Johnson was a college football player for the University of Miami, winning a national championship on the 1991 Miami Hurricanes football team. He later played for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League, and was cut two months into the 1995 season. This led him to become a professional wrestler like his grandfather, Peter Maivia, and his father, Rocky Johnson (from whom he also inherited his Canadian citizenship). Originally billed as "Rocky Maivia", he gained mainstream fame in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF/E) from 1996 to 2004, and was the first third-generation wrestler in the company's history. He returned to wrestling part-time for WWE from 2011 to 2013.
Johnson is widely considered one of the all-time greatest professional wrestlers. Headlining numerous pay-per-views over his career and one of the top box office draws of all time, he headlined five WrestleMania's. He has had seventeen championship reigns in WWE, including ten as a world champion, winning the WWF/E Championship eight times and the WCW/World Championship twice. He won the WWF Intercontinental Championship twice and the WWF Tag Team Championship five times. He is the sixth WWF/E Triple Crown Champion, and won the 2000 Royal Rumble.
Johnson's autobiography The Rock Says... (co-written with Joe Layden) was published in 2000. It debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list and remained on the list for several weeks. Johnson's first leading film role was in The Scorpion King in 2002. For this role, he was paid US $5.5 million, a world record for an actor in his first starring role. He has since appeared in several films, including The Rundown, Be Cool, Walking Tall, Gridiron Gang, The Game Plan, Get Smart, Race to Witch Mountain, Planet 51, Tooth Fairy, Doom, The Other Guys, Faster, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6. He has hosted and produced The Hero, a reality competition series.
- United States Wrestling Association World Tag Team Championship
- WCW World Heavyweight Championship
- WWE Championship
- WWE Intercontinental Championship
- WWE Tag Team Championship