Johnson, born Wayde Douglas Bowles, started his career in the 1960’s in the National Wrestling Alliance.
He also appeared on Big Time Wrestling, a promotion that taped shows across California, including at KTXL in Sacramento.
His career with the WWE began in 1983, where he was one half of the World Champion Tag Team duo known as The Soul Patrol alongside Tony Atlas.
The Soul Patrol was the first African-American World Tag Team Champions in WWE history.
Johnson retired in 1991 and would go on to train his son, who became a pro wrestling icon as The Rock before making the transition to acting.
The Soulman was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.