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The Rock Reveals Mixed Emotions About His Daughter's WWE Superstar Ambitions
Just like the WWE Universe, The Rock has high hopes for Simone Johnson!
As one of the biggest and most influential WWE Superstars of all time, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is still very much involved in the world of professional wrestling despite his busy Hollywood schedule.
Although rumors of one last run in WWE have been circulating ever since The Rock deemed himself the "True Head of the Table," we advise the WWE Universe to be cautiously pessimistic about a return for The Great One. Nevertheless, The Rock consistently has his finger on the pulse of pro wrestling for one reason only: His daughter Simone.
While Simone – currently competing in NXT under the moniker Ava – is still in the early stages of fully fleshing out her character, she has shown unlimited potential since her alliance with The Dyad came to fruition later in 2022:
The tools are there – you can't beat having The Rock's genetics, after all. We're confident Simone Johnson will find her footing and have a long career in sports entertainment! Anyone in the WWE Universe who points at her "slow start" in NXT must remind themselves that The Rock's WWE journey started as the "just happy to be here" Rocky Maivia character – a persona that seemed destined to fail. There's still plenty of time for Simone to flesh out the Ava character. Remember, she's only 21 years old and getting better weekly!
How Did The Rock Feel When He Found Out Simone Wanted to be a Wrestler?
Appearing on Kevin Hart's Peacock show Hart to Heart, The Rock spoke extensively to his friend about his daughter, revealing his mindset when Simone told her father she wanted to follow in his footsteps.
"That was a special moment when my daughter Simone said, 'I want to get in the business,' much like I said years before her," The Rock confessed. "Immediately, I loved it, it was a great sense of pride as a father – but then, of course, as a parent you start to think about all the pitfalls, all the hardships, all that she's going to go through because I've lived that business."
Still, The Rock admitted that although plenty of highs and lows are associated with the wrestling business, he was proud that Simone decided to take the next step. He realized he couldn't protect his daughter from the less enjoyable aspects of the industry. A father can only shield his children for so long.
"There is the pomp and circumstance of pro wrestling; the pageantry, WrestleMania, the bright lights, big contracts, global company, but then there is that underbelly in the world of pro wrestling," The Rock explained. All that sh–t you have to deal with, the backstage politics, all of that. I start thinking about all of that for her. At the same time, as her father, I have enough confidence to know that I have instilled in her, from what I knew, values, philosophy, and work ethic. I am so proud. She made that decision when she was 16. She was ready to go."
Is Simone Johnson the First-Ever Fourth-Generation WWE Superstar?
Immediately upon his WWE debut in 1996, The Rock was billed as the first third-generation wrestler, following in the footsteps of his own father and grandfather. As a father, there's nothing more satisfying than seeing his daughter become the first-ever fourth-generation WWE Superstar.
"For someone to say, 'Here's what I believe my life path is and my journey, it's in the world of pro wrestling, that my great grandfather was in, my grandfather was in, my dad was in.' She's the first fourth-generation wrestler," The Rock explained. "Not only is that business difficult because you're on the road 24/7, 365 days a year, but the pressure of who you are – she's stepping up and working hard."
How Different is the WWE Women's Division Today Versus 20 Years Ago?
The WWE women's division of 2023 couldn't be more different than the women's division that existed during the height of Rock's heyday. Still, The Rock acknowledged that he's infinitely grateful that his daughter is experiencing a more inclusive and respectful world regarding female athletes.
"20 years ago we were there when we were on top with the Attitude Era," The Rock told Hart. "The role of a female wrestler at that time in that business, at that time, was hard. It was hard. That world today is much more inclusive, much more respectful."
He isn't wrong. Today's female Superstars bear no relation to the "divas" that made up the women's locker room in the late 90s. Lingerie matches and pillow fights are relics of the past that have not been seen on WWE television for decades. By all accounts, being a female Superstar commands much of the same respect – from WWE officials as well as the WWE Universe – as being a male Superstar. It's about time.
While the future is bright for Simone Johnson, she's still so early in her pro wrestling career that it's impossible to predict her potential success. However, with a father like The Rock, we can't imagine Simone being anything less than a future breakout star.