By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Former WWE wrestler Lina Fanene, who worked as Nia Jax, was a guest on Renee Paquette’s “Oral Sessions” podcast. The following are among the highlights of her appearance, which can be heard in full at iheart.com.
-Jax said she offered to take a pay cut when she was contacted about being released from her contract. It was immediately rejected, and she said she then felt relieved. She also spoke about how the WWE management changes made things feel different.
-Jax acknowledged that she opted against getting the COVID vaccine. She was encouraged to be a locker room leader. She was told that she wouldn’t be able to fulfill some of her contractual duties. Jax said she goes with her gut instinct and wouldn’t change anything.
-Paquette brought up Jax breaking the nose of Becky Lynch during an angle. She said she was hit in the back of the head and turned around and swung with an open hand and actually thought she was swinging at Lana rather than Lynch. She recalled apologizing to Lynch and Vince McMahon. She said the internet went crazy and Vince got wind of it and actually changed a match finish to have her go over to capitalize on the heat. When it came to her reputation for injuring co-workers, she said she hurt one other person during her time in WWE.
-Jax’s 90-day non-compete has expired. She said she has invested in some farmland and has other businesses. Jax didn’t close the door on returning to the ring, but she also spoke of wanting to start a family.
-Jax said she was contacted about being in the Royal Rumble match. She said she laughed because she thought someone was joking with her. “F— no, I’m not coming back,” she recalled saying after learning that it was a legitimate request. She said she was being paid during her 90-day non-compete and therefore wasn’t being offered anything extra.
-Jax claimed that WWE takes better care of the male wrestlers. She said most of them are financially solid when they are released from the company, whereas the women have it tougher. She also spoke about the added expenses that female wrestlers have.
-Jax said she didn’t live in the first home she bought for nearly a year because she was filming Total Divas. She said it was implied that they wanted her to be more controversial during her second season on the show. She said she felt like she couldn’t be herself on the show, because she was still playing Nia Jax.
-Paquette asked about her in-ring issues during a match with Charlotte Flair. Jax said there was miscommunication and Flair started laying into her. She said it actually started during a commercial break, so people didn’t see that. Jax said Flair is one of her best friends, but there was some sort of miscommunication. She said they got backstage and she asked Flair if she was good. She said Flair assured her that she was good twice. Jax said the internet went crazy over it.
-Jax said she had issues early in her run on the main roster with an unnamed wrestler who didn’t like that she was being pushed. She said she handled that person at a live event and was yelled at by the wrestler and “some other psycho.” Jax recalled Fit Finlay defending her during a meeting over the way she bumped. Finlay pointed out that Vince McMahon didn’t want her to bump until the end of her matches. Jax said she and the person she ha issues with are cool now. Jax said the real reality show would be filming everyone backstage because that’s where the real drama happens.
Powell’s POV: When it comes to the vaccination issue and not being able to perform her contractual duties, it would make working internationally difficult or even impossible, depending on the country. It’s quite the interview and I encourage you to check out the full interview beyond just these highlights.