The days when Signature shoes were reserved only for the “real” athletes are over. What was once exclusive to the Michael Jordans, Stan Smiths and Kobe Bryants of the world (Run DMC was the exception) now includes entertainers like Kevin Hart and Kanye West. And with the recent official announcement of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson signing with Under Armour, that non-athlete (although we use that term loosely with Johnson) space is about to get bigger.
Ok, we’re getting a little bit ahead of ourselves here. The Rock doesn’t have an Under Armour Signature Shoe announced as of right now although they have mentioned “footwear” is part of the deal. But an Under Armour Rock trainer needs to happen soon. Like, seriously. Under Armour would be leaving stupid amounts of money on the table if they don’t make a trainer built to the exact specifications of the most electrifying man in sports and entertainment.
This past Monday night on WWE’s flagship show RAW, The Rock made a triumphant return to the squared circle (highest ratings since last June) to promote the company’s biggest show of the year, Wrestlemania 32. Prior to the Under Armour announcement, you could say The People’s Champ was the world’s biggest (literally) Under Armour influencer because he wore the brand’s gear in his movies all the time.
Not surprisingly, he was decked out in all Under Armour everything for RAW, including a Brahma Bull t-shirt with the UA logo slapped on the chest and the limited edition Muhammad Ali x UA SpeedForm Phenom trainer.
With Wrestlemania 32 emanating this year from the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, the WWE hopes to beat the attendance record set by the 2010 NBA All-Star Game that featured an announced crowd of 108,713 fans and their own personal record of 93,173 fans set by Wrestlemania III in 1987. With that much on the line, WWE has to pull all the stops to bring not just the hardcore wrestling fans (which is probably 80% of the people who would attend a Wrestlemania), but the casual fans that just want to be there for the spectacle and don’t watch the product on a weekly basis. That’s why The Rock is going to be there and Triple H is headlining the main event and possibly greats from wrestling’s heyday like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin could make an appearance as well. Regardless of the quality of the card, thousands will pack Jerry World and millions will be watching across the world. But with The Rock in the house, it becomes the millions and millions. And that’s why he needs to be uh, rocking a prototype of his upcoming signature shoe by then.
There’s a reason why The Rock is the most bankable movie star in the world today and despite being in everything from HBO passion projects to TNT reality shows to every summer blockbuster imaginable (don’t think he’s above doing the next Star Wars or a Marvel movie on top of already being Black Adam for DC if the opportunity arises), we can’t get enough of The Great One. All of his schtick, from the catchphrases to the viscous workouts to the dude’s love of puppies, comes from a genuine place.
We’ve seen him grow up from his days as Rocky Maivia and getting booed out of the building for being too much of a good guy to becoming the best part of The Nation of Domination as The Rock to working his way up the WWF ladder and becoming a multi-time champion to dominating Hollywood and showing enough acting range to star in comedies, action flicks and even some dramas. He has lived up that People’s Champion moniker (although Diamond Dallas Page was the original People’s Champ, but whatever) and then some.
But back to those viscous workouts. Like his Central Intelligence co-star Kevin Hart, The Rock is a gym nut who wakes up at inhumane hours and puts the work in before his actual day job. He’s all about fitness and staying at peak form and with nearly 41 million Instagram followers, a lot of people are watching him and becoming inspired to go all out. You can almost picture the moment when he debuts his hypothetical-but-should-totally-be-a-thing-by-now signature shoe not via a fancy press conference or media event but through Instagram.
I can see it now; a Rock signature trainer in a variety of colorways that pays homage to his illustrious career. Much like the Under Armour Curry Two or the UA C1N cleats that reference Stephen Curry and Cam Newton’s myriad of interests, there will be Fast & Furious tributes, San Andreas special editions and of course, a WWE pack that goes back through The Rock’s various characters through the years. Personally, I can’t wait until we get to the colorways that copy the hilariously absurd five hundred dollar shirts he used to wear as the Corporate champ.
Oh come on, who wouldn’t want that Versace print on a sneaker?
A few years ago, the idea of a non-athlete (although The Rock would probably disagree with not being an athlete) becoming the face of an athletic company was insane. But now we have adidas getting its most buzz whenever a new Yeezy drops and Nike is set to release a runner with a comedian’s name on it. By comparison, The Rock and Under Armour partnership sounds downright normal. But if this collaborative effort is anything like The Rock’s career so far, you know it’s going to be a huge deal.
But seriously, we need a UA Rock “$500 Shirt” colorway. That would be the best…
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