Young Rock (2021) s01e01 Episode Script

Working the Gimmick

1 Good evening, I'm Randall Park.
The primaries are over and the nominees for the 2032 U.
presidential race are set.
And one name you may have heard before.
Candidate Dwayne Johnson has wasted no time hitting the campaign trail with his No Muss, No Fuss bus tour, traveling cross-country to talk to American voters.
I'll get the upstairs.
And show that he's one of them.
It's about as big as Kevin Hart's ego.
But that level of fame also has its downside.
Dwayne Johnson's success is being used against him by his critics.
They say he's lived the cushy Hollywood life for so long, he can't relate to the struggles - of the average American.
- Randall, that couldn't be further from the truth.
I have had one hell of a life, but I wasn't born into it.
I've had to work very hard for everything that's come my way.
There's still so much that I have to share with the world.
Hmm, I'm surprised to hear you say that because you're such an open person.
Well, I try to be as open and as real as I can.
For example, people don't know that every time I open the fridge, I still gotta you know.
- Can you do it? - You want me to do it? I'm begging you to do it.
- Are the people ready? - They are not ready, but they need to see it.
Well, every time I open the fridge, I've gotta say, "Can you tell llll that the Rock is hungry?" Oh, yeah.
- I do that too.
- You're a wild man.
So, as you can see, Randall, there's still so much that I haven't told anyone.
Stories about my life that I haven't been ready to share until now.
You can't tell because I used to be an actor, so I'm skilled at hiding my emotions, but I'm on the edge of my seat.
I can tell.
You're a hell of an actor.
You know, Randall, to understand me, you gotta understand where I came from.
I was born into a wrestling family.
Your dad was wrestling superstar Rocky Johnson.
The "Soul Man" Rocky Johnson.
- That was him.
- Yeah! The crowd is in an uproar.
There he goes! Mom, listen to this crowd.
Dad is over.
He is.
They love him.
My mother's father was the legendary Samoan wrestler, "High Chief" Peter Maivia.
Wrestling is in my blood.
Rocky hits him with a dropkick.
Yes, Rocky! Oh, the Samoan is in trouble now.
He's done, he's done! And Rocky Johnson is the winner tonight.
Rocky! Rocky! You know, being a kid growing up in the world of professional wrestling, I learned a lot of stuff very early on in life.
- Sign my chest? - I'll sign your chest.
Ah, no, you won't.
Thank you.
I won't be signing any chests, but how about an arm? Is this Carl Weathers? But, at the same time, I was also just a regular little boy.
And I idolized my dad.
Dad, how come our car is nicer than where we're staying? 'Cause the fans don't drive home with us, do they? They need to see me leave the arena in style.
That's called working the gimmick.
- Hmm, interesting.
- Cars, the clothes, the jewelry they need to think who I am inside the ring is who I am outside the ring.
That's why we can't hang out in public with Uncle Iron Sheik.
That's right.
And get this: one day, you work the gimmick hard enough, it'll become real.
- It will? - Sure will.
Soon, our house will be as nice as our car.
Then I gotta buy a better car.
Ooh, red one? You know I love red.
I know you like red.
I'm gonna get changed.
We'll go to your grandma's so I can get paid, then I'll take us out to dinner.
A quick stop at my mom's.
Yeah, yeah, I know.
Hey, get your buns in here.
- Hey, boys.
- Hey! Yo.
Uh, Grandma? What's wrong with your dog again? It's a belly tumor, but don't worry.
It's benign.
Is that mushroom looking one new? Go shake everyone's hand, Dewey.
Junk Yard Dog, great match tonight.
Let me see how fast you are.
Oh, that's quick.
Damn, kid.
Hi, Uncle Afa.
Hi, Uncle Sika.
I hated you guys tonight.
Great job.
Who wants a margarita? I make with almost all triple sec.
- Shake it, baby! - Dewey baby, are you old enough to drink yet? I'll drink it for him.
Hey! - Anyone want to play cards? - Yes.
- Hell, yes.
- Yeah, I'll take your money.
Hey, babe, you don't mind if we order food here, right? We were just gonna do a quick in and out.
Please, Mom? I want to hang with the guys.
Ah, that's my boy.
Hey, and, after, I promise we'll get some ice cream.
- Okay.
- You wanna play Belote? And it wasn't just my dad.
I was surrounded by people working the gimmick.
I worked a match in Detroit with Playboy Bobby Riggs.
