He’s back! King Of The Ring Andy Spoors has hot footed it back from some top secret wrestling business in the Big Smoke to drop his latest assessment of a Superstar in the ascendancy. This week the focus is on wizard of Oz, Rhea Ripley.
Look back at the evolution of Rhea Ripley from her time in the WWE Performance Center to now and the Australian Superstar is almost unrecognisable.
From participating as a fresh faced, blonde trainee in the first Mae Young Classic, to becoming the inaugural NXT UK Women’s Champion: Ripley is one of the only women to have spent time on every brand the WWE has to offer.
Now an integral part of The Judgement Day, Ripley is a firm fan favourite and gives the group a much needed dynamic.
Her on screen relationship with Dominik has provided social media gold on a number of occasions but her in ring ability is up there with the best of the women’s roster.
After winning the Royal Rumble from the number one spot, Ripley punched her ticket to WrestleMania and wasted no time in looking for retribution.
Challenging Charlotte for the SmackDown Women’s Championship and in the process the only singles title yet to be around Ripley’s waist, that particular match could also offer redemption for the Australian.
Back at the pandemic-stricken WrestleMania 36, Charlotte emerged victorious and in the process became the NXT Women’s Champion.
You better believe that three years on Ripley hasn’t forgotten and is desperate to dish out not only judgement but a huge slice of revenge.
At only 26, Ripley has every single quality to become the future of WWE.
A confident speaker on the mic, a striking look and a star presence that resonates with the audience, this is an opportunity for the company to push a homegrown star.
There will of course be decisions to make in the near future should Rhea win at WrestleMania, namely around her on-screen relationship with Dom Mysterio and her place within The Judgement Day.
It is possible to keep the group together, but as Rhea’s attention will begin to focus on the title, it makes little sense for her to be embroiled in the antics of a stable.
Another more immediate challenge is to readdress the focus of the WWE Universe.
For months fans have been fixed on the epic The Bloodline saga with Sami Zayn, Cody Rhodes and Kevin Owens.
With Roman vs Rhodes guaranteed to close night two, the main event slot for the opening night is still up for grabs.
A huge section of the audience is hoping and expecting the mooted tag team match between the Usos and Zayn/Owens will take that coveted spot on the card.
But a recent advert suggested Ripley’s match against Flair could instead headline.
If that were to happen, both champion and challenger will have their work cut out for them to keep the crowd in LA and home invested and engaged.
The build up hasn’t been as strong as hoped but once the bell rings, expect one of the best women’s matches so far this year.