Simone Johnson, Dwayne Johnson’s 20-year-old daughter, has announced her pro wrestling stage name. Meet Ava Raine.
On Sunday, the 20-year-old subtly revealed her WWE persona by changing her Twitter handle to “AvaRaineWWE.” After updating her Twitter profile name to just Ava, she shared a GIF of Nancy Downs, Fairuza Balk’s character in “The Craft,” smiling directly into the camera.
In 2020, Simone signed with the WWE at just 18 years old, following in the footsteps of her father. The “Black Adam” star was a professional wrestler known as “The Rock” for eight years before he shifted his focus to acting.
After joining the WWE team, Simone became the fourth generation in her family to sign with the company. Her grandfather was called Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson and her great-grandfather was known as “High Chief” Peter Maivia.
“It means the world to me,” Simone said in a statement at the time. “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.”
Now, over two years later, Simone finally has a stage name which means she is one step closer to making her debut in the ring.
But, while some wrestling fans celebrated her choice of Ava Raine, others questioned why she did not select a name that connected to her father.
In response to an article about Simone’s ring name, one Twitter user wrote, “I’m slightly disappointed she won’t be known as The Pebble.”
Simone saw the comment and said, “I beg of you guys to find a new joke. Anything.”
In a separate tweet, she wrote, “I probably sound like a broken record & 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 added, “A name doesn’t discredit any prior accomplishments from any family.”
The wrestler told her followers, “I could build my entire career around my father & people would still bash me anyway.”
Despite a few critics, Simone said she appreciated the support she has received.
“Im not trying to ignore or undermine all the sweet comments & support i get thank you guys,” she concluded in her final tweet.
Many social media users defended Simone wanting to establish herself as a professional wrestler on her own.
“What is the issue with her wanting to create her own legacy?” one person asked. “Her father literally did the same thing to separate himself from his father’s legacy. He went from Rocky Maivia to The Rock.”
Another responded to one of Simone’s tweets and said, “You are playing a role. It’s like if you got a movie part & someone said 'well her character should have the same last name as her famous father' no one would ever do that.”
A few months after his oldest daughter first signed her contract with WWE, Dwayne, 50, appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and spoke about what it meant to him.
“It blows my mind,” he told the talk show host in 2020. “First of all, what an honor that my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps but more importantly — follow in my footsteps sounds cliché — but she actually wants to create and blaze her own path, which is just so important.”
He applauded her for working in the ring since she was 16 to achieve this accomplishment.
The actor shares his oldest with ex-wife Dany Garcia. He is also a father to daughter Jasmine, 6, and daughter Tiana, 4, whom he shares with wife Lauren Hashian.