Dwayne Johnson is returning this Christmas season by surprising long-time WWE employee Bruno Lauer with a shiny new pickup truck. Lauer, who appeared on camera as ring manager Harvey Wippleman in the early 90s, was there for The Rock in the days before Johnson became famous as a professional wrestler. Johnson wanted to thank Lauer for his generosity and gave him a new Ford F-150. The results were passed on to Instagram.
In the caption Dwayne Johnson explains the full story of his relationship with Lauer. As a child, Johnson and his mother were evicted from the island of Hawaii, and so he was sent to Nashville, Tennessee, to live with his father. As Johnson says, "plans change," and he found that living with his father was not an option. The Rock was then told he would be staying with Bruno in a tiny room in a palace called the Alamo Plaza Motel.
"Bruno could (and should) have said no, I'm not taking in a child I don't know," says Johnson. "But he didn't. He took this punk kid in and we became lifelong friends. Then ironically, about 9 years later when I had the infamous" $ 7 Bucks "in my pocket, I started – my wrestling career in Memphis, Tennessee and AGAIN – had no place to live and Bruno took me and let me shake up in his trailer until I could get on my feet. "
Returning to the car, Johnson writes, “And the hell when I was 15, Bruno even gave me his last $ 40 so I could push a crackhead out of his car one night at a honky tonk in Nashville. But the hustle and bustle was on me, because as I drove down the street, a SECOND CRACKHEAD passed out on the floor in the back! "
The wrestler then adds, "Merry Christmas Bruno, and since you helped me" buy "my first car, I thought I could return the favor and buy you one that has 100% NO crackhead in the back seat ! I love you, brother, your kindness and your heart have helped change the path in my life. "
The Instagram video is a heartwarming watch as Lauer is almost out of words when he receives the gift. After sitting in the truck for the first time, Lauer begins to collapse and mentions that no one has ever done anything like this for him.
"I love you, man. Not because of that – because you are," says Lauer. "I can't believe this. Thank you man. Thank you Lord Jesus for bringing him into my life."
The Ford F-150 gift exchange took place on the set of Young Rock, a new television series documenting the early years of the man who rose to great fame as a pro wrestler and became the highest paid actor in Hollywood. As such an important part of his teenage years, it seems likely that Johnson's story about living with Lauer will be adapted for the show. The series will premiere on NBC sometime in 2021. The video of Johnson giving Lauer the truck was posted on Instagram by The Rock.