Lina Fanene (fka Nia Jax) has recalled injuring Becky Lynch ahead of Survivor Series 2018, discussing Vince McMahon’s reaction to the incident.
On the episode of Raw before the pay-per-view, the SmackDown locker-room invaded the Red Brand, leading to a huge ringside brawl. During the scuffle, Fanene unintentionally busted Lynch open, resulting in the iconic image of The Man taunting the Raw roster, all bloodied up.
It was later revealed that Lynch had suffered a concussion, and was not cleared to wrestle Ronda Rousey that Sunday. Fanene received a lot of hate from fans for the incident, which she seemed to take in her stride at the time.
Speaking on Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette, Fanene noted that the performers were told to make the brawl segment look as real as possible. Explaining what actually happened in the ring, Fanene said:
“I was told by a producer – I won’t name names – ‘make this look real, say sorry later’.
“I continue to get punched in the back of the friggin head, so I just turned around to clear the person. Whatever angles they showed, my fist wasn’t open, I didn’t punch her, but it did connect. I didn’t realise it was Becky, I honestly thought it was Lana.
“(Becky) got taken up to medical immediately and I was worried about her. Then I’m freaking out because Kevin (Dunn) is slow replaying it to Vince in Gorilla. They were cutting to every angle. I was like, I’m so screwed.”
Fanene noted that when she apologised to Vince McMahon, the WWE Chairman laughed, and told her “it’s not ballet”. The former Raw Women’s Champion stated that she was told to ‘run with it’ when informed about the online backlash.
Fanene was ultimately the sole survivor for her Survivor Series elimination match that year. She said that this was never originally the plan, but the finish was changed because McMahon ‘wanted the heat’. Fanene noted that McMahon told her that “all those babyfaces should be thanking you. We’ve got a true legitimate heel here. You should point at that fist and smile.”
Fanene was released by WWE in November 2021. The former Raw Women’s Champion has revealed that she declined WWE’s offer to return for this year’s Royal Rumble match.
Check out our list of Royal Rumble 2022 records and stats at this link.
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