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Young Rock’s Uli Latukefu Talks Learning About Dwayne Johnson’s WWE Journey And Why Wrestling Fans Should Be Excited For Season 2

Young Rock is back for Season 2, and as always, there’s something special for wrestling fans to look forward to. Season 2 features Dwayne giving up on his dreams of being a pro football player (he did eventually make it to the Super Bowl anyway) and, not long after, starting his journey into the WWE. This meant actor Uli Latukefu had to learn about Johnson’s journey to the ring and, of course, train to make his own debut for Season 2.

I got a chance to speak to the cast of Young Rock ahead of the Season 2 premiere and asked Uli Latukefu (who will also appear in Black Adam in addition to Dwayne Johnson) about getting a chance to actually portray Dwayne Johnson as he makes his debut in the WWE. Many wrestling fans know that Johnson entered the WWE not long after being cut from the Canadian Football League, and Latukefu shared that he actually didn’t know that and revealed a lot about what he learned about Johnson’s early years in the WWE. 

It was a real revelation for me, actually. I felt like, even myself, was guilty of not knowing the trajectory of Dwayne as a wrestler. He really did start from scratch. Obviously, he was surrounded by wrestling from a very young age, as we see on Adrian [Groulx]’s timeline. But, for me, it was like, ‘Oh wow. He really is a student of the game.’ He studied a lot of the wrestlers, [practiced] cutting promos, some good, some not so good, and started learning! Something that we know very well of Dwayne is he’s always keen to learn and grow in what he learns.

A recent trailer for Young Rock Season 2 showed Uli Latukefu in what appears to be The Rock’s WWE debut, where he appeared at the Survivor Series 1996 pay-per-view under the name “Rocky Malvia” and dressed in a way that Johnson himself pokes fun at. While we don’t see Latukefu in action in the match, he’s sporting the same iconic outfit that Johnson had in the match. 

I asked Uli Latukefu about what it meant to get in the ring and train and, in essence, work the same way Dwayne Johnson did when he prepared for his wrestling debut. Latukefu expressed his excitement to be a part of the wrestling training for his scenes, as well as his excitement for fans to see it.

I was so excited, man, and I think wrestling fans are really, really going to be excited. I think I brought my best to the table. I worked my butt off in the ring. We worked with Chavo Guerrero, who is not new to the game, a third-generation wrestler like Dwayne. We were in great hands wrestling-wise, and I had a lot of fun. I think–I know wrestling fans are gonna love it.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s WWE debut and the years that followed is an iconic era of the WWE, so it’ll be a treat for viewers to see Uli Latukefu portray the superstar in this era, and potentially in Season 3 and beyond. I know I’m personally waiting to see who the show might eventually bring in as Stone Cold Steve Austin (who would make a great addition to the already strong cast of wrestling characters) and whether or not Young Rock will touch on the two’s iconic in-ring chemistry. It’ll also be fun to get a refresher on The Rock’s beginnings in WWE, considering there’s a chance he’ll return at next year’s WrestleMania

Young Rock airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. It’s one of many returning shows headed back to television in the coming weeks, so get ready for some great television really soon.

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.