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Nikki Cross for Raw Women’s champ

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Raw Women’s championship match

It should have been so easy. In order to prove she belonged in the main roster main event scene, Rhea Ripley should have wanted to take out the woman who took her NXT title at WrestleMania 36, Charlotte Flair. Instead...

The Road to Hell in a Cell

Ripley has, if not dodged Flair’s challenges, continually complained about their existence. It probably made some degree of sense on paper. Charlotte’s heel turn got off to a hot start, leaning into all the fan complaints about how she gets opportunities handed to her because she’s Ric’s daughter. Having the new champion pointing those things out should give her “voice of the voiceless” like credibility.

It might have worked, too, if it hadn’t been combined with using Nikki Cross - a well liked performer many feel has been underutilized - as a prop to get the Queen/Nightmare feud over. Not only did this make Ripley seem unlikeable when she taunted Cross in a Beat The Clock challenge with Flair, it also lead to record book losses for both the champ and challenger.

There was even a tag match with Cross and Asuka, another wrestler a certain segments of fans feel has repeatedly gotten short shrift on Raw and SmackDown... which led to another loss for Charlotte & Rhea.

On the go home show last Monday, things finally got on the right track when champ & challenger had to be physically separated to keep them from killing each other before tonight’s PPV match. It didn’t make either of the women particularly likable, but it sold how little they like each other.

More reminders along the way would have been good, but better late than never.

What’s at stake

If Ripley is too reach the next level as a babyface or a tweener monster, she needs to do less complaining about other people’s opportunities and beating the crap out of anyone who gets in her way.

Meanwhile, the build to Hell in a Cell’s Raw Women’s title match reminded us their are a pair of engaging, high energy performers on the red brand roster in Cross and Asuka just waiting for a storyline or feud where they can shine.

We’ll see if Raw can start making better use of their roster instead of giving us the same rematches week in and week out. In the meantime... who you got tonight?

Poll

Who will win?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Rhea Ripley
    (172 votes)
  • 26%
    Charlotte Flair
    (61 votes)
233 votes total Vote Now