Rhea Ripley is no longer being nice to that. And she is not willing to sit down and take things as they come.
The NXT superstar, born in Australia, is in charging mode and is working. Last month he saw her invade WWE “Raw,quot; and “SmackDown,quot; along with other NXT stars, captain her squad for victory in a WarGames battle infused with weapons in NXT Takeover and then take Team NXT to a great victory against both WWE brands in Survivor Series.
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So, there is a good reason why Ripley, 23, is hailed as a star and the future of women’s wrestling. The power of metal, a music lover, brings impetuous intensity and is not afraid of approaching anyone. But behind everything, she swears that she is a good person who is terrified of, of all people, The Miz whom she idolizes.
Ripley is in the process of collision with Shayna Baszler in his quest to become the NXT champion. First things first: you have some issues to resolve with Dakota Kai, and the two will face each other in the Wednesday night edition of NXT television, which airs weekly on the US network. UU. From 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. ET.
Sporting News recently spoke with WWE’s “Mosh Pit Kid,quot; about his busy month, his new popularity, the big change he made last year and his growth along with the NXT brand.
SPORT NEWS: I’m sure the last four weeks have been a whirlwind for you. Anything that stands out?
RHEA RIPLEY: It’s all those amazing things that have been happening. There really isn’t one thing that stands out to me anymore. I guess the whole week that on Wednesday night on NXT I had to fight with Becky (Lynch), it was quite surprising. It is something I always wanted to do. And then going to “SmackDown,quot; and fighting with Charlotte (Flair) and Sasha (Banks) and getting the victory was really crazy for me. I didn’t expect that at all. Then, in WarGames, I always wanted to be in a fight where I could use weapons and (laughs) to have that in that week of, like, the things I was doing were crazy. I was so happy and so ecstatic and just wanted to hit people with things, you know? (laughs)
Then, the next day in Survivor Series, it was crazy to be in Survivor Series. I didn’t think that would come soon.
SN: Has it really influenced how important this period has been for you and your career?
RR: It’s a bit kicked, but then, at the same time, I don’t think it’s fully activated because it happened so fast and everything happened at once. I really didn’t have time to assimilate it too much. Yes, I really appreciated everything and I loved what was happening, but, at the same time, I could not sit down and be the child I used to be and just mark myself.
SN: At the same time, is that a good thing because you don’t worry too much and live more in the moment?
RR: Yes I think so. As much as I want to mark all those things, I know that more important things will come. I don’t know exactly when. I don’t know exactly what, but I need to know that I need to grow at some point. (Laughs)
SN: There are many people who are marking you, including Triple H, Paige and Trish Stratus who have said that Rhea Ripley is the star of NXT and the future of women’s wrestling. What is it like to hear those people accumulate that kind of praise?
RR: Man, it’s absolutely crazy. Every day, during the last week, I legitimately connected and saw someone else say something positive about me. And coming from those superstars and those people, it’s just … I don’t even know how to express it in words. It makes me feel so special. It makes me feel that I have achieved something and that I have shown everyone exactly what I can do and who I am.
Even Triple H, man. I know he’s my boss and all that, but it’s great. Triple H! He is the guy who took me to wrestling. Seeing it was the reason I wanted to start fighting, much less see it. So, listening to it, even my name comes out of his mouth is great. (Laughs)
SN: What is it like to be near Triple H regularly and have him as a mentor?
RR: It’s super, super cool and it’s very smart. He knows a lot about the business. I try to absorb everything I can and listen to everything I can, even when he is not talking to me. It is an incredible feeling to know that he is there and that he has all our backs. He is there to help us all succeed in what we want to do and what we are doing right now. He is one of our greatest animators and is amazing.
SN: You mentioned all the positive comments about you online, but it is someone who has notoriously fed on the negativity. How has it been to turn it around and receive so many positive vibes?
RR: It makes me feel really special. It’s really great. It’s lovely to see the people behind me and rely on what I love to do. I’m glad to make people proud and make people want to see this product because fighting is a very important part of my life and the lives of many people, and people give it a lot of crap. I’m here to show people that the fight is great. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. That’s fair, but you don’t have to speak badly about it because wrestling saves the lives of many people and I’m here to show everyone why it’s amazing again. And I’m glad people back it up.
SN: It seems that you are a very different artist from just a year ago. How has it been during that time to be part of the NXT system and watch it grow and you with it?
RR: Man, many things happened in that little space of time. To be honest, I have many mental demons in life and the fight has definitely helped me with that. Yes, to see where I was a year ago, much less two years ago … I don’t want to say that I am a different person. I am the same person. I only take much less garbage these days. Finally I came to mine and I know what I deserve and I know what I want. I am here to take it.
SN: What did it cost to reach that point? Was there a particular moment or break point where you knew you had to defend yourself and do what you felt was right for you?
RR: Yes, before the second Mae Young Classic I had a break with my partner I was with for a few years and he moved here with me. The fact that he returned to Australia and we fought, of course, simply made me not care too much and was, like, salty in the world. I guess it made me sit down and realize exactly what I want in life and exactly how I am going to do it. It made me start to discover what I am going to do and something in my brain broke and I said: & # 39; I don’t care. I don’t care I’m going to do it. I will do what I want. I do not care
I guess I stopped worrying about what everyone thought because I had many negative things in my way. I started blocking it and it was as if I didn’t care. Then I went out in the Mae Young Classic, the second one, and I had that “I don’t care,quot; attitude and everyone seemed to really support him, you know? I kept that up. I don’t like to call it a character or a trick because it’s 110% me. It’s just my side that I don’t like to show daily because, you know, I’m a little sarcastic. (Laughs) It’s me. It’s me when I arrived at a concert and I’m in a mosh pit. This is how I act. I become a completely different human being, an animal to be honest. I just go out and do what I want and take what I want, and I don’t care.
