Yes, that is a very contentious headline but hear me out. I do wish to add a comment before going further that this has absolutely nothing to do with Nia Jax as a person or her figure, but instead directly relates to her wrestling ability, storytelling and her on-screen character.
I think a lot has got to do with the fact she has been pushed to the top of the card far too early, possibly something to do with her family background and being related to The Rock? I’ll leave that to you to decide.
We have seen examples of where Nia has hit a move on an opponent in the ring which was not performed safely. This is an almost weekly occurrence with her signature leg-drop which is stiff to say the least. The fact she is a larger athlete means she has to use her weight differently to slimmer stars, for example, look at how Kevin Owens controls his body safely. Nia does not seem to understand this or has not been trained to perform with this in mind. She is a larger athlete, so book her as such, train her as such! Don’t have her doing rolling sentons, that’s how people get injured!
Many have spoken out about how stiff Jax works in the ring and it can be seen quite frequently with overly hard splashes into the corner and wrecklessly throwing opponents around the ring by their hair with little care!
One of the more memorable instances of Jax’s disregard for her opponents came in July 2017 when just dropped Bayley onto her face from a double chicken wing hold. Bayley struggled with shoulder injuries for months following this match.
And last but not least, we have the time where she nearly killed Charlotte Flair twice in the once match, dropping her on her head and being in the wrong position for a Moonsault. You’d have to point to inexperience for both of these botches.
Professional wrestling is an art, and it takes years to perfect. (Unless you are Flip Gordon!). Nia was rushed to the top of the card too soon and didn’t get the complete training she needed to perform at the level required for her position on the card. The position a person has on the card should have nothing to do with ‘who’ a person is, it should be based on who can perform at that level. The same argument could be made against Jinder Mahal and the run he has as WWE Champion last Autumn.
In order for me to believe a person is as good as I am being told they are, they need to be able to back that up in the ring by putting on entertaining matches and telling a good story!
So far in her career I can’t really remember an entertaining Nia Jax match, and I wish I could say differently as she does come across as a genuinely nice person, but it’s just a shame I don’t see a performer in her. In her defense, the booking she has received since being promoted to the main card has also been poor. Being in-and-out of story lines with Alexa Bliss and being heel one week and face the next it is hard to invest in Jax as a performer.
Jax has won a mere 25% of the matches she has taken a part in since being promoted to the main roster. It is for this reason that fans simply do not ‘buy into’ her as a monster heel which is how she has been portrayed until recently. Wrestling fans are not idiots, they may act like idiots at times, but they know when a person’s push doesn’t match their booking. WWE pushed Jax as a monster heel, dominating all around her, but still losing most of her matches? #WhatsUpWithThat?
So, it looks like the WWE have decided to make a change to Jax’s character, not sure if this is due to intentional booking or just a fallout of Asuka going against Charlotte and what ever they are trying to do with Bayley/Banks. Today, we are supposed to feel sympathy for Jax as her off-screen friend Alexa Bliss is effectively bullying her on-screen. We talked about this angle on our podcast (see here) this week and I’m still not comfortable with the fat-shaming angle. It didn’t work with Mickie James & Lay-Cool back in the day and I’m not sure if it will work now, albeit there is better execution this time around. Why can’t women have real storylines? – This stinks of how the “Divas” were treated!
This is probably the most in-depth character development we have seen from Jax in the almost 2 years she has been on the main roster. That’s just laughable. The most important aspect of a wrestlers gimmick is their character. Even a Wrestler with limited talent like Enzo Amore can get over and get the crowd reaction by having a fantastic and interesting character. This leaves me wondering that in a world where Jax is obviously not a great wrestler why the WWE have not worked to make her character more interesting?
Limited in-ring ability and even less character investment has left me feeling apathetic towards Jax as a performer.
Nia Jax needs to go back to the Performance Centre and NXT to get a more in-depth training both in the ring and outside of it. A woman with similar physical stature as Jax, Piper Niven, showed more wrestling abaility in a few matches as part of the Mae Young Classic than Jax ever has, and that’s a sad indictment of the WWE training she has received to date. A good idea here would be to have Jax train with someone like Kassius Ohno who can help Nia work as a larger athlete, to be able to move and look imposing without being dangerous. Ohno is one of the best wrestlers in the business, if he can’t help her develop as a wrestler then no-one can!
She has obvious selling points, but these are nullified if she can’t back it up with actual ability. Take the time to learn how to perform safely as a larger athlete who should dominate her opponents but most importantly, develop an actual on-screen personality. Who is Nia Jax? Why should I invest in her?
Let me sign off this piece by saying I would love to see Nia Jax succeed and become the performer she has the potential to be! But I think at this stage, the only way for that to happen is with a reboot of sorts!