WWE Day 1 kicked off with a big women’s match between Becky Lynch and Nia Jax. This contest was built up as the culmination of a situation from years ago when Jax blasted Lynch in the face right before Survivor Series, knocking her out of the match with a concussion. The real-life moment was crafted into a strong bout between the women, with Jax going over. The reaction online and in the arena was that of shock but in an enjoyable sense. Jax is a controversial figure but her current WWE run continues to fit well into the women’s division.
Jax and Lynch battled for nearly 12 minutes, with the match coming to an end with Lynch’s face a bloody mess. This was yet another big win for Jax since her return to the company initially at the 2023 Royal Rumble, but then full-time in September. Since then, she’s picked up momentum-building wins over Shayna Baszler, Zoey Stark, and Raquel Rodriguez. She’s remained a step below the main event picture where Rhea Ripley stands over all with the WWE Women’s World Championship. Expect that to change as this is an opportunity to slot Ripley into a big match against Jax at Elimination Chamber in her home country.
This match on WWE Raw also points toward Lynch’s continued campaign to elevate the rest of the women’s division. Even before news broke that her contract was set to expire in 2024, Lynch has continued to work for the betterment of the entire women’s roster. Look at her time in WWE NXT, matches against Indi Hartwell, Tegan Nox, and Xia Li, and her campaign against Trish Stratus from earlier in the year. Everything she’s done has pushed the entire roster forward, including this match against Jax on January 1.
With the WWE heading over to Perth, Australia for Elimination Chamber, this build for Jax fits exactly where it should. She will be the woman to challenge and lose to Ripley, giving her the big hometown celebration. Expect that contest to also be the main event of the evening. It has been nearly 3 years since Ripley and Jax battled in a one-on-one contest, which Ripley won in less than eight minutes. That point needs to come up consistently in the build for this battle that is set to come.
Fans have long complained about how Nia Jax is frequently built into a force in the women’s division. Her prominence and the multiple people she’s hurt along the way are key issues brought up in the discourse. Yet, her return to WWE has worked well. The win over Becky Lynch puts her in the right position to be a key opponent against Rhea Ripley when the champion needs a name to get over heading into WrestleMania 40.