SN: When the NXT audience met you, we saw you as a shy and smiling blonde, and totally transformed your gaze into this grudge, metal, on your face. What was it during this time that made you decide to change your look?
RR: I suppose that before, when I thought, I was the little Australian beachman that everyone loved and was trying to be that smiling character that everyone would love and support. But I learned very quickly that you shouldn’t be doing what other people want you to do. You have to be yourself 110 percent of the time because who cares what people think of you?
I started, as I said before, without caring and changed to this behavior that I have now. That was one of the reasons. I had so many reasons. Another reason is that so many people kept comparing me to Charlotte and Toni Storm and didn’t want to be compared to anyone. I just wanted to be myself. I wanted to be Rhea Ripley. The only way I knew how to do it was to make myself look completely different from them because that is the only reason why people compared me to them. Because I had long blond hair and the color of my team and all that.
I had to cut my hair and they finally cleared it up. So, I went and cut my hair and it was like whatever. It will grow again if it doesn’t look good. Never mind. It is only hair. So, I did that and then I got all this new equipment. Much of my inspiration for the team and those things are from bands. I realized that I look a lot like Chris Motionless from Motionless in White and I didn’t mean that that happened (laughs), but I look a lot like him, which is very funny because he is one of my favorite singers. I look a lot like him these days. I was trying something and it worked. I put my butt on the line and it worked.
SN: How different did you feel the first time you had the new look and new equipment and looked good in the mirror? Did you feel good from the start?
RR: Yes, definitely. I felt amazing I felt that he finally accepted me and I didn’t care if someone else did it or not. I accepted myself. I looked in the mirror and thought this was me. I feel comfortable now. Then I went out and did what I did. Man, I had one of, if not, the best game of my entire career in the Mae Young Classic 2 against Io (Shirai) and that match didn’t even have to happen. It was crazy how safe I was with that new trick even though it is not a trick. I just felt confident within myself and knew that I could do almost anything.
SN: I think we see that trust develop. Seeing you off camera, you are a very nice person. What is it like to activate the switch when you’re facing the camera and be able to activate the intensity the way you do it?
RR: (Laughter) It’s actually easier than you think. I’m a good person. I will put it out there. I am a good human being, but I also have Italian in my family. My mother’s side is Italian and my mother is a very scary human being. I get a lot of that intensity and connect it directly with it. She is legitimate and scary. Lovely girl. Lovely mother, but when she gets angry, it’s absolutely scary. She is a damn monster. I guess that is where I get it mainly. My dad is just calm. He doesn’t care about anything in the world, but my mother can click and speak full Italian with you.
SN: I know that you are a big fan of The Miz and that he is an inspiration of yours. Did you spend any time with him when you were on “SmackDown,quot;?
RR: Not because I was too scared. Oh man I feel like the biggest idiot who says that. I grew up loving The Miz, loving it completely and then, seeing him at work, coincidentally, I said: & # 39; No, I can’t talk to him & # 39 ;. In fact, I accidentally ran into him once. He was leaving the medical room and I was going to enter and we made that awkward step aside, like & # 39; Uh, uh, uh. Oh no. & # 39; I think I turned bright red, to be honest. I think I turned bright red and said & # 39; I’m so sorry & # 39 ;. I got out of the way and thought I couldn’t do it.
SN: Obviously, you’re a big metal fan and you’ve got into your fair share of mosh wells. Which have been the toughest?
RR: To be honest, there are many random wells I entered. We used to this music festival called “Download,quot; at home and many bands were coming. If I didn’t know anyone who was playing, I would simply go into random pits and some of them were simply brutal. They were intense. So, I’ve been in quite a few. I think one of the most intense I’ve been to, I mean it was definitely Motionless in White was one of them and then I got into one of Slipknot. They are quite intense. There are people flying everywhere.
SN: Between that and the lead singer shouting at everyone to get up.
RR: Legit screaming. And I remember that the drummer was in this scenario that was rising in the air, and I was like & # 39; What …? How are you playing now? I would be so scared. I was very confused. And if it falls? I’m in Mosh Pit trying to survive and you’re playing the drums ten meters in the air. Crazy.
SN: You are about to face Shayna Baszler for the NXT women’s championship at some point. It is one of the most anticipated games in NXT and throughout the WWE. How has the accumulation been so far?
RR: It has been a whirlwind of emotions, to be honest. It has been absolutely crazy and intense, but I love it every second and I am absorbing it. I do not care. I am living for that. Every Wednesday that comes, I say “Ooohhh, what am I going to do today?” I’m so excited and I can’t wait to face Shayna again. I think it will definitely be a match that nobody will want to miss. I can’t wait for that. I don’t know if Shayna can wait for him, but I can’t wait for him.
SN: Given that you like to exercise in the ring and Shayna likes to exercise, it will probably be a good physical combination whenever it happens.
RR: Oh definitely. I think it will be a total fight, to be honest. And I love fighting. I love fighting, so I can’t wait to see how everything goes.