The Rock Praises His Daughter Following Her NXT Debut, Says He's 'Always Open' To WWE Return

The Rock has been away from the WWE since the premiere episode of Friday Night SmackDown on FOX, but his presence is still felt throughout the company. A big reason for that is his daughter, Simone Johnson, is officially a WWE superstar. Simone, who goes by the ring name of Ava Raine, has been making appearances on WWE NXT live events, most recently seen at an Orlando show where she cut a promo and declared herself "The Final Girl." This has been a long time coming for the fourth generation wrestler, as Simone has been signed to WWE since February 2020.

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, The Rock said he's "very proud" of Simone and emphasized how independent she's been on her wrestling journey.

"She's made history, very very proud of her. She is fiercely independent, it's very important for her to make her own way, blaze her own trail, blaze her own path," The Rock said. "She doesn't come to me looking for a lot, which I respect. I'm here watching and supporting."

The former WWE Champion also had high praise for another member of the WWE roster: Montez Ford.

"I love that guy. I love his energy. I love his charisma. I love his work ethic. In the world of pro wrestling, and there's nothing like the world of pro wrestling, it's also a business," The Rock said. "For a guy like him, he's worked his butt off. They all do. Everybody in that locker room. The men, the women. But [Montez Ford] in particular, he's got great athleticism, the whole package. He's cool."

Rock and Montez have exchanged admiration for each other in the past, with Montez calling Rock a "huge inspiration" to him and his family.

"He's such a huge inspiration to myself, my family; getting us through some hard and rough times," Ford said on FOX Sports. "That's why I hold The Rock true and dear to my heart in a lot of ways."

While The Rock is busy promoting DC League of Super-Pets at the moment, chatter has been active regarding a return to wrestling down the line. Nothing is set in stone, but The Rock said he's "always open" to running it back with WWE.

"Of course," The Rock said. "Yeah, always open to that. For sure."

Rumors have swirled about Rock coming back for a feud with cousin Roman Reigns, who is currently the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. Reigns' special council, Paul Heyman, laid out the challenge earlier this year.

"If Dwayne Johnson wants to be embarrassed, and humiliated, and smashed in front of the entire world against Roman Reigns, he's welcome to step in against The Tribal Chief," Heyman told Sportskeeda in May.

The Rock's latest film, DC League of Super-Pets, hits theaters on July 29.