Deonna Purrazzo Recalls Helping Train Simone Johnson, Getting Advice From The Rock

Deonna Purrazzo may not have found much television time or success during her time in WWE and NXT, but she was counted on to help younger talent at the WWE Performance Center.

One talent who Purrazzo helped train was Simone Johnson, who also happens to be The Rock's daughter.

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Speaking to Stephanie Chase, Purrazzo discussed her time in the ring with Simone.

"That was really cool. It was like a year or so after Simone had already been training at the PC. Simone is great. She loves wrestling and loves picking people's brains and always asking 'would you stay and do extra training with me?' Sara Amato would ask me to stay and do extra training and really help her. When we did get paired up together, it was fun becaus she was learning wrestling before my eyes. To be able to give back a little bit and teach her the right way and for her to know that she would be safe and could ask questions and she's not going to get hurt and she's being taught the right way, I am honored to have been part of that. Giving back is so important, especially because it's Simone. That's The Rock's daughter and that's cool because you're teaching this generational wrestler who is hopefully one day going to go on and be a star and also carve out her own path. There were so many elements that were really cool," she said.

With his daughter at the WWE Performance Center and his general ties to wrestling, The Rock found an opportunity to visit the PC and pop in on the talent.

"When The Rock came, no one knew," Purrazzo recalled. "Sara Amato came up to me and said, 'we're going to partner you with Simone, this is the drill you're going to do.' No problem, we had been working together for quite a few training sessions at that point.With all that training, it was like an 'all in day' so everyone was at the PC and every class was going at once and The Rock just kind of walked around and was watching. Simone and I, it was our turn, and he's sitting ringside and it's just like 'oh crap.' It was also like, I wanted to make her look good in front of her dad. I wanted her to shine and for him to see her kick ass and be a superstar. I was honored to be able to do that and then I got to meet with him and him critique what we did. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that will probably never ever happen for me again. For that to be on YouTube and out there and people see that moment, it's really special for me."

Purrazzo was released by WWE in April 2020, but has found a home at IMPACT Wrestling, where she is the reigning Knockouts Champion.

She will defend her Knockouts Title against a mystery opponent at IMPACT Slammiversary. You can view the current lineup for the show by clicking here.

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