Simone Johnson is following her family’s legacy and has taken her first step into the wrestling ring, making history on her terms.
Making her presence felt on Saturday (July 9), Simone Johnson, the daughter of WWE legend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, made her historic debut, becoming the first fourth-generation wrestler in the history of the WWE.
Donning the wrestling moniker Ava Raine, Johnson took to the NXT Orlando ring in a series of matches that saw the young competitor trash-talking her opposition to critical acclaim from fans in attendance. Rocking a new red and black hairstyle, shorts, and a black tank top, Johnson embraced the “heel” persona as she cut her first official promo. During the promo, the wrestler referred to herself as “the Final Girl.”
While Ava Raine made history on Saturday, this moment had been a long-time coming. She had first signed a contract with the WWE in 2020 and, for the past two years, had been undergoing rigorous training and conditioning often associated with the wrestling promotion. The wrestler had also been recovering from three knee surgeries, which required a ton of rest before she could hit the ring at full strength.
Around the time of her signing in 2020, The Rock offered words of encouragement to his daughter on what would eventually become a historic feat.
“Congrats to my #1 born, Simone Johnson, on officially signing her wrestling contract with WWE and NXT,” The Rock said in an Instagram post. “And on her way to becoming the first-ever 4th generation WWE athlete.”
Continuing, Dwayne Johnson alluded to Simone’s decision to make her stage name different than her family name to build her own legacy in the WWE.
“Carry our family name proudly, but your road will always be yours to create, earn & own. So proud. Live your dream. Let’s work.”