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Rhea Ripley Talks Nxt His Rapid Rise In Wwe And Week Series Survivor Inolvidable

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The rise of NXT is the biggest takeaway from this year’s Survivor Series pay-per-view, and a large part of the black and gold brand’s dominance is Rhea Ripley.

The 23-year-old Australian has asserted herself as the top face of NXT and a dominating enough force that even the women of RAW and SmackDown have taken notice. It’s not everyday that Charlotte Flair is pinned or that RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch is taken to the limit.

Ripley also had one of the biggest weekends in WWE history, winning the first-ever women’s WarGames match at Takeover – pinning NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler – and winning the traditional Survivor Series match for NXT by pinning Sasha Banks.

Newsweek caught up with Rhea Ripley ahead of this week’s match with Dakota Kai to talk her journey toward being the most talked about superstar in WWE.

Note: This story has been edited for clarity and length

Rhea Ripley pins Shayna Baszler at NXT Takeover: WarGames
WWE

Survivor Series week gave NXT a lot of main roster exposure from fans who may not watch the product. Is there a new pressure post-Survivor Series?

It was definitely pressure that comes with that just by going live. It was pre-recorded before, and if you mess up you get a second shot. There are edits and stuff that can be done. Now, you better know what you’re doing because we’re putting you out there in front of the whole world. So there’s definitely a pressure that comes with that.

I remember the first time I went on live TV I had to cut a promo, and I spoke about this on Lillian Garcia’s podcast Chasing Glory, but I’m not very good at public speaking. I’m talking fast and stumbling over my words, and that’s because I’m not very good at speaking in public or to people in general. So going out there and having to cut a promo in front of a live crowd and in front of an audience at home as well, it was terrifying to me. But we are now showing people that we are not below RAW or SmackDown we are better.

You’re on a collision course with Shayna. What would it mean to become NXT Women’s Champion?

It’s such an honor, in my opinion, to be the person who defeats Shayna Baszler who had been such a dominant champion here in NXT. It would be absolutely incredible, and it’s just something I can put under my list of achievements. If I can be the one to dethrone Shayna Baszler you will be seeing a very cocky Rhea Ripley. If I can be the champion of NXT I don’t even know how to put it into words. It would be so humbling and appreciative, but also I would prove to everyone why I should be NXT Women’s Champion.

NXT airs live every Wednesday at 8 p.m. on USA Network.

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