When it was first announced that WWE Raw superstar and Women’s Champion Nia Jax would defend her title at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, many fans thought it was too much, too soon.
After all, Rousey has just one professional wrestling match to her name, while Jax only recently won the championship at Wrestlemania. What’s more, it wasn’t the challenger making a play for the title, but the champion freely offering it up–and she didn’t even do it in the ring. Instead, the challenge was laid out on the red carpet at the NBCUniversal television upfront party, an event meant to convince advertisers to spend money on shows. Nothing about how this was playing out made sense to some wrestling fans.
Then something happened. Nia, at least for now, turned heel. While she won the championship as a babyface, overcoming a former best friend that became a schoolyard bully, Nia works best when she’s the villain of the story. With her size and physically dominant wrestling style, she excels at tossing her opponents around the ring while shooting a glare at the audience. She’s not like most girls, if you will.
Now, with Ronda Rousey as audience-friendly as they come, Nia has started reverting back to her former role and, suddenly, the Money in the Bank match for the Raw Women’s Championship is an exciting possibility. What’s more, both women are ready for their chance to shine.
Speaking to GameSpot at WWE’s first-ever Emmy For Your Consideration event, Nia Jax says she’s up for the challenge that is former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship Ronda Rousey. However, she also things Ronda is far more ready for this moment than many fans realize. “I’m definitely ready, but on any given day, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” she teases. “And I definitely feel that she has put in a lot of work with her MMA career and she’s actually put in a lot of work learning what we do.”
It’s good to know both are taking their match seriously, given what it represents. While Rousey dazzled critics with her match at Wrestlemania, it’s important to remember she shared that match with in-ring legends like Triple H and Kurt Angle. Meanwhile, Stephanie McMahon has been good at getting beaten up for years.
Jax, on the other hand, wrestled her first match just over three years ago. She’s had a meteoric rise to the top, culminating with winning a title at Wrestlemania. This match, though, is going to be her biggest moment in the company yet. WWE has a lot invested in the success of Rousey, and a bad match between the two can do a lot of damage.
Thankfully, that’s the furthest thing from Jax’s mind as she prepares to step into the ring, defending her title against the former UFC fighter. As for who will walk out with the title, Jax is confident in her abilities. However, she notes, “We’ll see on Sunday, what happens on June 17th. But, you never know.”
Money in the Bank airs live on the WWE Network on Sunday, June 17. Make sure to take a look at the show’s entire match card.