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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson super proud of daughter Simone for signing with WWE, making her 4th-gen pro wrestler

He said on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon', “She signed her contract with the WWE, it just blows my mind. First of all, I mean, what an honor that my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps”
UPDATED MAY 17, 2020
Dwayne Johnson and Simone Johnson (Getty Images)
Dwayne Johnson and Simone Johnson (Getty Images)

Simone Alexandra Johnson, the daughter of WWE legend and Hollywood actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, is the latest in the family to make a pro-wrestling debut. And Her father cannot be more thrilled about it. It is, after all, something of a family business. 

The Rock appeared on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’, on Friday, May 15, video-calling from his home in Georgia, and gushed about the 18-year-old. 

When Fallon said, “I want to say congrats to your daughter Simone, by the way, who is now going to be in the WWE,” The Rock replied with, “She signed her contract with the WWE, it just blows my mind. First of all, I mean, what an honor that my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps.”

The 48-year-old proud father continued, “But more importantly -- follow in my footsteps sounds cliché -- but she actually wants to blaze her own path, which is just so important. She wound up being the youngest signee in the history of the company, by the way."

The ten-time World Champion further explained how Simone started training when she was only 16. “She was working her a** off,” he said. “Quietly, under the radar, in the ring, getting thrown around, and all the bumps and bruises that go with pro-wrestling. And she hung in there, I'm very, very proud of her.”

Earlier this year, Simone spoke about her legacy, “It means the world to me. 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.”

And she has quite the legacy. When The Rock began his career in the then-World Wrestling Federation (WWF), he was promoted as the first third-generation wrestler in the federation's history. The Rock’s father Wayde Douglas Bowles was a Canadian professional wrestler, who is more well-known by his stage name, Rocky Johnson. Rocky Johnson was the first black Georgia Heavyweight Champion. 

But the breakthrough moment that immortalized him in pro-wrestling history was when he along with his partner Tony Atlas -- together they were known as The Soul Patrol -- won the World Tag Team Championship in 1983. They defeated the Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika of the Anoa’i wrestling family) and became the first Black champions in WWE history.

On his mother’s side, however, is the real pro-wrestling royalty. The Rock’s mother Ata Maivia is the adoptive daughter of the Samoan-American professional wrestler known as Peter Maivia, part of the same Anoa'i family whose members Rocky Johnson defeated. 

Maivia, who died the same year that Rocky Johnson was drafted into WWF, received his training in New Zealand and Australia. As part of WWF, Maivia became a sort of legend and was later inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by none other than The Rock himself. 

During the final years of his career in tge WWF, Maivia battled former friend 'Superstar' Billy Graham for the World Championship while also forming a successful tandem with Bob Backlund. When Backlund won the title from Graham, however, Maivia shocked fans by turning on Buckland. For a while, Maivia was one of the more hated faces in pro-wrestling.

Maivia was diagnosed with cancer in 1981 and tragically passed away in June 1982 at the age of 45.