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Raquel Rodriguez returned to NXT to remind Rhea Ripley about their past

And to cost her & Dominik Mysterio a match ahead of their Payback Women’s World title bout, while at the same time boosting the brand. More on that, and all the highlights from Aug. 22’s Heatwave edition, right here.

On Monday’s Raw, Raquel Rodriguez returned after missing the last several weeks due to Rhea Ripley attack. The WWE Women’s World champion also took out Rodriguez’s current tag partner Liv Morgan (in Morgan’s case, cover for a real injury), so she had plenty of motivation to kick Ripley’s butt.

Enough that she followed her back to their old stomping grounds in Orlando to crash Rhea’s mixed tag with Dirty Dom Mysterio against Dragon Lee & Lyra Valryria. Her appearance cost The Judgment Day duo the match, escalating hostilities ahead of her title shot at next weekend’s Payback premium live event.

As with Ripley & Mysterio’s continued presence on Tuesday nights, and the possible arrival of Becky Lynch, Raquel showing up is part of WWE’s plan to build NXT up as a brand on equal footing with Raw and SmackDown (so it can secure a media rights deal that’s worth is closer to the ones those shows get). But with Rhea & Raquel, there’s a lot of history storyline and behind-the-scenes history between those two at the Performance Center.

Something Rodriguez reminded the world about in her post-show interview:

Continuing to weave current and past NXT stories into these crossovers makes them feel less like a marketing effort, which should led to better television — and ultimately make them more successful as marketing efforts.

What a concept.

Let us know what you think. On your way down to the comments, you can also check out our playlist of highlights from last night’s show:

  • The Family kick off NXT Heatwave in style
  • Trick Williams vs. Ilja Dragunov
  • Ivy Nile vs. Ava
  • Noam Dar reclaims the NXT Heritage Cup
  • Perez sparks a brawl between Stratton’s challengers
  • The Creed Brothers want back in NXT
  • Noam Dar announces the NXT Global Heritage Invitational
  • Lee & Valkyria vs. Mysterio & Ripley - Mixed Tag Team Match
  • A Fatal 4-Way will decide No. 1 Contender to Women’s Title
  • Thea Hail receives kind words from… Jacy Jayne?!
  • Bron Breakker delivers a vicious spear to Von Wagner
  • Carmelo Hayes vs. Wes Lee – NXT Title Match
  • Carmelo Hayes is proud that he and Wes Lee made history (Digital Exclusive)

For complete results and the live blog for the Aug. 22 Heatwave edition of NXT, click here. To read a complete recap & review of all the night’s events click here.

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