Is Nia Jax supposed to be a heel against Ronda Rousey?
Following an unexpected challenge from Jax, Rousey will go up against her for the Raw Women’s Championship tonight at WWE Money in the Bank. Since Rousey is still a newcomer to WWE, more of the burden of building up this match has fallen on Jax’s shoulders and many have taken notice of her apparent transition from babyface to heel ever since “The Irresistible Force” threw down the gauntlet in unexpected fashion at NBCUniversal’s Upfront in New York City on May 14.
During an interview with Yahoo! Sports promoting tonight’s show, Jax talked about whether’s she a heel or face.
“It’s funny because everyone is asking ‘Oh my God, is she heel or is she face?’ Nia Jax is Nia Jax. That’s something that I have been trying to get across. I am who I am in the moment,” Jax said.
“I’m not a heel, I’m not a babyface, I’m Nia Jax. In this setting with Ronda, the competition is high. She’s coming into our house and everybody is already so in love with her, she’s so established. I worked hard too. It comes off as being heel and cocky, but at the end of the day I’m pretty darn good myself.”
Tonight marks Rousey’s first singles match since joining WWE. Regarding this, Jax said, “I know it sounds so cheesy, but I am honored I get this opportunity to step into the ring with a woman who has pioneered so much for women in sports. Ronda has gone out there and been unapologetically herself. She is who she is.”
She continued, “I am so excited and nervous. I’m using those nerves to fuel me as well. It’s going to be such an amazing match and I can’t wait for people to see what Ronda Rousey is capable of and what we’re capable of doing together. It’s such a powerhouse match.”
While it would be easy to simply book Jax as a “monster heel,” WWE has allowed the 34-year-old star to flourish as one of the most unique talents on the roster.
“Nia Jax is bringing a whole different message to the ‘Women’s Evolution,” Jax said. “Yes, we are athletic. Yes, we can go just as hard as the men, but women come in all different shapes and sizes. We all have a different story and a different look and everything should be celebrated.”
That different look is something Jax embraces, in fact, it’s arguably the foundation of her character. While every male wrestler’s billed weight is announced prior to a match, the women’s weight has always remained a mystery. Jax, when approached with the idea of having her weight announced before her matches, took pride in breaking down that barrier.
“It’s something [WWE senior producer] Johnny Ace [Laurinaitis] mentioned to me and we went to Vince [McMahon] and we talked about it,” Jax said. “That’s something that’s tough for a woman, sharing their weight. Me sharing my weight and me being the person I am, Vince agreed with me on this, it’s embracing who you are.
“[Someone who is] 272 pounds is a very heavy person and it’s a lot of force that these women are taking. It incorporated not only the message that I’m sending about my body, but also a character thing. It was really cool because when we talked about it and I saw his vision behind it, I realized I would be the only one in this division where you’d be able to see this force.”
To read the full interview with Jax, click here.