The Samoan presence in WWE has grown by one as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s eldest daughter, Simone Johnson, made her on-screen WWE debut this past Tuesday (Oct. 25). The 21-year-old, who goes by the stage name “Ava Raine,” appeared in the WWE’s developmental brand WWE NXT.
The fourth-generation wrestler joined the faction Schism, a cult-like group made up of Joe Gacy, Rip Fowler, and Jagger Reid. They had been teasing the reveal of their fourth member for weeks, and Johnson was officially unmasked during this week’s episode, becoming the first woman in Schism.
The heiress to The Great One’s throne was originally signed to WWE in 2020 and began training in their world-class Performance Center before requiring knee surgery. With it being the third knee surgery she had undergone, the trainers took their time in preparing her to be an on-screen talent.
The Davie, Fla. wrestler made headlines back in July when she delivered her first-ever promo at an untelevised NXT event. She electrified the internet, so, of course, her legendary father was proud.
“She’s made history. Very, very proud of her,” The Rock told Entertainment Tonight. “She is fiercely independent. It’s very important for her to make her own way, blaze her own trail, blaze her own path. She doesn’t come to me looking for a lot, which I respect that. And I’m here watching and supporting.”
Simone’s debut is a milestone for herself, the company, and her family as she is now the first fourth-generation wrestler in WWE history. The young talent will continue the lineage that began with her great grandfather Peter Maivia, and continued with Rocky Johnson before it was taken to a new level with The People’s Champ, “The Rock.” Her great-grandmother Lia Maivia was also one of professional wrestling’s first female promoters.
Ava Raine will have big shoes to fill, especially being part of the same family that boasts the current Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, and the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Jimmy and Jey Uso. However, with the WWE’s flourishing women’s divisions, she could very well raise the bar even higher for future descendants of the Bloodline.