The Rock's daughter caught in fan furore ahead of WWE debut

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Simone Johnson, pictured here with father Dwayne.
Simone Johnson is following in the footsteps on father Dwayne. Image: Getty

Simone Johnson, the daughter of legendary WWE star Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, has hit back at fans after criticism about her wrestling name.

Simone is following in her famous father's footsteps and is on the cusp of making her debut in WWE.

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This week she announced that she will be known as 'Ava Raine' when in the ring, a move that hasn't come without controversy.

Some fans were left questioning why she wouldn't make her name something related to her father, with many suggesting she be known as 'The Pebble'.

One wrote on social media: “Giving Simone Johnson, the daughter of THE ROCK, a new name is completely nonsensical.

"Will hold judgment until she debuts, but if WWE doesn’t acknowledge her dad is The Rock that’s ridiculous.”

Johnson wrote in response: “I probably sound like a broken record and 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.

“A name doesn’t discredit any prior accomplishments from any family.”

The 20-year-old also posted an image of a Google search of different types of rocks and writing: “Nothing in this category please xx”.

She also wrote in another tweet: “I beg of you guys to find a new joke. Anything."

“I could build my entire career around my father and people would still bash me anyway.”

Simone Johnson set for WWE debut

Johnson signed a deal to join WWE in 2020, but a knee injury has delayed her debut.

The 20-year-old is a fourth generation athlete, with her grandfather and great-grandfather also pro wrestlers.

Grandfather Rocky Johnson and great-grandfather Peter 'High Chief' are WWE Hall of Famers, while 'The Rock' is a 10-time champion.

“It means the world to me,” Simone said after being signed by WWE.

“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.”

Simone Johnson, pictured here with father Dwayne and Ata Johnson in 2018.
Simone Johnson with father Dwayne and Ata Johnson in 2018. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Dwayne Johnson has previously praised Simone for “create and blaze her own path”.

Responding after his daughter signed with WWE, he said: “First of all, what an honour 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 so important.”

Simone is expected to debut in WWE at some stage this year.

She is the daughter of Johnson and ex-wife Dany Garcia.

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