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Savelina Fanene (May 29, 1984) is an American Hawaiian-born professional wrestler of Samoan and German descent. She is currently signed to WWE, performing on the Raw brand under the ring name Nia Jax. Already she has gained notice for her family wrestling heritage as she is the cousin of WWE wrestling icon The Rock.

Early life

Fanene was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is the daughter of Renate and Joseph Fanene. She attended Palomar College in San Marcos, California, where she played college basketball.

Career

WWE NXT (2014-2016)

On May 5, 2014, it was reported that Fanene signed a contract with the WWE. She reported to the WWE Performance Center where she began training. Fanene debuted under her ring name of Lina. On May 7, 2015 during the live show of NXT in Jacksonville, Florida, Lina teamed with Devin Taylor in a losing tag team match against Bayley & Carmella. Two days later on May 9, Lina and Taylor teamed with Dana Brooke in a losing 6-woman tag match against Alexa Bliss, Bayley & Carmella. From May 23, 29 and May 30 on NXT, Lina suffered a consecutive string of losses against Becky Lynch during her first series of singles matches. Lina returned to tag team action, picking up victories with Dana Brooke first against Devin Taylor and Jessie McKay on the June 19th edition of NXT and then with Alexa Bliss & Jasmin Areebi against Carmella, Cassie and Devin Taylor on June 20. In August, Lina's ring name was changed to Nia Jax.

Beginning with NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, video promos aired teasing Jax's debut. Jax made her debut on the October 14 episode of NXT, establishing herself as a villainess and defeating Evie in singles action. On the October 28 episode of NXT, Jax defeated Kay Lee Ray. After her début, Jax went on a winning streak, defeating various enhancement talents and NXT Diva Carmella, whilst establishing herself as a villainess. In November, Jax formed an alliance with Eva Marie, and started her first rivalry, with Bayley, over the NXT Women's Championship. Jax earned a title match on December 16, at NXT TakeOver: London, where she was unsuccessful in winning the title.

On the January 27, 2016 episode of NXT, she returned to the ring after a month of inactivity due to a storyline injury, with a win over Liv Morgan. On the February 10 episode of NXT, Jax assisted Eva Marie in an attack on Carmella and Bayley after their championship match, until Asuka made the save, which led to a tag team match on the February 24 episode of NXT, where Jax and Marie scored the victory. On the May 25 episode of NXT, Jax won a triple–threat match over Carmella and Alexa Bliss to become the number one contender to Asuka's NXT Women's Championship. Jax received her title match on June 8, at NXT TakeOver: The End, but was unsuccessful in capturing the title. On the July 20 episode of NXT, Jax was defeated by Bayley, in what would be her last match in NXT.

Main Roster (2016-present)

After being drafted from NXT to Raw as part of the 2016 WWE draft which took place on July 19, Jax made her main roster debut for the brand on July 25, where she defeated local competitor Britt Baker.

Personal life

Prior to entering professional wrestling, Fanene was a basketball player. She is also a cousin of semi-retired wrestler and current actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Roman Reigns, Lance Anoa'i, Sean Maluta, and Tamina Snuka. Fanene attended the University of Central Florida.

On August 2, 2014, Fanene and her aunt, Ata Maivia-Johnson, were hit head-on in the latter's Cadillac Escalade by a drunk driver as they were driving home from a charity event in Clermont, Florida. Fanene and Maivia-Johnson were hospitalized with injuries after the incident. The other driver involved was subsequently charged with driving under the influence.

In wrestling

  • Finishing moves
    • Modified spinebuster
    • Standing leg drop, sometimes while running or done repeatedly in succession
    • Fireman's carry dropped into a falling powerslam
  • Signature moves
    • Bearhug
    • Canadian backbreaker rack
    • Headbutt
    • Running hip attack to an opponent seated in the corner
    • Samoan drop
    • Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker

Championships and accomplishments

External links

2016 PWI Top 50 Females
Charlotte FlairSasha BanksAsukaBecky LynchBayleyJadeNatalyaGail KimSexy StarSiennaIvelisseMadison EaglesNicole SavoyRosemaryAllieNicole MatthewsKimber LeeCandice LeRaePaigeHeidi LovelaceEvieCheerleader MelissaNia JaxSantana GarrettNaomiDana BrookeMadison RayneKay Lee RayAlexa BlissLufistoAmber GallowsMarti BelleEmmaTaylor MadeVanessa KravenSu YungEmber MoonTessa BlanchardJessicka HavokShayna BaszlerCrazy Mary DobsonMalia HosakaThunder RosaCarmellaKC SpinelliVeda ScottJessica JamesXandra BaleKaitlin DiemondEva Marie
2017 PWI Top 50 Females
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NXT

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Akira TozawaAriya DaivariCedric AlexanderDrew GulakGran MetalikHideo ItamiJack GallagherKalistoLince DoradoMustafa AliNoam DarRich SwannThe Brian KendrickTJPTony Nese

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Chris TylerDan MoloneyHC DyerJack StarzJames DrakeJordan DevlinJoseph ConnersPete DunneRingo RyanRoy JohnsonSam GradwellSaxon HuxleyTiger AliTrent SevenTuckerTyler BateTyson T-BoneWolfgang

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Commentators & Interviewers

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Ring announcers

Dasha FuentesJoJoGreg HamiltonMike RomeTony Chimel

Referees

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NXT Trainers

Matthew BloomNorman SmileyRobbie BrooksideSara Del ReySarah StockSteve KeirnTerry Taylor

General Managers

Drake Maverick (205 Live)Daniel Bryan/Shane McMahon (Smackdown)Kurt Angle/Stephanie McMahon (Raw)William Regal (NXT)

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