WWE has made some questionable creative decisions in recent days. But on the Feb. 5 edition of Raw, the company loaded the bases for what could be a grand slam at Elimination Chamber, one that will make Rhea Ripley a megastar.
The WWE Women’s World Champion showed up to Raw looking for a fight against Nia Jax. Looking to maintain order and perhaps protect his champion, General Manager Adam Pearce informed Ripley that she would be defending her title against Nia Jax in her home country of Australia at the Chamber event on Feb. 24. Unfortunately for Pearce and Ripley, Jax stormed the ring ahead of the title confrontation and wiped out Ripley once again, crushing her with an Annihilator.
Based on how WWE is building this story, Ripley and Jax could become the biggest women’s match in company history. With an expected crowd of nearly 50,000 fans at Optus Stadium in Perth, it promises to be a spectacle akin to the legendary clash between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant.
While Nia Jax doesn’t have a mythical undefeated record spanning almost two decades as Andre was said to have, Jax has been a monster since returning to WWE last fall. She took out Raquel Rodriguez in an impressive series of matches between the two powerhouses. After running through nearly everyone else put before her, Jax defeated Becky Lynch in convincing fashion on Raw to start the year.
In recent weeks, Jax has become an oak tree-sized thorn in the side of Ripley, getting the better of her after a pair of unofficial confrontations. Like Hogan ahead of his showdown with Andre at WrestleMania III, Ripley appears as the underdog going into Elimination Chamber against Jax.
And that’s where the magic begins.
In 2023, Ripley established herself as arguably the company’s hottest superstar alongside Cody Rhodes. During the final months of the year, Ripley asserted herself in angles involving Judgment Day, and she stared Paul Heyman and the Bloodline in the face without blinking. As a champion, she’s done a terrific job selling for her opponents and making them look strong while maintaining her aura of badassery.
If WWE plays its cards right, Ripley’s title defense against Jax in Perth should unquestionably close the show. A triumphant main event in a packed stadium against the formidable Jax could propel Ripley past Wendi Richter and Becky Lynch, securing her place as the most popular woman in wrestling history.
Speaking of Lynch, she’s competing in the Elimination Chamber match that night. Should she win, that would likely set up a dream match between her and Ripley at WrestleMania XL. It’s there that Mami could stake her place as wrestling’s preeminent female performer and, possibly, outshine her male counterparts in Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes.
And come 2025, the question may not be who will headline WrestleMania on night two. Instead, the question could be who will share that honor with Ripley, the premier superstar.