With Wrestlemania barrelling down on us, there’s a scramble to try and cement the card before the big show. With last-minute additions being made and alterations being applied, there’s still plenty of room for Superstars to get put on the card. Yet last night during Raw, I’d argue WWE made a huge mistake in putting Nia Jax in the Raw Women’s Title match. A Superstar that’s failed to deliver on her massive potential, giving her a Wrestlemania match feels like to much – to soon.
The big problem with Nia Jax is that she’s neither a great heel worker nor gets the kind of reaction from fans that would make her elevation more palatable. A good example of this working well is Eva Marie over on Smackdown Live who, before her disappearance from the roster, was getting herself over as one of the most hated Superstars on either roster. Her gimmick was designed to draw heat, and the fans reacted accordingly.
Compare this to Nia Jax, who arrives into arenas of awkward silence. Fans sit on their hands and fail to respond to anything she does. Even when beating down Sasha Banks and Bayley, fans just don’t seem to want to react to her. It gets worse when her matches fail to light up the show. She’s worked with the majority of the Raw Women’s roster now and I’d argue hasn’t had a single standout match in all the months since the draft.
It’s not just me that feels this. It seems that Nia’s arrival on Raw brings out the worst of the vocal WWE fan base, who can’t wait to slam critique on the Superstars back. I find some of the comments around Nia Jax to be disgusting, if only because faceless Twitter accounts screaming “She’s fat” is akin to an idiot smashing their face against a keyboard. To hear some outlets openly using that a first line in justifying Nia Jax hatred only serves to showcase just how gutter trash wrestling journalism is. But there is a point to this – people don’t want to see Jax on TV.
Even from a storyline perspective, Nia getting a Wrestlemania Championship match only devalues the match as it stands. The other three women have reasons to be in there, storylines that run all the way back to NXT. Jax is an awkward spare wheel that’s been thrown into the mix to try and add some variety, but it only muddy’s the water. Surely a strong story is what fans want from their women’s matches, not more women piled into matches?
It only gets more frustrating when you look at how Smackdown is treating its title match. At least they’ve admitted their title match is a flimsy excuse to pile all the women in; with a heel Champion who’s arrogance pushed Bryan into the match. Why can’t Stephanie do the same on Raw if she’s throwing Jax into the mix? The likes of Emma, who fans are desperate to see back on TV, will be skipped over entirely. Meanwhile the likes of Tamina and Summer Rae, Superstars that have more logical reasons to be used in multi-women matches, are being left off the card all together. Heck – as much I dislike Dana Brooke – she has more storyline reason for being in the title match at this point than Jax.
Part of me gets the feeling that WWE pushed her to the main roster too soon. The desperate raid on NXT during the summer WWE Draft was a sign that both rosters would be working thin- in particular the Women’s Division on Raw which has been laughably thin for several months now. Jax was brought up to try and add a new dimension to the Raw roster – but she hasn’t been used in this way. Sure she got to squash some jobbers out the gate, but when she faces off against named opponents, things fall apart quickly. She neither dominates matches (Like Strowman) nor gets to physically intimidate the rest of the female roster.
As it stands, I don’t think anyone expects Jax to win the title at Wrestlemania. Her appearance in the match only serves to showcase that WWE hasn’t got a full handle on it’s Raw Women’s Division. Without proper build and without some kind of hook to make fans invested – why should anyone care about Jax?
She has potential to be a great heel for the division. But this is all happening way too soon and with not enough time. Jax isn’t ready for the position given to her, and if WWE aren’t careful – they may end up turning fans off her for good.