Nia and the New Girl

*** WARNING!!! YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE! PLEASE KEEP EYES AND EARS INSIDE OF KAYFABE AT ALL TIMES! ***

Nia Jax, for all the joy she brings into our lives, has never really had a signature match or a signature promo. She’s had very good versions of both, but the closest she’s ever come to something that someone would talk about the next day would be her pre-WrestleMania Renee sit-down wherein she said, and I quote, “I’m NIA JAX. I don’t have to take this shit.”

But, just one well-constructed bit of wrestling theater later and now we’re spending 800 (just kidding, hopefully) words on her squash match against what appeared to be a can of tomatoes. That she spent the entire time talking epic amounts of shit to seemingly fully full-time Ronda Rousey definitely helps. But the segment resonants because Nia has become so confident in her ability, IN THAT RING AND ON THIS MIC, that it actually physically translates to her character. A stunningly beautiful (my wife, literally every single time she comes on TV brings up how she’s most attractive person on the show) woman who could believably never lose a straight match against anyone, there’s no reason for her not to be extremely secure in herself and her own abilities.

Which is, unfortunately, one of the ways in which her Alexa Bliss feud may have been a necessary evil. It allowed her to garner actually empathy from the crowd, and helped establish a real connection between them that female performers have in the past had some difficult achieving when they don’t fit very specific aesthetic expectations. Appreciating her as woman who also had fears and insecurities, but found strength inside herself to overcome a bully and remain/become more confident in herself isn’t just something we can relate but can actively track in Nia’s character development.

At what point does Nia’s confidence become a problem for everyone else in the division? Her ability already has, but confident Nia seems to have an air about her in the ring that doesn’t bode well for someone unprepared to fight someone like her, which is basically impossible because she’s the only one who can do what she can. All of this, of course, helps to add intrigue to what’s already a pretty interesting match-up between her and Ronda at Money in the Bank. This segment, which felt like a nice balance of the modern fourth-wall breaking presentation style filled content that emitted a decisively old school “Anything you can do, I can do better (or in Nia’s case, counter)” vibe.

Whether or not Jax v. Rousey I will be a barnburner on par with Ronda’s WrestleMania debut or even as good as  Nia’s pre-WrestleMania work with Asuka is, at this juncture, largely behind it. Ronda is too talented and too dedicated to getting better to not eventually put on very solid and possibly even great matches, but right now she needs to be able to be part of programs that use her name to get people in the door and other people’s talents to get them both over.

A segment like this will do that 100 times out of 100, especially if Nia’s going to have swag like this.

*** WARNING!!! YOU ARE NOW EXITING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE! PLEASE ENJOY YOUR COMPLIMENTARY CHILI CHEESE PRETZEL DOG SHAKE NOW WITH EXTRA DOG SHAKE! ***

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