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Simone, 20, changed her Twitter name on Sunday to Ava Raine, prompting many to believe she’s selected the name she’ll perform under when she finally makes her WWE debut. While most fans were just excited that she seems to be moving forward with the contract she signed in 2020, others wondered why the name makes no reference to her very famous father, who captivated the WWE audience for years before becoming one of the most successful movie stars working today.
In addition to The Rock being her dad, Simone comes from a large family of legendary Superstars. Her grandfather was the famed Rocky Johnson and her great-grandfather was “High Chief” Peter Maivia. On Sunday, Simone responded to her critics and denounced the idea that representing herself as an individual is an insult to her family roots.
“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 tweeted. “a name doesn’t discredit any prior accomplishments from any family.”
She followed that up with another tweet explaining that she doesn’t believe any name selection would have pleased all fans of both the WWE and her dad.
“i could build my entire career around my father & people would still bash me anyway,” she wrote.
However, she made sure to say that her decision to acknowledge her critics did not mean she wasn’t also paying attention to the cadre of fans who showed their love for her new moniker, Ava Raine.
“& im not trying to ignore or undermine all the sweet comments & support i get,” she added. “thank you guys.”
The WWE announced that Johnson signed with the organization in 2020 and began training at the Performance Center, where she’d been training already on a part-time basis. However, a knee injury that required surgery seemed to set her debut back.
Now that she’s changing her name, it’s possible WWE fans will get yet another generation of the powerhouse Johnson family in the ring sooner rather than they think.
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