Savelina FaneneD.O.B: 29 May, 1984
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii
Trained By: WWE performance Center
Family Ties: The Rock (cousin)
Savelina Fanene is a model and professional wrestler, currently signed to WWE nad working in their developmental territory NXT under the ring name Nia Jax.
She signed with WWE in 2014, and has been training at the WWE Performance Center since.
Savelina Fanene was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is the daughter of Joseph and Renate Fanene. She played college basketball at Palomar College in San Marcos, California. During her time in California, Fanene also worked as a plus-size model.
Fanene is of German and Samoan ancestry, and is also a member of the legendary Anoa’i family. She is a cousin of The Rock.
She is a life-long wrestling fan and she decided to get into the business after watching her cousin, The Rock perform at WrestleMania XXVIII.
On August 2, 2014, she and her aunt, Ata Maivia-Johnson, The Rock’s mother, were involved in a road traffic accident when a drunk driver hit Ata’s Cadillac Escalade head on. Both Fanene and Maivia-Johnson were hospitalized with their injuries. The other driver involved was charged with driving under the influence.
Professional Wrestling Career
In early 2014, Fanene was signed by WWE and assigned to their developmental territory, NXT, where she attended the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. She made her in-ring debut at an NXT house show on the 7th May, 2015, using the ring name Zada. She teamed with Devin Taylor in a losing effort against Bayley and Carmella. In August, she began using the name Nia Jax.
Throughout September, NXT would show a series of vignettes introducing the Nia Jax character and she made her debut on the October 14th episode of NXT, defeating Evie. After her victorious debut, Nia Jax went on a winning streak, defeating several enhancement talents as well as Carmella. Throughout this run, Jax was establishing herself as a formidable heel.
In November, Nia Jax formed an alliance with Eva Marie, calling themselves The Power Alliance, and the two entered a rivalry with NXT Women’s Champion, Bayley. Jax earned herself a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT TakeOver: London, but she was unsuccessful in her attempt at winning the title.
She then took a brief hiatus from TV due to a storyline injury, making her return on the January 27, 2016, episode of NXT, defeating Liv Morgan.
On February 10, Jax joined Eva Marie in attacking Carmella and Bayley after the pair had faced each other for the NXT Women’s Championship. Asuka eventually made the save, which led to a tag team match on the February 24 episode of NXT, which was one by The Power Alliance.
On May 25, Nia Jax defeated Carmella and Alexa Bliss in a triple threat match to become the number one contender for the NXT Womne’s Championship.
She received her title match against Asuka at NXT TakeOver: The End, but once again failed to capture the championship.