Despite a previous report, Nia Jax is reportedly expected to remain on Raw when she returns to in-ring action after undergoing double knee surgery last year.
PWInsider (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Joshua Gagnon) reported this week that Jax is cleared to return and slated to be part of the SmackDown women's division despite being part of the Raw roster. PWInsider added that Jax was expected to be backstage for Friday's episode of SmackDown.
Per Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Marc Middleton), however, the plan is still for Jax to be part of Raw.
The 35-year-old Jax has not had a match since WrestleMania 35, meaning she has been on the shelf for nearly an entire year.
Now would be an ideal time for her to return with WrestleMania 36 on the horizon. Based on the landscape of the women's divisions in WWE, though, SmackDown looks like a better fit for her than Raw does on the surface.
On the red brand, Raw Women's champion Becky Lynch is focused on defending against Shayna Baszler at WrestleMania, while Charlotte Flair will challenge Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women's Championship. That doesn't leave much television time for other women on the Raw roster currently.
Conversely, SmackDown Women's champion Bayley has run through the likes of Lacey Evans, Carmella and Naomi recently, and she has no obvious challenger for WrestleMania.
A multi-woman match for the title or a tag team bout pitting Bayley and Sasha Banks against two other women is possible, but if WWE wants to do a singles match with the title on the line, Jax would be a good fit.
Nia is a former Raw Women's champion who beat Alexa Bliss for the title at WrestleMania two years ago. She also has plenty of experience facing Bayley dating back to NXT, and she would be a definite threat to take the SmackDown Women's title from her.
If Jax does return to Raw rather than SmackDown, however, the likeliest scenario for her at WrestleMania is likely competing in and possibly winning the WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal.
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