Why The Rock's Daughter Might Be One Step Closer To Her WWE Debut

Simone Johnson in the WWE
(Image credit: WWE)

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has a lot of family members in the wrestling industry, like Roman Reigns, though it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that his own daughter made her way into the family business. There hasn’t been much to say about Simone Johnson’s entry into the WWE since her signing in 2020 but, now, there’s some evidence that might indicate she’s one step closer to her WWE debut. 

WWE fans who follow Simone Johnson seemed to notice that the NXT wrestler recently changed her name on Twitter. The daughter of the “Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment” has rebranded and will apparently be known as Ava Raine going forward:

The fact that she flipped her name to Ava Raine might mean her in-ring debut in the WWE’s developmental stable, NXT, is approaching. Raine signed with the WWE back in February of 2020 but had her official debut pushed off, seemingly thanks to a number of surgeries she underwent around that time. A name change doesn’t seem necessary if she was planning to remain off the show and not make a debut, but this is only speculation, of course. 

It’s interesting to hear Dwayne Johnson’s daughter is readying up to join NXT, especially considering the growing rumors that point towards Johnson returning to the WWE in early 2023. Previous reports alleged that the actor cleared his schedule for the first quarter of the year, which would make him available right as the organization kicks off its “Road to WrestleMania.” There are whispers that Johnson will take on Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 2023, and I’m sure if that’s happening, he wouldn’t mind getting his daughter’s name over with the fans as well. 

With that said, it’s unknown if Ava Raine wants her dad helping with her wrestling career, especially now that she’s going under a new name. The name has no obvious connection to the Johnson/Malvia/Anoi’a family, all of which are incredibly notable monikers in the world of wrestling (Peacock Premium subscribers should check out Young Rock for a history lesson). It’s interesting to hear that Johnson went with Ava Raine, especially when her father at one point wrestled under the name “Rocky Malvia,” which honored his dad as well as the long pro wrestling lineage on his mother’s side of the family. Of course, “The Rock” is also a nod to his father’s wrestling name, Rocky Johnson. 

Ultimately, it would be understandable if Simone Johnson doesn’t want to take her family’s name in the NXT right away. After all, there’s always pressure on legacy wrestlers to be as great if not greater than their parents. And in Johnson's case, her father is clearly one of the most successful wrestlers of all time. We'll see how she performs when she finally makes an in-ring debut on the WWE roster and, hopefully, this news does indeed mean that's coming sooner rather than later.

NXT airs on USA on Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Now would be a good time to keep an eye out for the debut of Ava Raine and for other up-and-coming talent ready to make a splash on the main roster. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.