Nia Jax has admitted to being petrified of her participation in the 2019 men’s Royal Rumble match, going so far as to asking Randy Orton to rehearse the RKO pre-match.
Prior to the introduction of the women’s Royal Rumble match in 2018, there had only been a handful of instances where WWE’s female Superstars entered the match. Chyna, Beth Phoenix, and Kharma all received the impressive accolade, but Nia Jax went the extra mile by entering both encounters in 2019.
First entering the women’s match, Jax entered the match as the penultimate participant, lasting just under twelve minutes before she was knocked to the floor by eventual winner Becky Lynch. In the men’s match, however, WWE had scheduled R-Truth to enter last, fueling speculation that he’d be taken out pre-match by someone taking his place.
Instead, it was Nia Jax, ambushing the multi-time 24/7 Champion as he made his entrance. ‘The Irresistible Force’ lasted just three minutes before Rey Mysterio eliminated her, though Jax did manage to dump Mustafa Ali out of the ring.
During her appearance in the match, Nia Jax took an RKO from Randy Orton, a spot that she was desperate to practice before the match as discussed on the Wives of Wrestling Podcast:
“I mean, I was freaking out. Well, first, I was like super irritated with the girls’ match, I’m not going to get into it. So that put me in a better mood. But I was freaking out and I was like there’s no way. We rehearse this stuff with [R] Truth and, of course, Truth being the amazing professional that Truth is, it was just easy. And then he [John Laurinaitis] was like ‘Yeah, you’re in there, you’re gonna be with Rey [Mysterio], you’re gonna be with Dolph [Ziggler], gonna be with Randy [Orton], and you’re gonna be with Andrade.
Like, what the actual f*ck. There’s no way. And so then the guys were in a room and they were talking about it and I was getting ready for the girls’ match because we were out first. So I run in there and I’m like, ‘Hey guys, I’m about to, you know, go on the girls’ match, but I don’t know what I’m doing.’ And they were just so cool. It was Randy and Rey and they were just like, ‘Don’t worry about it. We have it all done.’
They ran me through what was gonna happen and I just remember having like chills on my back and I said I have never taken the RKO, I’ve never taken the 619, I don’t want to f*ck this up. Are you kidding me? Like, these are some of the biggest moves in wrestling history. And I’m about to take this live and I’ve never taken it before and I just remember saying, ‘Randy, I don’t want to f*ck this up. Should we walk through it? Do you want to RKO me in the hallway?’ Like I was freaking out.
And he was just like, ‘Kid, don’t worry. He’s like, just turn to the left and just ride with me’. So just imagine me like I’m about to go out to the women’s match and have to remember that.”
Nia Jax ended up taking both the 619 and the RKO, as well as a Superkick from Dolph Ziggler, before she was eliminated. She ended up working a total of four Royal Rumble matches prior to her WWE release in November 2021, though she admitted that WWE had approached her about a return for the 2022 Rumble.
Now going by her legitimate name of Lina Fanene, the former Raw Women’s Champion is yet to wrestle since being let go. She was previously scheduled to face CJ Perry – the former Lana – for the ill-fated Wrestling Entertainment Series organisation’s Women’s Championship.
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