Ton of talent, man.
Terrible body.
He looked like a loaf of bread, huh? Bobby Riggs is funny guy.
Like the Burt Reynolds.
No, he's gotta work the gimmick.
Wild Samoans, André the Giant, "Soul Man" Rocky Johnson.
You can have all the skill of the world, right? But if the audience don't buy your look You'll never get over.
His beige trunks aren't doing him any favors.
- How's your girlfriend doing? - Not so great.
She stabbed me.
I've come a long way from when Peter miss you, Peter.
Love you, High Chief from when he first took me to his matches.
I thought he was really getting hurt.
Aah! Lia, no, Lia, no, no, Lia! I bet the crowd loved it.
Now that's a shoot.
I don't get why there's so many rules.
It's all fake anyway.
What happened? Does this feel fake? Then it's not fake.
You never use the F word.
Comprends? - Yes.
- Good.
Now we hug.
Huh? I did not raise him like that.
- That's your boy.
- I'm so sorry.
- That's your boy.
- Your move.
Let's go.
Slight change of plans.
I'm gonna go grab drinks with the guys.
I knew we shouldn't have stopped here.
It's just André's thinking about investing in this tiki bar, and he wants us to check it out.
I want you all to be honest with me.
You promised Dewey you'd take him for ice cream, Rocky.
Dewey will be fine.
Hey, Dewey.
Daddy's got to go take care of some business with André and the guys.
So we're gonna have to rain check on that ice cream.
Can I go with you? I'm sorry, buddy.
It's adult stuff.
But hey, ice cream for breakfast tomorrow.
I'll see you later.
- I love you.
- Love you too.
- Okay.
- Bye.
Hey, come on.
Let's go.
- You ready to go? - Mom, why doesn't Dad let me do anything with him? Can you keep a secret? I told your dad I wouldn't tell you, but the president called earlier today.
Now, he can't talk about it or give any details, but it's big, and no one can know.
Like in "Shogun Warriors"? Mm-hmm.
- Does Grandma know? - No.
So let's not mention anything when we go for ice cream, okay? - Okay.
- Good boy, go get your shoes.
Grandma, we're going for ice cream.
So even though my dad clearly had flaws, when I was that little boy, he was still my hero.
Well, it seems like your mom helped with that.
In her own way, she was working the gimmick too, - but for your benefit.
- That's right.
Working the gimmick was how my family lived, and we all embraced it.
As a matter fact, it was working the gimmick that eventually led to me stealing.
Stop! Can we stop? I don't know if we should be going down this road.
It's okay, Sandy.
And I told you I gonna get very real with this thing, Randall.
- Yeah, Sandy.
- Oh, my God.
Okay, can we lock the set down, please? So I'm gonna get real.
And the real is working the gimmick led to me doing some pretty bad [bleep.]
I'm sorry, Randall, can I say that? It's not very presidential, but [bleep.]
That's my guy.
You know, back then, I wanted people to see me in a certain way, and I did whatever had to to make that happen.
Need any help finding anything? Nah, nothing's really catching my eye.
Thanks, though.
Was it wrong? Yeah, it was wrong.
But, honestly, who among us hasn't done a little five-finger boost, huh? Right.
Or a little credit card fraud.
You must be rich.
What's your name again? Tomas.
Tomas? Why'd you say your name was Tomas? 'Cause it sounds way cooler than Dwayne.
Look, new school, new name.
And now that I look rich, I'm finally getting attention from girls, like Karen from algebra.
- Big hair Karen? - Fine-ass Karen.
The one who front-knots her PE shirt.
Oh! I couldn't get the security tag thing off, so I banged it with a rock, and all this ink exploded out.
Just tell people you spilled your blueberry wine.
The best part is Karen invited me to a party tonight.
- So life is good, huh? - It is.
Well, it's not gonna last.
Fine-ass Karen aside, the reason why these girls haven't been giving you the time of day isn't 'cause you look poor.
It's 'cause you look like a undercover cop.
Like Johnny Depp from "21 Jump Street.
" - No one thinks that.
- Dwayne, everyone thinks that.
He's looking at me.
He's a cop, like Johnny Depp.
I'm 15! You have a full mustache, and you're bigger than a dad.
You look like you work at a auto parts store.
Whatever, man.
None of that matters now that I got a girl into me.
Yeah, but that girl thinks you're rich, and you're not.
