Nia Jax has admitted to “freaking out” ahead of entering the 2019 men’s Royal Rumble match and asking Randy Orton to rehearse the RKO so she didn’t “f*ck it up”.
Before a separate Royal Rumble match was established for WWE’s women’s division in 2018, there had only been a handful of female Superstars who had taken part in the bout. Chyna, Beth Phoenix, and Kharma – better known as Awesome Kong – were the only women to take part before then, but Nia Jax achieved a historic first by entering both 30-person matches in 2019.
Jax first entered the women’s match as the penultimate participant and lasted just under twelve minutes before she was eliminated by eventual winner Becky Lynch.
When the men’s match came around, WWE had scheduled R-Truth to enter in the coveted number 30 spot. However, it was not to be as Jax ambushed the multi-time 24/7 Champion as he made his entrance. She lasted just three minutes before Rey Mysterio eliminated her, though Jax did manage to throw Mustafa Ali over the top rope.
During those three minutes, Jax took an RKO from Randy Orton, a move she was terrified of messing up. Speaking on the Wives of Wrestling Podcast, Jax explained why she was “freaking out” ahead of the bout.
“I mean, I was freaking out. Well, first, I was like super irritated with the girls’ match, I’m not going to get into it. So that put me in a better mood. But I was freaking out and I was like there’s no way. We rehearse this stuff with [R] Truth and, of course, Truth being the amazing professional that Truth is, it was just easy. And then he [John Laurinaitis] was like ‘Yeah, you’re in there, you’re gonna be with Rey [Mysterio], you’re gonna be with Dolph [Ziggler], gonna be with Randy [Orton], and you’re gonna be with Andrade.
Like, what the actual f*ck. There’s no way. And so then the guys were in a room and they were talking about it and I was getting ready for the girls’ match because we were out first. So I run in there and I’m like, ‘Hey guys, I’m about to, you know, go on the girls’ match, but I don’t know what I’m doing.’ And they were just so cool. It was Randy and Rey and they were just like, ‘Don’t worry about it. We have it all done.’
They ran me through what was gonna happen and I just remember having like chills on my back and I said I have never taken the RKO, I’ve never taken the 619, I don’t want to f*ck this up. Are you kidding me? Like, these are some of the biggest moves in wrestling history. And I’m about to take this live and I’ve never taken it before and I just remember saying, ‘Randy, I don’t want to f*ck this up. Should we walk through it? Do you want to RKO me in the hallway?’ Like I was freaking out.
And he was just like, ‘Kid, don’t worry. He’s like, just turn to the left and just ride with me’. So just imagine me like I’m about to go out to the women’s match and have to remember that.”
Nia Jax successfully toom both the 619 and the RKO as well as a Superkick from Dolph Ziggler before being eliminated. She ended up entering a total of four Royal Rumble matches before being released by WWE in November 2021, although she admitted that WWE had approached her about a return for the 2022 Rumble.