JJ Dillon: The Rock Once Asked Me To Get Him Out Of WWE
The WWE Hall of Famer saw the value in a young Rocky Maivia
Much has been made of Dwayne Johnson’s story - from his days with a few dollars in his pocket, through his meteoric rise through WWE as The Rock, to sitting atop Hollywood as one of the most enduring stars of a generation.
But back when he had almost zero money to his name, he was very close to departing the WWE, and it’s thanks to WWE Hall of Famer J.J. Dillon that he stayed put.
“Rock, he was going to get the push of his life, but he couldn’t see at that point how really big that opportunity was going to be for him," said Dillion in a chat with JBL and Gerry Brisco, "He had everything. He was multiracial. He had the size, he had athletic ability. He had everything. And I came up there and he said, ‘Can I talk to you privately?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘You have connections everywhere. I’m asking you to help me get out of here and find a place for me to go.’ So I listened to him and I said, ‘There’s more to this story than what you’re telling me. You need to kind of trust me and open up to me and tell me what’s going on in your head, what’s really, really troubling you?’
“After talking about it a little bit, he reached into his pocket and he had a $10 bill and a couple of singles, and he said, ‘This is all the money I have to my name. I’ve never been in a situation where everybody talks about this great potential that I have. But for me, I have 12 bucks in my pocket and that’s eating away at me.’ I said, ‘Well, I’m glad that you opened up to me and told me because that’s something that can be an easy fix.”
Dillon could see the value in the young star, and sort about helping him financially on the spot.
"So, I don’t know where we were, I said go up to the box office and pull $200 and I’ll sign for it and I’ll work it out," stated Dillion, "They came to me and gave me $200 in cash. I called The Rock over and I shook his hand and palmed him $200 in cash. I said, ‘Now you’ve got money in your pocket. You can eat, you’re okay. This is just a little speed bump in the road. I couldn’t do justice to the business by allowing you to just not take full advantage of this opportunity because you are just caught in a position where you don’t have any cash in your pocket and we’ve all been there. He gave me a big hug and that was the turning point for him. Just having that money in his pocket so that he could eat and do what he wanted. I just was in the right place at the right time and knew the right thing to do.”