Lina Fanene [Nia Jax] On Oral Sessions With Renée Paquette: Podcast Recap

Former WWE star Nia Jax recently appeared on Renée Paquette’s podcast Oral Sessions. On the show, they discuss Nia Jax’s career in WWE and some of her favourite moments during the time with the company. They also discuss some of the more infamous moments throughout her career, what lead to the release, what’s next and more. Recap below:

On what life is like right now:

“It’s scary to say it, but I am feeling really good and really happy. It’s almost like Stockholm Syndrome where I was in this crazy, almost slightly abusive relationship with this company, but some parts were good. And now it’s done. I kind of get to be myself again, which I haven’t been in such a long time. It’s kind of good but it’s also scary where I’m like OK, who is Lina now she is not Nia Jax?”

On not enjoying the business as much:

“Before I got the call [to be released] I just didn’t feel the same about it all anymore. I wasn’t like super excited, I used to get butterflies with excitement before I went travelling. My brother was like ‘Well maybe it’s not time to start worrying about yourself, start worrying about Lina.’ And that was such a weird concept to me. You are a cog in the wheel and you have to be so loyal to the company. Finally the call came, which caught me by surprise, he was like ‘This is good.’ My brothers are just the best.”

On taking a break:

“I had left and had my double ACL surgery. I was sitting at home waiting to come back, and they [WWE] were like ‘We are not going to use you.’ So I’m like oh OK, and then COVID hit. It set the tone for the year. I was laying in bed and I got a call from TR, this was when we were filming at the Performance Center. They told me that they were filming my return and they needed me there in 2 hours. I’m like wait what? I’m texting Paul Heyman saying ‘What is going on?’ I came back and the energy was just different. Obviously we are trying to work through a pandemic and everything is different and people are scared, but no one is happy. It was a weird and tense feeling. We were there at the PC and trying to make the best of it, but something there just didn’t feel the same. There was a change in the guard on the corporate side, and things started shifting to where it didn’t seem to be like what it used to be. We used to have the family camaraderie, and then something shifted. We then had those massive cuts, with cut after cut and whatnot with budget cuts. Nothing was making sense, so the whole last year, I felt like I was being tumbled in all directions and couldn’t get settled. I remember walking into Johnny’s [Laurinaitis] office after a crazy couple of weeks and being like, I need a break. He gave it to me and said ‘Yeah go ahead and take the break.’ I sh*t you not, I did not miss it.”

On being released:

“It went by so fast, I was like sh*t it’s coming up soon. I remember hitting Johnny up and saying ‘Hey. My break is coming up, but I don’t feel right. Is there any way that we can extend it to the Rumble?’ And then it was like after that I will be in a better place or whatever, this was on a Wednesday. Then on Thursday, he called me and I’m thinking he is going to talk about all this. He then said ‘Hey kid. I hate to do this.’ Instantly when he said that I said ‘Am I getting released?’ And he said ‘Yeah. I’m so sorry. Due to budget cuts…’ I said I would take a pay cut if that was what was needed, just because of the whole script. He then said ‘Well that’s not it.’ So I’m like ‘Oh so you want a whole different change?’ He goes ‘Yeah. So we are just going to put you on your 90 days.’ I hung up the phone and I was relieved.”

On her vaccination status:

“I stood my ground on certain things that I was not happy about. I was choosing to not go and get the vaccine. It was a personal choice. I remember talking with Vince about it, the whole time I was there I never tested positive and never had COVID. He said ‘Well kid, you won’t be able to fulfil some of your contracted duties.’ I was like ‘Well if that’s the case then that’s the case.’ It is a business and I understand that you have to run your business. But that was when I was like, because I made the decision and stood my ground, I always go by my gut. If it doesn’t feel right, I just can’t force myself to do something. That’s just how I live my life.”

