Since signing a WWE contract in 2020, all eyes have been on Ava Raine as the company’s first fourth-generation superstar.
Real name Simone Johnson, the young star is the daughter of Dwayne Johnson, and her family legacy goes as far back as her great-grandfather High Chief Peter Maivia. At the time of her signing, Johnson said she was grateful to have the opportunity to carry on her family’s 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.”’
In May of 2022, Johnson announced her new ring name as Ava Raine, and the following October she debuted on NXT TV as part of the Joe Gacy-led Schism. Eagle-eyed fans noticed that on the February 14th episode of NXT, the star was referred to by her first name alone, with Raine seemingly having been dropped. Sure enough, this name change was confirmed on her WWE.com profile, which now lists her simply as “Ava.”
Ava Raine Recently Kidnapped Chase U’s Thea Hail On WWE NXT
On the February 8th episode of NXT, Chase U’s Thea Hail and Tiffany Stratton got into a confrontation backstage as Stratton has been disparaging toward Chase U on social media. After a heated exchange, Stratton turned back to her mirror to continue touching up her appearance, and Ava Raine shockingly grabbed Hail from behind and kidnapped her.
Due to being kidnapped, Hail was nowhere to be seen when Chase U made their entrance to face off against Pretty Deadly in the show’s main event. However, she re-emerged during the match, covered in the smiley faces that have become The Schism’s calling card.
On the February 14th episode, Hail and Stratton faced off inside the ring, but Hail was distracted by members of The Schism appearing among the NXT audience. Though Thea tried to overcome the distraction, she was clearly shaken by Ava’s appearance, and Stratton picked up the victory.