ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

There's no denying that Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is now a Hollywood powerhouse. He's got numerous lucrative blockbusters under his belt, while he can also boast 33 million followers on Instagram alone. In fact, he is such a superstar, his reinvigoration of the Fast & Furious and G.I. Joe franchises earned him the title of "franchise viagra" in the industry.

However, like all good success stories, it wasn't always quite like that, and recently The Rock has been harping back to his early days on Instagram. Several days ago, he posted a short video from his first televised wrestling match in 1996. Although he wrestled under the name 'Flex Kavana,' you can certainly see the origins of a man who would eventually ask us to continuously "smell what the Rock is cooking." Check out the post below:

BIG DEBUT... crazy to share this with y'all.. so surreal to see this classic footage from of my VERY FIRST wrestling match in Memphis, for the (United States Wrestling Association). I just drove my truck up from Miami to Memphis, had no bank account to my name (just carried cash) and luckily found a very nice elderly couple living in a house on Union Avenue who was willing to rent out a room to me. I'll always remember it was Union Ave because every day I would drive by the world famous where the likes of Elvis, Jerry Lee and Johnny Cash had recorded early in their careers. In a weird way driving by that studio everyday kinda kept me motivated to stay grinding. I was 23yrs old, making $40 bucks per match and NO CLUE of the long journey that lay ahead of me. But I was then, as I am today, extremely grateful for the opportunity and always willing to put in the work. Y'all keep working hard at your goals and creating opportunities for yourselves, always be humble and never, and I repeat NEVER wear sunglasses inside a TV studio like I did here. What in theeeee f*ck!??

Of course, after that tiny tidbit, the Rock's fans were clamoring to see more. Luckily, a video of his first ever televised wrestling match has been on YouTube since 2011. In the match, Flex Kavana teams up with Brian Christopher to take on Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee for the USWA Tag Team title. As you can imagine, it's not exactly the best quality, but it does act as a nice low-key, and sparsely populated, start to the Dwayne Johnson story. Check it out below:

Dwayne Johnson—or should I say Flex Kavana—steps into the ring in his first televised wrestling match:

He gets immediately knocked down... but not for long

In fact, springing around seems to be his style

As well as dishing them out, he could certainly take a beating

But he simply can't be kept down


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