On the difference between Lina and Nia:

“The character is this badass bitch that comes in and wrecks house. She does whatever she wants and doesn’t give 2 sh*ts about how anybody else feels. On the flipside, Lina is a total basket case of emotions, she is always worried about how people feel and wants to take care of everybody. Don’t get me wrong, there is a side of me that will cut a bitch. But for the most part I am the goofy one laughing. Then there’s the thing of ‘Nia Jax is a botch queen!’”

On the Becky Lynch incident:

“Yeah it was right before Survivor Series where her [Becky Lynch] and Ronda were going to have a singles match. So Smackdown was invading raw. The producer of that match, who I won’t name, was like ‘This needs to look real, say sorry later.’ We were all like ok, let’s go. Being the larger person, I feel that people think that they can beat the sh*t out of her, she is the larger person, she will be fine. This is true, for the most part I get wailed and well, OK. I just remember when they invaded I feel as though everyone came after me, which is OK, but I am getting nailed. The back of my head I’m like Jeez Louise, I get it! I find Trin [Naomi] and I f*cking love Trin. We are like let’s sit in the corner, and I continue to get hit in the back of the head and I’m like good Lord! I just turn around and really go to clear the person. My fist was not closed, I didn’t punch her, but it connected, and I didn’t realise it was Becky, I thought it was Lana. So I did that and I didn’t realise that anything happened, and I go back to Trin. I look around and I see there is blood everywhere, I look around and Becky is down. We go to this segment, everything happens and I’m like sh*t was that me? We get backstage and she gets taken up to medical immediately, and I am worried about her. Then I am freaking out because they are showing the slow replays, and Kevin Dunn sends the replays to Vince in Gorilla. They are cutting to every angle and I’m like I’m screwed. So I go to check on her to make sure she is OK, medical are like ‘Everyone out! She needs space.’ I go to Vince and I say I’m so sorry. He just starts laughing and was like ‘Hahaha. Well it’s not ballet.’ I walk away and just leave it alone.”

“I then text Becky to make sure she is OK and I am just bugging the sh*t out of her. Before Survivor Series, I had this small cut on my hand from where that happened. I spoke to Nicky [from WWE social media team] and he was like ‘You are getting so much sh*t for what happened.’ I’m like ‘Well do I go with it?’ He was like ‘Honestly, just run with it.’ I sent out a tweet saying some stupid sh*t like ‘Has anyone asked me how my hand is doing?’ Of course the internet went ablaze and hated my guts. That night at Survivor Series someone else was meant to go over, but it got back to Vince how much the internet hated me, so he changed the finish and had me go over, because they wanted the heat. When my music hit the crowd was booing the sh*t out of me. It was insane and Vince was like ‘All the babyfaces should be thanking you, we have a true legitimate heel here. You go out there and point at that fist and you smile.’ From then on I just played into it.”

On getting reactions like that in real life:

“In the beginning you are like it’s just a character and it’s fun, but no one ever says that Nia Jax is played by Lina. Our fans are ruthless, they are great, but they can be ruthless. My family will read the comments and I’m telling them to stop. But it hurts, they say some mean stuff and that is my work. I know I am bigger and stronger and I was always conscious of that. I worked with Lexi [Alexa Bliss] most of my career and she is tiny, so that hurt. I can tell you this right now, in my career I have injured 2 people, and I have profusely apologised. Guess what? We are going there 300 days a year, not all of my moves are going to come out like cherries, but I’m not going in to purposely hurt anyone. That hurt me the most, because I did my best to protect people.”

On her favourite WWE moment:

“People are like ‘What was your best moment [in WWE]? That was my favourite moment. I will never forget that we had the rumble that day and we were also filming Total Divas. We were trying to put the women’s rumble together, and I was already irritated with certain things there. We were finishing up the rehearsals because the doors were about to open, and Johnny comes up to me and says ‘hey kid. You’re going to be in the men’s rumble.’ I’m like what!? It floored me. The only thing I could do was rehearse beating up R-Truth for the camera angles. That and remember what was in the women’s rumble, which thankfully was towards the end. I then had to run back as we were all in this room. It was Rey, Randy, Dolph, Andrade… I was like I don’t know what was going on. I kept telling Randy ‘I don’t want to f*ck up the RKO.’ He said ‘Don’t worry, just turn left and ride with me. Ali was such a sweetheart, such a good person. He was like ‘Just toss me over, it will be great.’ And I’m like ‘I love you.’ It was the craziest opportunity that I thought I would never have.”

