In case it wasn’t clear from watching the last couple months of WWE television, the company has big plans for 23 year old Rhea Ripley. Part of that was having a round of interviews lined up for the Australian right after she won the NXT Women’s championship from Shayna Baszler this past Wednesday night (Dec. 18).
She acquitted herself quite nicely in all of them, so you can add “mainstream media friendly” to the list of reasons why WWE is building her up to be one of their big stars of the next decade. A lot of it is standard interview-speak, however.
These two quotes from The Nightmare jumped out at me as the most interesting of the bunch.
Pro Wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin asked her about working for Triple H, who was one of her inspirations for becoming a pro wrestler long before she met him:
“It’s so strange. To start watching wrestling because of Triple H, and then get into wrestling because of Triple H, now have him as my boss – someone that believes in me and believes in my skill – it’s incredible.
I try not to mark out around him, cause there is still that fan inside of me that is like, ‘this is so cool.’ And I’m like, ‘he’s my boss, I have to act normal.’ I can’t help but have a massive cheesy smile around him. He’s the reason that I am where I am for so many different reasons. He’s the reason I started wrestling, he’s the reason I work for NXT, he’s the reason that I am in the spot that I am in. And, man, it’s just incredible to see where I’ve come from and see what I’ve done along the lines and know that he’s been there throughout everything believing in me. And always getting me through it, telling me that I am worth it, and telling me that I can do it, and that I’m amazing at what I do. It’s really cool coming from someone like him.”
Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated got the scoop on Rhea’s finisher, a pumphandle powerbomb she calls Riptide, and that she used from the middle rope to finish off Baszler on NXT:
“My finisher Riptide is hard enough to do in the ring, let alone on two little ropes, and Cesaro helped me figure it out how to do it from there. We were at the PC struggling with it and he came out of nowhere to help.”
So thanks to The Game & The Swiss Cyborg for helping her get here. I think Ripley’s got it from here, though.