"A lil' @Disney gem of a secret, my character Maui was partly inspired by my late grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia of Samoa. #grateful," Johnson wrote recently in response to a fan who tweeted the actor and former WWE Superstar a side-by-side photo of Maui and Maivia.
Maivia was a professional wrestler known for his tattoos that symbolized his status as a Samoan High Chief. Maui in similar fashion also has tattoos located across his body.
Maivia held the NWA Tag Team Championships many times before rising to prominence in the WWE in the late 1970's, his WWE profile reads. Maivia would challenge wrestling legends such as Superstar Billy Graham and Bob Backlund for the WWE Championship multiple times.
Before Johnson was known as The Rock in WWE, he debuted under the name Rocky Maivia to pay homage to his grandfather and father, fellow WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson.