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Wrestling / Nia Jax

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The Irresistible Force.

Savelina "Lina" Fanene (born May 29, 1984) is an Australian-born American professional wrestler and plus-size model. She is best known for her time in WWE performing under the ring name Nia Jax. She modeled and played college basketball prior to her wrestling career. She was signed by WWE in early 2014, performing in a house show under the ring name Zada in May 2015. She finally debuted on NXT in October under the name Nia Jax as a monster Heel, teaming up with Eva Marie for a brief period. She challenged for the NXT Women’s Championship twice, and was moved up to the Raw brand during the 2016 draft.

In March 2018, she turned Face after being betrayed by her supposed best friend Alexa Bliss, and went on to challenge Bliss for the WWE RAW Women’s Championship. She won the match at Wrestlemania 34, becoming RAW Women’s Champion for the first time in her career. She was released from the company as part of the latest round of mass talent releases on the 4th of November 2021, following allegations of backstage heat with Charlotte Flair.

Although not officially retired, Fanene has stated on twitter that a return to the ring is "unlikely" due to various injuries. However, she did make a one-off appearance in WWE in 2023, entering the Women's Royal Rumble at the #30 spot, before she officially returned to WWE on September 11, 2023 episode of Raw, attacking both Raquel Rodriguez and Rhea Ripley.

"Lucky for me, these aren't like most tropes."

  • Aborted Arc: Her brewing romance angle with Enzo Amore got cut after he was fired for an alleged sexual assault.
  • Acrofatic: The biggest woman on the roster, she's broken out a brilliant somersault senton from time to time, not to mention her leaping Samoan drop at WrestleMania 34.
  • Amazonian Beauty: She's a former plus-sized model, thus she's noticeably larger than the rest of the female roster and wrestles a hoss style, using a bear hug as one of her signature moves.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Initially, Sasha Banks and Bayley, both of whom she pursued relentlessly during her first two years on the main roster.
    • Alexa Bliss, starting in late February 2018, after Nia learned Alexa was only pretending to be her best friend and saw her as Dumb Muscle. This culminated in Nia beating Alexa and taking her RAW Women’s Championship at Wrestlemania 34.
    • Becky Lynch after Nia broke her face during a RAW vs. Smackdown confrontation.
  • Ass Kicks You: Her Finishing Move, the "An-Nia-Lator", is an Expy of Yokozuna's Banzai Drop - or, in layman's terms, jumping from the second rope and dropping her entire considerable body weight on an opponent's chest backside-first.
  • Badass Boast: Her introductory vignettes were nothing but these.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: She's a former plus-size model and billed as an Amazonian Beauty.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: During her friendships with Alexa Bliss and Ember Moon.
  • Boring, but Practical: She uses a leg drop as her finishing move, and it's pretty believable due to how much larger she is than her opponents.
  • The Brute: As a heel.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Strong enough to carry two women over her shoulders for a double Samoan Drop.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite turning face for a spell, she kept the black jumpsuit.
  • David vs. Goliath: She's Goliath to any woman she wrestles. During the first Women's Royal Rumble match she played the Big Show's part by dominating anyone who came near her, eliminating four other wrestlers and requiring the combined might of six women at once to get out; the only single woman who could even begin to stand up to her power in one-on-one confrontation was Beth Phoenix.
  • Distaff Counterpart: WWE book her as the female answer to Big Show (in more ways than one).
  • Does Not Know Her Own Strength: Like other Monster Heels before her, Nia Jax's matches tend to be full of powerful, brutish moves. Unfortunately (much like Vader), she's also become known for accidentally injuring her opponents in the ring due to her sheer strength and the amount of mass she's capable of throwing around. She famously concussed Becky Lynch in the build-up to Survivor Series (though Lynch was able to use the injury to sell her own Determinator character in something of a Worked Shoot) and has been involved in a number of other botches ever since.
  • Double Entendre: A non-sexual example, but her Red Baron "the Irresistible Force" describes her as both a Wrestling Monster and as an Amazonian Beauty.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Her debut match on NXT saw her wear a gaudy-looking purple-and-gold bodysuit as her ring attire. Even weirder given she was initially presented wearing a predominantly black ring suit in her introductory vignettes and would promptly return to that style afterwards.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After nearly missing the opportunity to compete at WrestleMania 34 and then being betrayed by her so-called best friend, Nia finally gets her opportunity for the Raw Women's Championship and wins the title by flattening Alexa. Though nowadays, it's not looked on so happily by fans due to Nia's reputation for injuring her coworkers, including Alexa herself in their championship rematch.
  • Expy: She appears to be NXT's answer to Kharma, as a plus-sized woman who is pushed like a monster and, infamous purple bodysuit debut aside, wears mostly-black outfits that wouldn't seem too out of place in a Mad Max flick. Interestingly, she would follow in Kharma's footsteps by inserting herself into the Men's Royal Rumble in 2019, the 4th woman to do so.note 
  • Finishing Move: A leg drop and a Samoan drop. In similar fashion to John Cena's Super AA, Nia upgraded to a leaping second rope Samoan drop during WrestleMania 34, using it to finish Alexa Bliss.
  • Heel: For most of her career. Considering her monster wrestling style, it's not very surprising.
  • The Giant: She is much larger than the other women, and even some of the men. Emphasised at Royal Rumble 2019 when she inserted herself into the Men's match, squashed Dolph Ziggler in the corner, almost turned Andrade "Cien" Almas inside out with a clothesline, knocked Rey Mysterio Jr. down with a big boot and hit him with an elbow drop, headbutted Mustafa Ali and threw him out of the ring and even knocked down Randy Orton with a shoulder tackle- with Braun Strowman temporarily knocked down on the outside of the ring, Nia was actually the biggest wrestler in it!note 
  • Heel–Face Turn: Turned face in March 2018 after constant bullying from Alexa Bliss. Towards the end of May 2018, she returned to her heel persona for one week to feud with Ronda Rousey then again a face.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: After a fairly stable run as a heel from her debut through the end of 2017, Nia made four turns in the span of eight months before her legitimately injuring Becky Lynch while already being a heel locked that alignment in. Once again, see Distaff Counterpart...
  • Kick the Dog:
    • After breaking Becky Lynch's nose, Nia took pride in this botch and brought up this feat for weeks until Becky beat her up at TLC 2018.
    • At the 2019 Women's Royal Rumble match, as Nia was walking to the ring she beat up the already injured Lana, who hadn't entered yet. This backfired on her badly as, with Lana unable to reach the ring at all, Becky Lynch was inserted into the match in her place, who not only eliminated Nia, but went on to win the Rumble.
  • Mook Horror Show: As deserved as it is, any time Alexa and Mickie get chased off by Nia looks like the standard idiot victims being chased by the demon in a horror movie.
  • Odd Friendship: With Eva Marie in NXT. It was never fully explained why they were together.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Her debut attire was a deep purple bodysuit. She later changed to a black one, later adding purple accents.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gave a short one to Alexa Bliss during the run up to their match at WrestleMania.
    Nia: Alexa, you're nothing but an insecure little girl, a pathetic fly. And at WrestleMania... I am going to squash you like a BUG.
  • Red Baron: "The Irresistible Force", which has even started appearing on her entrance graphic.
  • The Rival:
    • Tamina Snuka, due to both of them being Samoan-American Amazonian Beauty Wrestling Monsters. The two faced each other on opposing sides at two consecutive women's Survivor Series matches, where both were considered their respective sides' heavy lifters, and then again at the Evolution pay-per-view during a battle royal. Later subverted when they formed a heel Tag Team.
    • Shayna Baszler, since July 27, 2020. Both wanting a shot at the Raw Women's Championship, but it ain't easy for the two of them. Even when she's suspended (without pay), she still wants to get her hands on her during their tag team match. With the suspension lifted after she apologized to the WWE official, she would form an uneasy alliance with her, even though they still despise each other to become the WWE Women's Tag Team champions.
  • Squash Match: What she spent most of her time doing after being called to the main roster. She had a few in NXT as well. For a specific example, she defeated Scarlett Bordeaux in 1:00 on the December 26, 2016 RAW.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Gives an epic one to Alexa during their match at WrestleMania 34 and the following night.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She's drop dead gorgeous, and an even 6' tall!
  • Tears of Joy: After winning the Raw Women Championship at WrestleMania 34, Nia cannot hold back her tears and celebrate her victory with her family.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: During her relationship with Enzo Amore.
  • Weight Woe: Part of her feud with Alexa Bliss involved the latter belittling Nia for being bigger than anyone else on the roster. Then Kurt Angle caught wind of the bullying, and put Alexa up against Nia for Alexa’s championship at Wrestlemania 34.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Alexa Bliss initially sweet-talked Nia into a friendship to avoid having to fight somebody so powerful, intending to manipulate Nia to her own ends. It didn't work out.
  • Wrestling Family: She's a distant relative of the Anoa'i family, and a cousin to The Rock.
  • Wrestling Monster: She's pushed as such, using moves like bear hugs and powerbombs and presented as an immovable giant, being fed jobbers faster than Goldberg. Properly solidified in the first Women's Royal Rumble match in 2018, where she truly proved herself the Women's Division's answer to Big Show by eliminating 4 opponents (Kelly Kelly, Jacqueline, Naomi and Ruby Riott) and eventually requiring the combined efforts of six other women to get her out! This continues to hold true even after Nia's Heel–Face Turn, placing her into a role similar to Goldberg.