NXT recently restarted doing live shows in smaller venues across Florida, something that was a staple of the WWE Developmental program even when the brand was traveling to mid-sized buildings nationwide at its peak. All of the stopped for the first couple years of COVID though, and when the 2.0 rebrand happened you could really see the effects.
That’s because the so-called “Coconut Loop” shows are where less experienced performers got to practice in front of fans, learning to work a crowd and figuring out their characters, delivery, etc. People like Ava Raine, the WWE trademarked name recently taken on by Simone Johnson — aka Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s daughter.
Raine appeared on the Friday night (July 8) event in Citrus Springs, coming out from the back to “scout talent” during women’s matches:
Then on Saturday in Orlando, WWE’s first ever fourth generation Superstar got on the microphone for the first time in front of live fans.
No video that I can find, but live reports indicate the promo was essentially a warning to the NXT women’s locker room. Raine also dubbed herself “The Final Girl”, a reference to the horror/thriller movie trope where a young women is the last character left alive to take down a serial killer, monster or other big bad. Ava has the nickname in her Twitter bio, where she often tweets about horror flicks.
Pretty exciting! We’ll keep on eye on weekends in the Sunshine State, and see what’s next for NXT’s Final Girl Ava Raine.