Earlier this week, World Wrestling Entertainment released a statement confirming that Rocky – real name Wayde Douglas Bowles – had died at the age of 75.
Posting on Instagram on Friday evening, Dwayne paid homage to his father, honouring his trailblazing work in the world of wrestling.
“I love you,” his post began. “You broke colour barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar.
“The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am. The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities.
“Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deeply complicated sides that needed to be held and understood. Son to father. Man to man. That’s when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude.”
He continued: “Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back.
“I’m in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass.”
Johnson added: “Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish. Finally, I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman.
“Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease. You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring.”
The wrestler-turned-actor chose his “The Rock” moniker as a tribute to his father, Rocky, who was one half of the first black world tag-team champions alongside Tony Atlas in 1983.
Rocky retired in 1991, after which he turned his attention to training his young son.
Last month, Rocky was appointed to the Board of Directors of the International Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.