The Rock Says Waffle House Got Him Through Some Tough Times in His Early Career

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Despite his muscular and incredibly famous and charming stature, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has very humble origins. Before he was scaling burning buildings in Skyscraper and living the onscreen life of this generation's Superman, he was "living at Waffle House" and wrestling in used car dealership parking lots. 

The Rock appeared on The Late Show earlier this week and told Stephen Colbert all about the bleak realities of wrestling to make ends meet, but stressed that Waffle House was always there when he needed some comfort. 

Back when he used to throw his body to the wolves for a guaranteed $40 a night, "I was living at the Waffle House, I ate there three times a day," Johnson said. He then explained how the bloodsport regularly went down at used car dealerships as a kind of sideshow while people shopped. 

"We used to set up rings in the parking lots of used car dealerships, and people would go in and they would buy used cars and if you want, you could see free wrestling matches. And I'd be there with my pineapple haircut, and I'd be putting on my boots and wrestling gear next to an office that was trying to sell cars. It was the oddest thing but at that time it's what you did to make money." 

Of course, Waffle House caught wind of the Rock's wistful memories and spread the buzz on Twitter, where you can watch a more direct version of the clip: 

The truth is, if you want to be big and strong and rich and successful like The Rock, you could always do with more fried chicken and waffles in your life. And maybe steroids. 


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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster