Brian Gewirtz discusses second-generation star's WWE struggles compared to Charlotte Flair and Randy Orton (Exclusive)

Bruno Sammartino
Bruno Sammartino's WWWF Championship; Randy Orton and Charlotte Flair

Brian Gewirtz has questioned whether David Sammartino, the son of Bruno Sammartino, might have benefited from using a unique persona in WWE.

Bruno Sammartino is one of the most iconic names in wrestling history. He held the WWWF Championship, now known as the WWE Championship, for a combined 4,040 days across two title reigns between 1963 and 1977. David Sammartino joined WWE in 1984 but left the company a year later.

Gewirtz, a WWE writer between 1999 and 2015, spoke to Sportskeeda Wrestling’s Riju Dasgupta about family legacies in the wrestling business. While the likes of Charlotte Flair and Randy Orton succeeded in using their famous fathers’ surnames, the same could not be said for David Sammartino.

“I think it’s unique to everybody,” Gewirtz said. “For some people it’s worked really, really well. Obviously, it’s worked well for Charlotte, worked well for Randy Orton. Everyone’s different. I don’t know if David Sammartino would’ve wanted to have the onus of being Bruno’s son versus putting his own spin and own character on that type of thing.” [5:01-5:25]

Watch the video above to hear Gewirtz’s thoughts on how The Rock’s daughter, Simone Johnson, could fare in WWE.

Brian Gewirtz comments on Simone Johnson’s WWE name change

The Rock’s daughter, now known in WWE as Ava Raine, joined the company in February 2020. The 21-year-old cut a heel promo at an NXT live event in July, but she is yet to make her in-ring debut.


Brian Gewirtz works for The Rock’s Seven Bucks Productions company. As the former lead writer of RAW, he believes WWE Superstars must feel comfortable with their on-screen names:

“It’s always gonna be there, whatever you call yourself, but the surface level is the name,” Gewirtz continued. “It’s what the character and persona’s gonna be and how she reacts to that. I see both sides of it. Ultimately, I’m a strong advocate for the talent themselves being comfortable in their own skin.” [5:27-5:54]

Gewirtz added that Simone Johnson is under “so much pressure” to live up to her family’s wrestling legacy. However, he expects the fourth-generation performer to succeed on her own.

Do you like Simone Johnson's new name, Ava Raine? Let us know in the comments section.

Brian Gewirtz’s book, “There's Just One Problem...: True Tales from the Former, One-Time, 7th Most Powerful Person in WWE,” is available to buy on Amazon.

Please credit Sportskeeda Wrestling and embed the video if you use quotes from this article.

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Edited by Kartik Arry
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