After missing close to a year due to injuries that required surgery on both of her knees, Nia Jax appears close to making a return to WWE action. However, she might not be showing up on Monday Night Raw as she did prior to her extended stay on the sidelines, but rather on Friday Night SmackDown, where she may be joining the blue brand’s women’s division.
On Tuesday, PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that based on what he’s heard from his sources, Jax was recently given medical clearance to return to the ring. He added that backstage rumors during this week’s episode of Raw were pointing to the former Raw Women’s Champion switching brands, as she is expected to be at this week’s SmackDown taping, which, per Wrestling Inc., will be taking place at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. It wasn’t mentioned, however, whether she will actually be booked to compete or if WWE will have her appear in an on-air segment.
As recalled by Wrestling Inc., Jax was previously rumored to be making her return as a competitor ahead of this year’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view in January, though that didn’t come to pass. She had last seen action at WrestleMania 35 in April 2019 but underwent double knee surgery on April 25 to repair both of her ACLs. Despite her long absence, she was described as having been ahead of schedule in her recovery from the serious injury.
In recent days, Jax has been teasing the possibility of an imminent ring return, taking to Twitter over the weekend to share a short video where she tagged WWE chairman Vince McMahon and said she’s “ready.” She did, however, trigger some speculation that she might be unhappy about not being booked to appear on television, tweeting that she plans to form her own “Four Horsewomen” faction so she can appear on WWE programming once again.
In addition to the latter tweet, Jax’s former tag teammate, Tamina, also seemed to hint at some frustration on Sunday at not being used too often on television. It isn’t clear, however, whether WWE will have both women reunite as a tag team, given that Jax’s possible move to SmackDown would mean they will once again be on the same brand.
Jax isn’t the only long-absent female talent who looks to be due for a return of some sorts in upcoming episodes of Friday Night SmackDown. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Paige — who has mostly worked as a manager and as a WWE Backstage panelist since her 2018 retirement — is scheduled to appear on this week’s episode of the show, where she will reportedly “confront” SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley.