Simone Johnson has officially become Ava Raine in WWE (Picture: WWE/Getty)
The 21-year-old star – whose real name is Simone Johnson – has become the company’s first ever fourth generation performer as she was revealed as the mysterious masked woman who’s been appearing in NXT for a while now.
On Wednesday night’s episode of WWE’s developmental show NXT, the Schism group made up of Joe Gacy, Rip Fowler and Jagger Reid appeared in the ring with masks alongside the figure in a hoody.
After the trio discussed what the group means to them, the mysterious fourth member removed their mask and was revealed as Ava Raine herself.
‘The love and acceptance The Schism has given me defies any preconceived notions of who I’m supposed to be,’ she said during the big reveal. ‘This family completes me. I am Ava Raine.’
In terms of her real life family, her dad Dwayne, grandfather Rocky Johnson, and great-grandfather ‘High Chief’ Peter Maivia all made a huge impact on the wrestling world.
Just days before her first appearance, NXT boss Shawn Michaels had teased that she was close to being ready for her debut.
‘Maybe by the end of the year,’ he told media including Metro.co.uk. ‘But absolutely 2023 and certainly in the future. [She’s] really close.’
Now, fans will be excited to get their first glimpse of Ava – whose early WWE training was hampered by injuries after she signed her deal in 2020 – in the ring once she appears in her first match.
Schism has revealed its mysterious new member (Picture: WWE)
Simone Johnson is using the stage name Ava Raine (Picture: WWE)
Leaked footage appeared online earlier this year, and Ava has been impressing people with her skills on the microphone following her first appearance in front of a live crowd, which came before her official TV debut.
Naturally, The Rock himself has seen footage of Ava’s big moment earlier this year, and he was proud of her promo work – particularly as he knows all too well the pressure of being out there.
Speaking to Kerry Washington on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he said: ‘‘She made her debut in WWE, their smaller federation, NXT. She did so good. She went out there on the microphone. You have to be poised when you go out there. She has a cool wrestling name, Ava Raine.’
Meanwhile, Dwayne has reiterated his daughter is looking to forge her own path after recently making history by officially becoming the first fourth generation wrestler in the company’s history.
He told Entertainment Tonight: ‘She is fiercely independent. ‘It’s very important for her to make her own way. Blaze her own trail. Blaze her own path. She doesn’t come to me looking for a lot which I respect that. And I’m here watching and supporting.’
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Ava Raine has a new family in the form of Schism.