As she made her long-awaited return to WWE this week on Raw, Nia Jax reveald why she was fired by the WWE in 2021.
Wrestling fans thought that Nia Jax would be a WWE lifer, with her connection to WWE Legend The Rock making her infallible in the company. However, Nia Jax was fired by WWE on November 4, 2021, alongside a number of other WWE wrestlers.
Nia Jax is an American wrestler of Samoan heritage and was one of the top wrestlers in the women’s tag team division in WWE.
She held the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships alongside her partner Shayna Bazler in August 2020 but was cruelly released by the company not too long after.
With her cousins The Rock and Roman Reigns set to face off at Wrestlemania, it wont be a true family affair with Jax no longer being in the company.
Her release was not due to her fitness, her in-ring work or backstage attitude. Instead it was more insidious and not quite what you would expect from the former WWE Champion.
So why was Nia Jax fired by? Keep reading to find out why she was released and whether or not the former Women’s champion is retired from wrestling.
Nia Jax Fired
Nia Jax revealed that she was fired by WWE due to her refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The topic of vaccinations became a huge topic of discussion during the global pandemic, with various differing reports on their effectiveness.
The Samoan Superstar was one of a rumoured many WWE superstars to refuse to get vaccinated, but was just one wrestler to be released due to her refusal. It has been reported that Karrion Kross also neglected to take the experimental drug but he has since been rehired by the company.
Speaking to Renee Pacquette of “The Sessions” podcast, Nia Jax (real name Savelina Fanene) spoke about being fired for refusing to get vaccinated during the pandemic and how former WWE Chairman Vince McMahon even tried to convince her to, but to no avail.
“I stood my ground on certain things that I know that they weren’t happy about. I was choosing not to go and get the vaccine. It was a personal choice. I remember sitting down with Vince because the entire two years I was there, we were tested every day, and I never popped positive. I never had COVID the whole time.“
“It was like, ‘Well, kid, you’re not going to be able to fulfil some of your contractual duties’. I was like, ‘Well, if that’s the case, then that’s the case.’ Like, it’s a business, and I understand you got to run your business.”
“But that’s when I was like, you know, I feel really good because of the decision for myself. I stood by how I felt. I always go by my gut feeling. If it doesn’t feel right in my stomach. I just can’t force myself to do something I don’t feel good with. That’s just how I’ve lived my entire life.”
While it may have been unfair for her to be fired for not taking a vaccine, WWE does have many overseas deals and regularly tours other countries all across the globe.
Many of these places require those entering to prove they have the vaccine. This meant that Nia Jax would not have been allowed to enter the countries and thus was unable to “fulfil some of her contractual duties”.
WWE’s main overseas deal comes from Saudi Arabia and has helped WWE post record profits over the past few years.
They now run multiple shows in Saudi Arabia every year and treat it as another Wrestlemania, bringing back legends like Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle and Goldberg to wrestle at the event.
Whilst Jax was not likely to be a huge part of these shows, her not being able to wrestle in foreign countries is a headache. She would have been excluded from wrestling in places like Europe and Asia and thus her value to the WWE fell drastically.
Nia Jax was fired on 4th November 2021 and so far has not been brought back by WWE, despite her former NXT boss Triple H now in charge of WWE creative.
Is Nia Jax Retired?
Nia Jax’s last match was in WWE and she has not wrestled since she was fired by the company. He release came after her 20 September 2021 defeat to Shayna Bazler on Monday Night Raw, with the Samoan wrestler released about a month and a half later.
Since then, she has not wrestled at all, leading fans to speculate if Nia Jax has retired or simply taking a break. It has been nearly a year since her last match and there is no sign of her returning to the ring at the moment, so she may be retired.
However, the former WWE star was booked to wrestle on the failed start-up promotion Wrestling Entertainment Series’ (WES) show and was advertised to wrestle on the show up until it was cancelled.
The promotion was created by former tag team The Authors of Pain was was booked for the 10,000 seat Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, a huge arena for a brand new wrestling promotion.
Nia Jax was booked to face CJ Perry (Lana in WWE) for the WES Women’s Championship but soon pulled out of the show for unknown reasons.
However, she kept being advertised for the show which enraged her and she took to Twitter to let her fans know they were being scammed.
“I do not know why I am still on this poster, but I will REPEAT myself again… I will NOT be at the show. Please do not buy a ticket thinking you will see me perform or get a chance to meet me. I hate that this misleads people!”
The WES show in Nottingham was due to feature a number of former WWE wrestlers such as Kalisto and Lana, but was unfortunately cancelled due to a lack of ticket sales (and most people think the entire thing was a scam in the first place anyway).
Considering how adamant she was to her fans that she wouldn’t be wrestling, it’s likely that Nia Jax is retired. She clearly has no interest in wrestling on the independent scene and seems content to live out her days putting her wrestling background behind her and focussing on her family.
Nia Jax Want’s WWE Return To Put Someone Over
The Samoan superstar spoke again recently about where he future lies, giving an update about whether or not she wants to keep wrestling. Her days of working independent shows are over, given that she wants to get married and have children, as detailed in the Wives of Wrestling Podcast.
Former Women’s Champion Nia Jax revealed that she never planned to wrestle again, but would go back to the WWE on a part-time basis, just to put some over in a “fun little story”.
“You know, I always thought I would never wrestle again. I don’t think I’d go back to full-time wrestling because it was, it’s crazy, now they have it different, but it just took a lot. It took a toll on me.
“I wouldn’t mind going back and doing like a fun little story and, you know, putting somebody over, something like that. But I think, you know, I gave it a good amount of time and now I’m like, prefer to just God willing, get married and have kids, you know.”
Judging by the way she left the company, a surprise one-time Royal Rumble return may be the most that Nia Jax can expect.
Nia Jax 2023 Royal Rumble Return
Nia Jax returned to the WWE at the 2023 Royal Rumble. She entered at number 30 as a surprise entrant in the Women’s Royal Rumble match.
Nia Jax performed well, fighting off eleven women at once but failed to eliminate anyone. She was eliminated when all 11 women teamed up to throw the Samoan former Women’s Champion out of the match.
It us unknown if her Royal Rumble appearance was a one off or if she will be returning to the WWE full time.
Nia Jax Returned To Raw In 2023, attacking Rhea Ripley
Nia Jax returned to the WWE on the September 11, 2023 episode of Monday Night Raw.
She attacked Raquel Rodriguez in her main event match against Rhea Ripley, giving the Women’s World Champion the chance to win the match and retain her title.
Nia Jax blew a kiss to Ripley, before attacking her and hitting her with Bonsai Drop, indicating that she was coming for Rhea Ripley and her title belt.
It was reported that Nia Jax had been signed to WWE for over a month, with Triple H and Vince McMahon for the right time to redebut her in the company.
The former Women’s Champion was booed horrendously by the WWE fans, who clearly did not want to see her back in the company following the many injuries she caused over the years in WWE.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.