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New Rocky Theory: Apollo Foresees Future


Now that CREED hits theaters November 25th, fans will start looking for signs in the previous Rocky movies to connect Apollo with his youngest son Adonis. The new film is masterfully crafted by Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington.


In previous interviews with Stallone, Coogler, and Covington, we know for a fact that this was not a planned installment when the Rocky franchise ended in 2006.


BUT, thanks to a Youtube comment cited at the end of this article, we may have found an illegitimate connection from the character Apollo that neatly foresees Rocky Balboa (2006) and CREED (2015). In Rocky IV (1985), we find a distraught Apollo trying his best to convince Rocky to stand by his side for one last showdown with the Soviet Union’s boxing machine Ivan Drago. This conversation shows an aging Apollo struggling to come to terms with his own mortality and convinces Rocky that the fighting spirit never dies.


In one of the last scenes where we have Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed argue, there is brilliance in the dialogue about aging, fighting, and now Apollo’s role in setting into motion Rocky’s storied franchise.
Rocky fails to talk Apollo out of fighting Drago, but now after watching Rocky Balboa (2006) and CREED (2015), is it Rocky that fails or is it Apollo that succeeds? The antagonist turned protagonist is a character that constantly brings out the best in Rocky. In the first movie, Apollo gives Rocky a shot at the title gaining him the status of a legitimate contender and foe for Apollo. In Rocky II, Apollo angry with Rocky’s decision to retire, brings the Italian Stallion back into the ring for a rematch to prove the better man of the two. In Rocky III, its Apollo that gives Rocky the eye of the tiger, trains him into a reinvigorated fighter and leads him to victory against the Mike Tyson-esque Clubber Lang. Then what we thought was a story of vengeance and redeeming an old friend, it also turns out to be Apollo planting the seed for an elder Rocky to compete in an exhibition well over his prime and again through his influence, train his unknown son into prominence.


Here are some quotes and scenes to tie together Apollo’s influence with Rocky Balboa and CREED respectively:

Aging Fighter – Rocky Balboa (2006)


“Nah Stallion, maybe you think you’re changing…You and me we don’t even have a choice. See we’re born with the killer instinct that you can’t just turn off and on like some radio. We have to be right in the middle of the action, cause we’re the warriors, and without some challenge, without some damn war to fight then the warrior may as well be dead stallion.”


Rocky Balboa (2006) is the story of an old fighter finding his place in the world after losing what he loves most. Rocky is a sad character in Rocky Balboa, mulling over his fate as a widower and the limits that come with father time. Here Rocky is shown describing the “stuff in the basement.” A metaphor for the dusty crevices in his soul that contains the will to fight on. He’s indeed sad about accepting Adrian’s unexpected death to cancer but also feels like filling that void with fighting for one last time. He needs one last challenge, or else as his late friend Apollo says, “The warrior may as well be dead.”


Copy of Stuff in the Basement


Apollo’s Tricks


At the end of the scene in Rocky IV, Rocky reluctantly agrees to stand in Apollo’s corner but knows that his friend always has a trick he’s hiding from Rocky. Rocky is no stranger to the fact as he found himself at the end of Rocky III stepping in the ring for an unannounced third fight with Apollo, away from an audience or officials and proper sanctioning bodies.


“When this is over?” Rocky asks. Apollo responds, “You know me Stallion, I always think of something else.”


Could Apollo have known for a fact that he was setting himself up for death against Drago, leaving a widow behind, and an illegitimate child to take care of that would seek Rocky as a coach? You tell me.


When else have we seen a character bid farewell in the ring? Apollo knew, he wouldn’t survive.


Rocky IV, Property of MGM
Rocky IV, Property of MGM


He refuses to allow Rocky to save him as he once did for him.


Rocky IV, Property of MGM
Rocky IV, Property of MGM

Let’s flash forward 30 years into the future. Adonis Johnson travels to Philadelphia to find his father’s old friend Rocky. At this point, Rocky has abandoned boxing for good, something Apollo talked Rocky out of three times before. Now, as if paralleling his father, Adonis brings Rocky back into the ring not as a fighter but as a mentor.

Creed, Property of MGM
Creed, Property of MGM




In Creed, when Adonis reveals to be the son of Apollo, Rocky as if needing to catch himself takes a seat in disbelief. Could it be that it was disbelief, or was he remembering the time Apollo manifested, “You know me Stallion, I always think of something else.”
Property of MGM
Property of MGM


Food for thought here. Is it Adonis that convinces Rocky into training him, or is it the memory of Apollo’s last conversation with him?



I’ll admit, this is as far fetched as it goes for fan theories with no legitimacy. One thing it does show is how well and brilliantly the first movies tie with the new installment of CREED. Make sure you watch it and tell me what you think.

Special credit is due to youtube user vegitausa for posting the idea first:

“Sly really should have let Carl Weathers have a little role in Rocky Balboa even if it was just as a ghost and only Rocky could see. Reason being is because the way Rocky was feeling the last movie is exactly what Apollo was explaining right here.  It’s almost like you as foreshadowing the Rocky Balboa movie. Apollo knew what was ahead even Rocky couldn’t see it. That’s why Rocky does so worked up about the “the beast he still had in the basement”. Like Apollo told him, “stallion, maybe you don’t know what I’m talking about now, but you will when it’s over, believe me, you will is over”