It’s Valentine’s Day, which means love is in the air, everywhere you look around…unless you’re Nia Jax and hanging out backstage at Monday Night Raw, of course.
In December and parts of January, we saw an angle building up between Nia Jax and Enzo Amore’s budding romance which started with some awkward flirting and morphed into, well, more awkward flirting and not much else.
Clearly, WWE had intentions to turn this into something bigger down the line, but nothing was able to manifest.
Since V-Day is upon us, I figured now would be as good a time as any to look back on this storyline and examine just what exactly was going on with everything and where it would have gone, had the plans been executed as intended.
What was supposed to happen?
Obviously, this pairing of Jax and Enzo started to have an effect on both of their outlying influences of Alexa Bliss and The Zo Train.
For Enzo, he and Drew Gulak kept finding themselves at odds with each other when Gulak would interrupt a moment or upstage him in some way. I doubt this would have manifested in any significant fashion, though, and it was probably just something the writers found funny to do here and there, rather than turning into some kind of Gulak vs. Enzo story down the line—although there definitely were hints of a possible mutiny, and if that were to happen with a fracturing of The Zo Train, it’s arguable it would have been Gulak and Tony Nese against Enzo and Ariya Daivari, with the Nia Jax tension being a supplemental factor.
With Alexa Bliss, though, we saw a much clearer set of confrontations between them, with Nia accusing Alexa of not caring, opting to seek comfort in Enzo instead, Alexa blocking their kiss under the mistletoe and so on.
In fact, that, coupled with Alexa’s lying in an attempt to get Nia to take Asuka out of the competition to protect her championship surely would have been a more prominent factor than it is right now, despite how it’s still a storyline going on at the moment, albeit currently somewhat muted.
This started to build right around the time of the Mixed Match Challenge announcement as well, with teams not being decided until a little after Nia had already championed the idea of Braun Strowman being her partner—not Enzo, surprisingly.
The way I see it, this could have gone down in two different ways:
Scenario A) Nia wants Strowman as her partner while Alexa has tension with Enzo, but those are the teams we get. Enzo is upset that Nia chose Strowman, Alexa hates being with Enzo just the same, and Nia is torn between wanting to win and also wanting to be with Enzo and keep her friend. Strowman, meanwhile, is just the same as ever and only concerned with wrecking people, because he’s awesome. Eventually, Nia would lose for her team due to some kind of count out or disqualification or self-sacrifice pin of sorts because of her emotional distress.
Scenario B) Nia and Enzo would have been paired up, while Alexa and Strowman would, just as they are now. Down the line, this would become a match, with Alexa and Strowman coming out on top and causing a rift between Enzo and Nia, since Enzo would definitely take the loss there. It would be a weird dynamic where depending on who was tagged in, the momentum would shift, as any time the men were in the ring, Strowman has the advantage, while the women soundly goes in Jax’s corner.
What went wrong?
Enzo Amore is what went wrong.
At first, he had his issues that prevented him from being part of the Mixed Match Challenge, forcing WWE to change those plans and saddle Jax with Apollo Crews—a duo that has done absolutely nothing of noteworthiness since Jax started complaining about it.
Then, Enzo’s suspension and eventual release not only killed off his involvement in the 205 Live cruiserweight title scene, but also his entire angle with Nia Jax, that had to be dropped immediately.
They couldn’t even reference it anymore, as he was pushed aside immediately with the Cruiserweight Championship with little acknowledgement and that was easily the bigger deal of the two to address.
In the meantime, Nia has lingered with not much of anything to do but attack Asuka here and there, almost as if her storyline plans were deleted and the creative team has nothing else for a backup idea.
What’s the next step in all this?
If the end game of this storyline was simply to drive a wedge between Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax, there isn’t all that much more that needs to be done that can’t be accomplished with pure title implications.
As it stands, Asuka will face Nia Jax at Elimination Chamber and if Jax is successful in winning that match, she will earn a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 34.
It’s strange that they’ve been referring to this as that she would make it a Triple Threat, which implies that Asuka is already a guarantee to challenge for this title, despite how she’s yet to formally announce her intentions to use her Royal Rumble victory to apply to this title, ruling out the possibility of her challenging Charlotte Flair instead.
As far as the storyline goes, it makes much more sense for all three of them to be involved than for Asuka to suddenly jump ship over to the SmackDown Women’s Championship, but with no solid options on the blue brand to take up that title shot, it’s certainly a possibility for The Empress of Tomorrow to do that, leaving Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax to fight for the title on their lonesome, since there’s no way Alexa is dropping that title in the Elimination Chamber.
At this point, all it takes is for Jax to somehow get involved in the title hunt and we’ll see them pick up the storyline of the two friends having problems without needing to include the romantic subplot of Enzo Amore anymore.
HOWEVER…if this was something else, and the original intention was to put Nia in an on-screen relationship in order to give her more character growth beyond what she was able to pull off in her short time with Enzo, then WWE will have had to either abandon that storyline entirely (as it seems like they’ve done) and hope that growth can be found in other ways in the future, or there will need to be a replacement suitor.
In that case, the easiest go-to option is Apollo Crews, since the two are paired up for the Mixed Match Challenge and Nia has her problems with him.