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Rhea Ripley explains her recent visa issue, laughs off idea they were reason she dropped NXT title to Charlotte Flair

Shortly after she lost the NXT Women’s championship to Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 36, a report hit that Rhea Ripley’s work visa had expired. She shot down the portion of the rumor which said she’d left the United States for Australia in order to renew her visa, but speculation persisted that the immigration issue was at least part of why she dropped the belt.

Ripley was off television for a time, but she returned last month. Now she - along with Io Shirai - is getting ready to challenge Flair for the title at this weekend’s TakeOver: In Your House event.

While doing promotion for the Sun., June 7 show, Ripley explained the situation with her work visa. She also told Metro UK what she thinks about that speculation.

“Yes, I had to do my visa but now i’m having to do it here because there’s no flights. I can’t get to Australia, and then if I was there I couldn’t get back out. I had people from work calling me like, ‘Are you in Australia right now?’ I’m like, ‘No, I’m not an idiot! No!’

“I sort of just laugh it [the talk she lost to Flair because of the visa issue] off. Social media can be very negative at times. If this had been going round when I wasn’t as mentally strong as I am now, I would’ve taken it a completely different way and things wouldn’t have been as good. It’s quite funny seeing people saying that I lost because I had to go back to Australia.”

This was always an odd story, given that it broke and covered something which happened while the world was still reacting to the reality of a pandemic.

Looks like we can put it to rest now, though. The Nightmare is back.

Will she regain the title? Find out Sunday, scripted fight fans!

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