Garden) on being recently inducted into the PRO-WRESTLING HALL OF FAME. Really meant a lot to our family and especially my mom to be able to personally attend the event to honor his name. Even though she couldn't get thru the first sentence of her induction speech without breaking down.?? Matou te alofa ia te 'oe Grandpa. We're so proud.. #HighChiefPeterMaivia #SAMOA #ToughestAndKindest #WalkingContridiction #ProWrestlingHOF

A photo posted by therock (@therock) on


- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 01 May 2017 09:37:46 Processing Time: 676ms