wrestling / News

Nia Jax Discusses Her Relationship With The Rock and How He Inspired Her to Pursue a Career in Wrestling

August 12, 2017 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Nia Jax

– Chris Jericho recently interviewed WWE Superstar Nia Jax for the Talk Is Jericho podcast. Below are some highlights (transcript via WrestlingInc.com).

Nia Jax on her relationship with The Rock and how she started spending more time with him after seeing the premiere of his movie Walking Tall: “Dwayne’s family, like Peter, my aunt, and of them, they were traveling the world wrestling and my dad was in New Zealand. My parents met in Australia, so we didn’t move here till I was like seven [years old] to California and whatnot. I think one time in Hawaii we all met up when I was a baby, but honestly, they were living and traveling all over the world. And, actually, I didn’t get to really re-meet him again till the premiere of Walking Tall because we were living in San Diego and he had the premiere in L.A. My aunt was like to my dad, like, ‘oh, do you want to come up and see the premiere?’ And my dad was like, ‘do you want to come with me?’ and I was like, ‘uh, yeah! That’d be cool.'”?

Nia Jax on her experience at the premiere: “I was a plus-size model in my 20s and I was kind of used to being around celebrities, but I’m so tall and celebrities, like, when you meet them [it is much different from seeing them on TV]… When you see them on TV, you’re like, ‘oh my gosh! That’s crazy!’ And when I went there [to the Walking Tall premiere], I was a giant in comparison to everybody. I was in these heels and it felt very awkward.”

Jax on going into pro wrestling from the world of plus-sized modeling: “I got signed out of high school to New York [for modeling]. There was a scout. There was a manager. He just like saw my face and said, ‘I think you should get into modeling and send some pictures to Wilhelmina New York,’ this modeling agency, and they signed me. I did a lot of lingerie modeling, like, for plus-size, like Macy’s, and Dillard’s, and Bloomingdale’s. I was like on a billboard in New York one time in like a bra and underwear. Yeah.”

Jax on what inspired her to get into wrestling: “Well, WrestleMania 28, me and my other cousin, Christian, like this 6’4″ dancer, he’s crazy, we decided to go out to Miami to go watch Rock versus Cena. And I’ve been to shows before, but we were sitting front row during the main event and I was just like, ‘holy crap, like, this is insane, the energy, the feeling.’ … We were in the process of trying to get me into a wrestling school, Afa, yeah Afa, he has a wrestling school over near Orlando and so my aunt was trying to get me to go there and I was doing all the stuff that I need to do. And then, Dwayne had heard about the Performance Center. And he said, ‘well, why don’t we have you tryout to see if maybe that’s even something that you’d like to do, like go in there and see what it is.’ And so I had the three-day tryout at the Performance Center.”

Nia Jax on how The Rock has been supportive of her career and given her advice: “Oh yes, he definitely gives me advice. When I first started, well first, we just tried not to let everybody know I was related because the first thing he said was, ‘you might get a little heat being related to me.’ But yeah, he was just like, ‘you don’t need to go around repeating that,’ which I didn’t. Yeah, he was just like, ‘make sure that you’re respectful, always shaking hands, asking questions, staying later, working as hard as you can.’ And he was like, ‘that’s one thing, as long as you’re always working hard they can never question who you’re related to’ and whatnot. Yeah, he’s constantly giving me advice on things because this is such a different culture and when you’re not coming from it right off the bat, you have learn the ways.” Jax added, “he really cares and even when I’m insecure about my body or they started announcing my weight before matches and I was kind of like, ‘oh gosh. Yeah, I know I’m big, but knowing my weight is a-whole-nother story. I’m a heavy-ass chick! And I hit him up immediately and he was like… he’s so good at, I don’t want to say, ‘spinning,’ but just seeing the positive side to everything. And he just put me completely at ease and that’s what he does. Any insecurity I have, he just [puts to rest] 100%, yeah.”

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