'I love you': Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson honors late father in Instagram post

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 19: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (C) and his mom and dad at the hand/footprint ceremony honoring him held at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on May 19, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson honored his late father Friday in a heartbreaking Instagram post.

Rocky "Soulman" Johnson, a WWE Hall of Fame wrestler, died Wednesday at the age of 75.

Johnson began his wrestling career in the National Wrestling Alliance in the 1960s but rose to fame when he joined the WWE in the 1980s. 

Johnson and Tony Atlas became the first black world tag team champions in WWE history when they defeated The Wild Samoans on Dec. 10, 1983.

Former professional wrestler Brian Blair, another 1980s WWE star, was friends with Johnson for decades and they still went to church together in the Tampa, Florida area. Blair told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Johnson had complained of an unspecified illness of late and had missed church that he attended with Blair and other former wrestlers. Blair said Johnson's wife, Sheila, was distraught over her husband's death.

"Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. I'm in pain."

— Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

"He was just under the weather, he thought he had the flu or something," Blair said by phone. "I said, 'You, need to get checked out, Rocky.' He said he'd be OK. Then he missed this Sunday, a few days ago. When I talked to him again, he said he still wasn't feeling good and he still missed church. He still didn't get checked out. I talked to Sheila and she said he was just being stubborn. He died at home, today."

Johnson was born Wayde Douglas Bowles and started his wrestling career in the mid-1960s. He spent the bulk of his career in the National Wrestling Alliance and later joined the then-World Wrestling Federation in the 1980s. He formed a tag team with Atlas known as "Soul Patrol" and became of one the popular teams of the era. Johnson retired in the early 1990s but helped introduce his son to officials at WWE.

The Associated Press contributed to this report