Dwayne The Rock Johnson WWE TKO Screen grab: WWE

It’s a busy day in the world of WWE.

On the same morning that it announced its new rights deal with Netflix for WWE Raw, TKO Group Holdings — the company formed by the merger between WWE and UFC — revealed that it has appointed Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to its Board of Directors.

A third-generation wrestler, Johnson was one of professional wrestling’s biggest stars during the industry’s boom period in the late-1990s/early-2000s. After leaving wrestling — at least as a full-time wrestler — the former Miami Hurricanes defensive lineman became one Hollywood’s biggest box office draws and has recently been building his business portfolio with ventures including Seven Bucks Productions, Teremana Tequila, ZOA Energy, Project Rock and the United Football League (UFL).

“Very few people on the planet understand the convergence of sports, entertainment, media, and business like Rock,” Vince McMahon, TKO Executive Chairman of the Board, said in a statement. “We are proud to have him join the TKO board to help take our company to new heights.”

Added Johnson: “My grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, and my dad, Rocky ‘Soulman’ Johnson, would’ve never thought this day would come. Which is why I’m very humbled to have a seat at the table that has decades of history and family legacy for me. A table that my family helped to build. Being on the TKO Board of Directors, and taking full ownership of my name, ‘The Rock’, is not only unprecedented, but incredibly inspiring as my crazy life is coming full circle.

“At my core, I’m a builder who builds for and serves the people, and Ari is building something truly game changing. I’m very motivated to help continue to globally expand our TKO, WWE, and UFC businesses as the worldwide leaders in sports and entertainment — while proudly representing so many phenomenal athletes and performers who show up every day putting in the hard work with their own two hands to make their dreams come true and deliver for our audiences. I’ve been there, I’m still there and this is for them.”

As noted by Johnson, he has also reached an agreement to take ownership of the trademarked “The Rock” name, which was previously owned by WWE. The agreement will allow WWE to continue to use The Rock’s likeness for promotional, licensing and other services.

Johnson recently teased a potential return to the ring for a match against WWE’s biggest star, Roman Reigns.

Like WWE, Johnson has a history with UFC. In addition to having been a regular attendee at events, the 51-year-old presented Jorge Masvidal with the BMF Title following a victory over Nate Diaz at UFC 244 in 2019.

In addition to Johnson, TKO Group Holdings also added entrepreneur Brad Keywell to its Board of Directors, which now includes 13 members.

[TKO Group Holdings]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.