During an interview on The Sessions with Renee Paquette, Lina Fanene (formerly known as Nia Jax in WWE) revealed that she turned down an offer to appear in this year's women's Royal Rumble match.
Fanene was released by WWE during a round of roster cuts last November. On The Sessions, Fanene said she received a call from someone in talent relations when WWE was putting together a list of possible women's Royal Rumble participants. Fanene thought the call was a joke at first. When she was told that it was serious, Fanene's response was that she would absolutely not be in the Rumble.
Oh, yeah, I did [receive a call to be in the Royal Rumble]. I was in the middle of trying to get my stuff back. I had a bunch of crap. You know how it is, like you're just shoving stuff in everybody’s boxes, whatever. So, I’m in the middle of getting my stuff back. They sent me a box and, like, more than half was missing. I’m like, 'Yo, what’s going on?'
When I got the call, I thought it was about like, 'Where's my stuff?' So I answered, I’m like, 'Hey, what’s up?' My homie in TR [talent relations], they were like, ‘Hey... we’re just calling to see if you’d be interested in participating in the Royal Rumble.’ And I started hysterically laughing because I thought it was my friend joking with me. I was like, 'Oh, you’re freaking hilarious.'
Then he was like, 'Actually, no, this is an official call.’ And I was like, 'Oh... f*ck no, I’m not coming back.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, we’d like to offer you this.’ I said, ‘First of all, I already know I’m still under my 90 days. You’re still going to be paying me anyway, so you’re not offering me anything.' I was like, 'No, I’m not f*cking coming back, absolutely f*cking not.’ I was like, ‘Is this all this was?’ And he was like, ‘Yes.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, bye.'
Paquette asked Fanene if it felt like a slap in the face to be released and then get a call when WWE needs bodies for the Royal Rumble.
That's exactly what it was. And guess what, they were accumulating a list. This is what I was told -- they were accumulating a list, they wanted to offer me the opportunity. Accumulate a list that they send to Vince, then Vince goes through the list and says who he wants and who he doesn't. I was like, 'So, you're asking me to be part of a list to go to the next step?' I was like, "F*ck no. How much more can you sh*t on me, dude?' Somebody was just like, 'We didn't want her to feel left out. If it got around that she didn't get asked, we didn't want her to feel left out.' I was like. 'F*ck you, that's such bullsh*t.' You needed people and I definitely [nixed] that.
Fanene said that, in the year before she was released, there was a change in the guard on the corporate side of WWE and things didn't feel how they used to feel. Fanene said she felt like she was in a dryer being tumbled in different directions and couldn't get settled.
It was reported that not being vaccinated for COVID-19 was one of the reasons for Fanene's release. Fanene confirmed on The Sessions that she decided not to get the vaccine. Fanene said she sat down with Vince McMahon at one point and was told that not getting the vaccine meant that she couldn't fulfill some of her contractual duties.
Fanene said in November that it's highly unlikely that she'll ever return to the ring. When asked about her future on The Sessions, Fanene didn't completely rule out wrestling again.
I never want to say never, because I do love the feeling I get in the ring. I do enjoy -- like, I loved wrestling. I didn’t like the sh*t, the politics, all the other BS. But also like, you know, I’m not getting any younger. And I already talked to you about it, like, I’m trying to find my man so I can start popping out babies.