And you ain't fooling anybody riding the bus.
Hey, baby.
How was school? When is Dad getting back with the car? When the wrestling convention is over.
He's getting paid to sign autographs.
- We could use the money.
- We could also use the car.
I'm boxing pizzas after school.
You're cleaning houses, like, five towns away, and we both have to take the bus.
What's wrong with taking the bus? There was a man sitting across from me playing the flute yesterday.
It was beautiful.
Karen will think I'm poor if she sees me riding the bus.
Who's Karen? Can't we just get another car? Look, I got some money saved.
I can get us one.
- How much money? - $103.
Dewey, you won't be able to get a car for that.
But you know what you could do? Borrow the other 16,000 from you? No.
You could help us with groceries and bills.
Karen doesn't care about that stuff.
- Who's Karen? - She's a pretty girl I like.
That's what you care about? Your priorities are out of whack, Dewey.
Can you at least cosign on a credit card for me? I mean, it doesn't even have to be a good one.
It can be from Strawbridge & Clothier.
I'm desperate, man.
I've called every ad in the paper.
Nobody's selling their car for 103 bucks.
Dude, you're not bargaining right.
You gotta start at a dollar and then meet in the middle.
Need a car? I got a car for sale, dude.
Well, here she is.
I'll give you a dollar for it.
Come on, man.
I overheard you say you had $103.
I'll take that.
Congrats, kid.
Oh, you're gonna want to wash that key.
- Man, this ride is smooth.
- Dude, yeah.
I'm just trying to get us some tunes here.
This radio only pulls one station.
Who cares? Blast it.
What's up? What are those? Chips? Hey, yep.
So, what's our plan for tonight? Grab some beers and hit that Westside party Karen invited me to.
Every place around here IDs.
How are we gonna get beers? I guess we could hit that one store in the next county where the dude is blind.
- Where are we heading? - Oh! Stop the car, stop the car, stop the car! - Go, go, go, go, go! - Oh, my God.
- Who the hell are you? - I'm Waffle.
- Where's Billy? - Billy sold my boy this car.
Billy is always - selling things Waffle is in.
- I'm sure that's true.
Now, can you get out of the car? Allow me to present a second option.
Heard you're going to a party on the west side.
What if you let me hitch a ride with you? My buddy Bernard's townhouse is right there.
No way.
Get out.
I also heard you say you needed to buy some beer.
D, I've got to find the can.
I'll see you in there.
Didn't even say goodbye.
What the - Waffle? - Hoody.
He's a good guy.
Five-finger boost, huh? You know, you remind me of me.
No offense, Waffle, but me and you are not the same.
I was once a poor kid trying to impress people that don't matter.
You gotta see this girl.
Trust me.
She matters.
I promise you, in ten years, she won't.
The only things that really matter are your family, your integrity, and freezing your eggs if you're a lady.
- That's real bleak, Waffle.
- It's not bleak.
It's about priorities.
If I could do it all over again, I would have cared more about the people who, you know, cared about me.
Need a ride? Dewey? Get in.
I'll explain.
Hey, Mama.
- I'm Waffle.
- Hello, Waffle.
- Whose car is this? - It's ours.
Mine and yours.
Look what $103 can buy.
It has seat belts, a hole where a cigarette lighter was.
It gets the news.
You love the news.
I'm sorry about earlier.
I'm glad you got the car you needed.
Look, there's a lot of things that we need, and I'm gonna start helping with that.
But I promise you one thing.
One day, I'm gonna get you a Cadillac.
A red one? You know my favorite color is red.
All the colors.
Look, one for every day of the week.
- Or seven red ones.
- Or seven red ones.
Oh, seven red ones.
- Bye.
- Bye, Mama! Hey, man, I appreciate that advice you gave me.
Hey, no problem, kid.
I can tell how much you and your mom love each other.
I know you're gonna give her all those things one day.
- I mean, I hope so.
- No, no, no.
No, you will.
As long as you keep doing one thing.
All you got to do is All you got to do is what? Waffle? Waf Yeah, there's a dead guy named Waffle in a random Thunderbird that's officially owned by nobody.
Yeah, my name is Mayor McCheese.
Gosh, I wasn't expecting to care about Waffle so much.
I know, right? Every time I pass a Waffle House, I always kiss my fingers and point to the sky.
That's for you, Waffle.
And you kept the promise you made to your mom.
I believe we have a picture of one of the cars you gave her? Mama Rock.
