The action star, 47, posted on social media a black-and-white photo as a tribute to his grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia of Samoa, and the family patriarch appears smiling alongside none other than French wrestling star André the Giant.
“What a crazy throwback from the 70’s [sic],” Johnson wrote. “Here’s the ‘8th Wonder of the World’ André the Giant, using my 315lb grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia as a booster seat and making my granddad look like a little boy.”
The "Jumanji" actor revealed the two shared a close friendship.
“They were the best of friends, wrestled nightly, tough as hell and as you can see by their smiles and open energy — they lived like to the absolute fullest,” he said. “My grandfather died when I was a boy so I never got to know him as a man. Would’ve loved to have raised a tequila with these men.”
“Would’ve also loved to have wrestled them too — those would’ve been fun a-- kickin’s for me to take #thegiant #andthehighchief," Johnson added.
Like Johnson earlier in his career, Maivia was a professional wrestler. He died in 1982 of cancer but was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his grandson posthumously, in 2013.
The entertainer has kept his family member's memory alive through his work. Johnson revealed that his character in the animated movie "Moana" was inspired by Maivia.
"A lil’ @Disney gem of a secret, my character Maui was partly inspired by my late grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia of Samoa," he admitted on Twitter after a fan pointed out the similarities.