USA Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
USA Insider WWE

“Pro Wrestling Has Been My Family’s Savior” – The Rock Opens Up About His Daughter

The future WWE Hall of Famer credits the wrestling business for saving his relationship with his daughter, NXT Superstar Ava.

By Chris Phelan
Dwayne Johnson and daughter Simone Alexandra Johnson smile for the cameras at the premiere of Skyscraper

Even though WrestleMania Goes Hollywood came and went without Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson appearing at the historic event, The Great One is still intrinsically tied to the professional wrestling world. He isn’t shy about expressing his opinions on all things WWE, especially regarding his daughter Simone Johnson, who competes in NXT under the name Ava.

The Rock Credits Pro Wrestling For Salvaging Relationship With His Daughter

How to Watch

Watch Monday Night RAW every Monday evening at 8/7c on USA Network. Stream more exciting WWE series on Peacock.

Just a few days ago, The Rock opened up during an extensive interview on the popular podcast The Pivot. In a lengthy conversation that covered much of his career in pro wrestling and in Hollywood, The Rock revealed that, due to his intense schedule, he wasn’t able to be the father he wanted to be for young Simone. This naturally led to some distance between them on a physical and emotional level. Thankfully, fences were soon mended when Simone decided she wanted to start on the road to becoming a wrestler.

RELATED: The Rock Reminisces On Being Powerbombed By The Shield Nearly 10 Years Ago

“I had [Simone] when I was young, in my twenties,” The Rock explained. “So when I had Simone, I was flying by the seat of my pants. I was wrestling full-time, I started transitioning into movies full time, I had so much sh*t going on. I like to say that me and Simone grew up together, but we had a relationship where I was always gone, and we tried to keep it together. Now, years later, as she becomes a pro wrestler, it’s actually brought us closer together.”

Dwayne Johnson smiles on the red carpet for the 95th Annual Academy Awards

The Rock’s timeline checks out: Simone was born in 2001, a few months after WrestleMania X-7, putting her birth squarely in the middle of the most significant run of The Rock’s WWE career. In addition, of course, this was around the time The Great One was busy filming the 2002 hit The Scorpion King, the movie that helped catapult him to Hollywood-elite status. So, it’s safe to say The Rock was very busy during his daughter's childhood. 

However, ultimately, he is grateful for where their relationship stands in 2023. He credits the pro wrestling business for bringing him and Simone closer in recent years, because now they have a bond that is innately unique to the two of them.

“So, in a way, [pro wrestling] helped save that relationship too. In many ways, pro wrestling has been my family’s savior," he explained.

What Is Simone Johnson’s Status in NXT?

The last time the WWE Universe saw Ava compete in NXT was at Stand & Deliver Kickoff Show just over one month ago, when she and her Schism counterparts suffered a mixed-tag team loss at the hands of Chase U.

Make no mistake, Ava is still relatively inexperienced in the world of pro wrestling, and she most likely has a long way to go before the WWE Universe sees her on the main roster to follow in her father’s footsteps. Luckily, she has the WWE machine behind her. In time, thanks to plenty of seasoning in NXT and endless reps at the Performance Center, we’re confident Ava will continue to make inroads into becoming the first fourth-generation WWE Superstar to light up Monday Night RAW!

Catch up on all things WWE Universe on Peacock.