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.
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.
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.
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.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Canadian backbreaker rack
- Running hip attack to an opponent seated in the corner
- Samoan drop
- Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker
- Wrestlers managed
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
|2016 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Charlotte Flair • Sasha Banks • Asuka • Becky Lynch • Bayley • Jade • Natalya • Gail Kim • Sexy Star • Sienna • Ivelisse • Madison Eagles • Nicole Savoy • Rosemary • Allie • Nicole Matthews • Kimber Lee • Candice LeRae • Paige • Heidi Lovelace • Evie • Cheerleader Melissa • Nia Jax • Santana Garrett • Naomi • Dana Brooke • Madison Rayne • Kay Lee Ray • Alexa Bliss • Lufisto • Amber Gallows • Marti Belle • Emma • Taylor Made • Vanessa Kraven • Su Yung • Ember Moon • Tessa Blanchard • Jessicka Havok • Shayna Baszler • Crazy Mary Dobson • Malia Hosaka • Thunder Rosa • Carmella • KC Spinelli • Veda Scott • Jessica James • Xandra Bale • Kaitlin Diemond • Eva Marie|
|2017 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Asuka • Charlotte Flair • Alexa Bliss • Sasha Banks • Bayley • Io Shirai • Natalya • Sienna • Naomi • Kairi Sane • Mercedes Martinez • Shayna Baszler • Rosemary • LuFisto • Mayu Iwantani • Mia Yim • Allie • Ember Moon • Becky Lynch • Madison Eagles • Nicole Savoy • Nia Jax • Candice LeRae • Toni Storm • Hiroyo Matsumoto • Chelsea Green • Saraya Knight • Shazza McKenzie • Kay Lee Ray • Mickie James • Dakota Kai • Nicole Matthews • Alex Windsor • Deonna Purrazzo • Abbey Laith • Risa Sera • Viper • Carmella • Ruby Riot • Nikki Cross • Vanessa Kraven • Santana Garrett • Tessa Blanchard • Arisa Nakajima • Lady Lory • Shotzi Blackheart • Veda Scott • Alpha Female • Marti Belle • Zoey Skye|