The best retro photos of Dwayne Johnson early in his career

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Dwayne Johnson has come so far in the decades since he launched his wrestling career as The Rock in the mid-’90s. In honor of his 50th birthday on May 2, 2022, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at some of the best — and most hilarious! — throwback photos of our favorite wrestler-actor, starting with this fantastically retro shot… Dwayne Johnson wore a black-and-white button-down completely unbuttoned during the 1999 Emmys. What he lacked in fabric, he made up for in gold jewelry, completing his look with a chain, a matching bracelet, a watch and a ring.

Now keep reading for more of the best retro photos of The Rock…

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A baby-faced Dwayne Johnson rocked a gold chain and some serious sideburns at a party for the now-defunct UPN network in mid-2000.

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All that glitters is Rock… Dwayne Johnson showed some skin in a shiny gold vest and matching pants during the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards. He completed his look with shades and a gold chain — naturally!

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Dwayne Johnson’s bulging biceps were on full display when he competed during WrestleMania XX in 2004.

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The People’s Eyebrow! Dwayne Johnson posed with his signature raised eyebrow while promoting his autobiography, “The Rock Says…,” in 2000.

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Dwayne Johnson in jeans on the red carpet? Yep, it happened! The Rock looked too cool (for 2002!) while giving two thumbs up during the 2002 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.

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Yikes… Dwayne Johnson sported a loose-fitting pinstriped suit during the 2004 premiere of “Walking Tall” — one of his earliest feature films. Can you even imagine the version of The Rock we know and love today wearing such a comically ill-fitting ensemble?!

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Dwayne Johnson’s bulging biceps — and his iconic longhorn tattoo — were on full display during a 2008 portrait session. The wrestler-actor paired red-and-black camo-print pants (so 2008!) with a matching red tank top.

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Iconic! In 1999, Dwayne Johnson knocked then-newcomer Chris Jericho — who made his WWF debut that year — into the ropes.

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That’s what we love to see! Dwayne Johnson pushed down his shades to flash The People’s Eyebrow while posing for a photo early in his career.

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Dwayne Johnson flashed a peace sign — and The People’s Eyebrow! — while rocking a Canadian tuxedo at the 2001 Teen Choice Awards.

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Remember when The Rock had sideburns?! Dwayne Johnson — who also had a full head of hair at the time — smiled wide during a photocall for “Southland Tales” at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

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Dwayne Johnson wore a comically oversized scarf with a velvety blazer at the London premiere of “Be Cool” in 2005.

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Our faves! Two of wrestling’s (and now Hollywood’s) biggest stars — John Cena and Dwayne Johnson — famously faced off during the Survivor Series 25th Anniversary event in 2011.

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During the 2002 Essence Awards, Dwayne Johnson donned a fantastically retro coat that made his shoulders look extra boxy.

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The People’s Eyebrow made a major appearance alongside Dwayne Johnson at the 2001 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.

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See this? This is the face of a man who just realized he’s wearing a button-down featuring vertical stripes with a tie featuring horizontal stripes. Dwayne Johnson wore this unfortunate — and befuddling! — combination at the 2003 GQ Men of the Year Awards. He’s truly come so far since then!

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A cargo shorts-clad Dwayne Johnson, who had a full head of hair at the time, raised temperatures during a 2007 charity event.

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A fearsome-looking Dwayne Johnson bared his rock-hard bod during WrestleMania XXVlll in 2012.

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The People’s Eyebrow must’ve been a bit tired that day… Dwayne Johnson pulled up his eyebrow while posing on the red carpet at the 2003 Stunt Awards.

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What’s better than one Dwayne Johnson? Two, of course! The Rock posed with his incredibly lifelike wax figure at Madame Tussauds in 2002. Let’s take another look…

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Madame Tussauds really did Dwayne Johnson justice! In 2009, The Rock’s black leather-clad wax figure posed up a storm in Los Angeles.

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Winner, winner! Dwayne Johnson celebrated his WWE Championship victory during the 26th Annual Royal Rumble in 2013.

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Nothing says “2004” quite like Dwayne Johnson with a mustache and a goatee making an appearance on MTV’s “Total Request Live.”

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We could smell what The Rock was cooking… A baby-faced Dwayne Johnson posed for this clean-shaven portrait back in 2002. He looks so young, doesn’t he?!



























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