On the scrapped Jon Moxley/Dean Ambrose feud:

“It was so, he had said that he wasn’t going to re-sign. I remember getting the script and seeing I was going to come out and interrupt him. I’m like well am I wrestling the guys then? What is going on here? They are like ‘Yeah we think it’s kind of cool.’ I then go to Dean and I’m ‘Dude I am not comfortable with this, are you?’ And of you know him of course and he’s like ‘yeah they are just trying to f*cking get me.’ But I don’t think I should be able to hit someone who can’t hit me back. I thought it was so weird and I knew Jon was so uncomfortable.”

“They had advertised us on a live event having a match, so I’m like are we doing this? I kind of thought that the intergender match would be kind of cool if we can go that route, and if anyone has an incredible resume then it would be Jon. But does he want to do this and is this where we are going? Then I don’t know what happened, but someone said the state we were in don’t allow intergender matches so it just went away.”

On future plans:

“It’s so funny, everyone is like ‘What’s next? What’s next?’ During my year where I knew I wouldn’t be lasting too much longer personally, I invested in some land and got me a big old farm. I’m going to start doing natural remedies like hemp and mushrooms. There’s other businesses on the land I will partner up with like the city using part of the land. So that and some little projects here and there. The one thing I do regret is that I didn’t get a last match and get to say goodbye to the fans.”

On possibly returning to the ring:

“I never want to say never, because I do enjoy the feeling that I get in the ring. I do enjoy and loved wrestling, I didn’t like the politics and the other BS. But I am not getting any younger, and I want to find that man so I can start popping out babies.”

On being asked for the 2022 Royal Rumble:

“Oh yeah I did. I was in the middle of trying to get my stuff back, and they sent me a box with like half of the stuff missing. I ask them what is going on? So when I got the call, I thought it was about where’s my stuff? So when I got the call I’m like ‘Hey what’s up?’ They were like ‘Hey Savelina. We were just calling to see if you were interested in participating in the Royal Rumble?’ I just started hysterically laughing, I thought it was my friend joking with me. He was like ‘No this is an official call.’ I then say ‘Oh. Well f*ck no! I’m not going back. I’m still under my 90 days, you are paying me anyway. So no, I’m not coming back, absolutely f*cking not!’”

On Total Divas:

“It was good and not good. In the beginning you are in this whole fantasy, glamour world. You do everything the producer says, and then it starts to become this thing of this isn’t real, that’s not me… It started to become less fun and just became a total drag. But you also have certain people who like to amp it up, and they are made for the reality show. In that last season where Ronda came on and they got rid of Lana, they told me to start drama because there wasn’t enough animosity. Even though that was the last season, I just didn’t want to do it anymore.”

On the Charlotte Flair incident:

“Obviously Charlotte is an insane competitor. She puts her all into it and is very passionate. It was just a miscommunication, I don’t know where, but she just started laying into me. It happened a lot during the break too, so a lot of people didn’t see what was going on. I think what everyone saw on TV, I was like well f*ck this! I gave her a 2 piece back that rocked her back. It was very intense, and she is one of my best friends. We got backstage and I said ‘Are you good?’ She said ‘Yeah, I just, out there something out there didn’t feel right and I went off.’ I’m like ‘Are you sure?’ I think one of the producers asked if we were ok and Charlotte said yeah. Obviously the internet went crazy, but we are fine, let it go. But she is one of my best friends and nothing serious happened.”

Featured image: PWMania

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