Nia Jax made an impactful and somewhat controversial return to WWE during the recent Monday Night Raw episode, reigniting her presence after being away from the spotlight post her 2021 WWE release. Notably, the only other time she was seen was during her entry in the 2023 Women's Royal Rumble Match.
However, it's her return last Monday, particularly her attack on Raquel Rodriguez, aiding Rhea Ripley in retaining her World Women’s Title, that has the wrestling community abuzz. While her sudden return and potential championship contention are significant highlights, it's her execution of the move from the second rope that's caught much attention, and not all of it is positive.
Former WWE star Stevie Richards didn’t hold back in his critique of Jax's technique in a recent YouTube video. Diving deep into the details, Richards explains, “This is an excellent shot of Nia on the second rope, poised to launch off.
Many, including me, were hoping for something akin to a Vader Splash—still snug and impactful, but essentially safe for the receiver. That, unfortunately, isn't how it panned out”.
Balancing Thrills with Safety
Elaborating further, Richards uses a frame-by-frame breakdown to underscore his concerns.
“As Nia is airborne, her hands ought to have remained on the rope, ensuring Rhea Ripley's safety. Yet, as we can clearly see, she lets go prematurely, leading all her weight to descend unchecked onto Ripley. This isn’t just a textbook error, it’s a potentially dangerous one.
Remember, we're talking about the reigning champion here, a crucial asset for WWE”. It's undeniable that these high-flying, high-risk maneuvers are part of what makes professional wrestling so captivating. But the safety of the athletes must always be paramount.
As Nia Jax steps back into the ring and possibly into title contention, both fans and peers will undoubtedly be watching her moves closely. Especially as the debate on wrestling safety standards continues to gain traction. Ensuring that the WWE’s top female draws, like Rhea Ripley, remain free from injury is essential, not only for the sake of the performers but also for the very future of the women’s division. The onus remains on WWE and its performers to maintain a balance between showmanship and safety.