The Rock’s daughter, Simone Johnson, is set to become the first fourth-generation star in the history of WWE.
In chronological order, High Chief Peter Maivia, Rocky Johnson and then The Rock preceded Simone’s time in WWE, but the 20-year-old is now ready to fill some lofty shoes.
In preparation for her debut in the company, Johnson has adapted the ring name ‘Ava Raine’.
When her father is the one of the most famous men in the world, it’s hard to escape that fact.
Johnson has stated that she would likely be criticised if she did embrace her family name, so she can’t win either way.
“I probably sound like a broken record and hopefully this is the last I’ll mention this, but I don’t understand why people being portrayed as separate individuals from their family name is such a heated topic,” she wrote on Twitter. “A name doesn’t discredit any prior accomplishments from any family.”
Johnson has struggled with injuries since signing for WWE. She has had three knee surgeries thus far, but it looks like she’s finally getting ready to debut in NXT 2.0, a brand custom-made for inexperienced wrestlers.
The Florida-native posted a recent picture where she changed her look and it seems as if she is getting TV ready. WWE star Zelina Vega even teased they form an alliance, something that was actually reported as being considered a year ago, but ultimately wasn’t green lit.
When she signed with the company, Johnson was over the moon at the chance to carry on her family legacy.
“It means the world to me,” she said in a statement. “To know that my family has such a personal connection to wrestling is really special to me and I feel grateful to have the opportunity, not only to wrestle, but to carry on that legacy.”
The Rock, a 10-time world champion in WWE and multiple-time highest grossing actor in Hollywood, was rightly proud of his daughter’s career choice.
“Dreams ain’t just for dreamers,” he wrote in an Instagram caption, featuring a photo of him and his daughter. “Congrats to my #1 born, Simone Johnson on officially signing her wrestling contract with @wwe @wwenxt and on her way to becoming the first ever 4th generation WWE athlete.
“Carry our family name proudly, but your road will always be yours to create, earn & own,” he said. “So proud. Live your dream. Let’s work.”
The Great One actually paid a visit to the NXT Performance Center in 2020 and he has admitted their bond over wrestling has been great for the pair.
“As she’s going into a business that I have enjoyed over the years, it’s brought us even closer together.”
Simone Johnson changing to Ava Raine isn’t all that unusual.
In recent memory, Bronson Rechsteiner, son of WWE Hall of Famer Rick Steiner and nephew of Scott Steiner, was originally going to be called Rex Steiner in homage to his lineage in the business.
Ultimately, WWE decided to change his name and he became Bron Breakker, though his connection his family has been acknowledged.
Cody Rhodes is also on the main roster and the son of the legendary Dusty Rhodes. But, his older brother, Dustin Runnels, portrayed Goldust instead of using the family name.