She just loves her red Caddies.
I need to call my mom.
Last time I talked to her was 30 years ago.
- Oh, wow.
- Yeah.
Now, was it at this point in your life when you decided to stop working the gimmick? The truth is, I've never stopped working the gimmick.
I've just learned to make the gimmick work for me.
I started figuring it out when I got to the University of Miami.
Oh, you were there on a football scholarship, a five-star recruit coming out of high school.
And I was fired up because in 1990, the U wasn't just a football team.
We were a movement.
Three national titles under three different head coaches in the '80s.
An incubator for future stars.
You know the 'Canes became legends for the joy they played with and, of course, that swagger, baby.
When I got to Miami, I just wanted to fit in.
I had no intention of working the gimmick.
I was just gonna keep my head down and grind.
There he is.
The Beast of Bethlehem.
What up, Coach Orgeron? How the hell are you, son? Welcome to Miami football.
Hey, you want some coffee? No, thanks.
I don't drink coffee.
Oh, me neither.
I chew it.
Sends it straight to the blood.
All right, first D-line meeting's at noon.
Yes, sir.
Yo, what's up man? Jessie Armstead, best linebacker in the country.
- Hey.
- Russell Maryland, young D-line legend.
Dwayne Johnson, Beast of Bethlehem.
Also known as Hitzilla, Edward Blitzerhands, and the Chairman of Goldman "Sacks.
" Yeah, we know.
Your dad was here an hour ago bragging on you.
- My dad was here? - Yeah, Rocky Johnson.
I used to watch him when I was a kid.
I even got his autograph.
Check it out.
Congrats, man.
He said you was gonna be on the Wheaties box.
What? Some next generation athlete-type thing.
When's it hit the shelves? You know, we did that for Wheaties Asia, so it's not coming out in the States.
Even better.
I've got some family out in Singapore.
Maybe they can peep it.
Oh, no.
See, that's the thing.
That's South Asia, and it's coming out in North Asia.
You're lying to the wrong geography buffs.
Yeah, wait till my uncle in Singapore hear about this.
Freshmen, man.
Dad, you were here this morning? Drove all the way from Tampa to be there when the gym opened.
I go outta my way to set my son up for success.
Yeah, but you didn't even come see me.
That would have spoiled the surprise.
- What surprise? - I put you over with the guys.
It was your first day in the program, and I wanted to make you look good.
What, by telling them I was gonna be on a Wheaties box? Surprise! You're surprised, ain't you? No, I'm not surprised.
I had to cover and tell 'em it was for Wheaties Asia.
Wheaties Asia? No.
No, son.
You're messing it up.
Look, all you gotta do is work the gimmick.
There is no gimmick to work.
I'm not gonna be on a Wheaties box.
But they don't know that.
Hello? - Hello? - Hey, champ, truck's loaded up and all ready for delivery.
You got it, boss.
I'm just on the phone with my kid.
All right, son.
Father's gotta go back to work.
Oh, no, no, no, no.
I'm not the best.
God's the best.
Kid's knocking those out.
- Yeah.
- What's he on? - 20.
- Okay, okay.
25, 26 27, 28 29, 30 Come on, come on.
31 All right, come in, come in! 32, 33 34! 35! - 36! - Yeah! Damn.
Your dad wasn't lying.
You better eat your Wheaties, Asia.
That's when I found my version of working the gimmick.
Be me, but with the dial turned up to 11.
So that's who I was every time I flashed the People's Eyebrow.
That's who I was when I threw Ludacris off a bridge in "Jumanji" five, and that's who I was when I played Gene Simmons in that Kiss biopic.
But, Dwayne, I have to ask.
Wouldn't it have been easier to just tell your teammates that your dad made that whole Wheaties thing up? Yeah, of course it would have been easier, but I couldn't do that, Randall.
That's my dad.
The truth is, in his way, he pushed me to do things I never would have done.
Well, can you give us some more details? Like, how did you get from Hawaii to Pennsylvania? Did you ever know Waffles' last name? When did you start playing football? I'm gonna tell you all of that, Randall, and much more.
And, look, once people hear these stories about my life and my family, they're gonna see how much we actually all have in common.
- I can't wait.
- That's right.
Oh, and I've got some pretty cool stories about André the Giant.
That's a great question.
And so, yes, the dalmatians Hey! Bonjour, babies.
Let me tell you my career, huh? What are you looking at?
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