Rhea Ripley is zeroing in on a specific rival for WrestleMania.
Rhea Ripley has already made a challenge for WrestleMania 39. She just won the women’s Royal Rumble match this past Saturday. Given their rivalry in NXT, the choice of the Raw Women’s Champion, Bianca Belair, seemed like a no-brainer, but Ripley was quick to mention “The Queen” in her past interactions.
Flair triumphed in the Women’s Royal Rumble back in 2020. However, Ripley (at the time the NXT Women’s Champion) stepped forward and referred to herself as “The Queen” rather than challenging either the Raw or SmackDown Women’s Champion. Having defeated Ripley at WrestleMania 36, Flair lost the Women’s Championship during her brief return to NXT, and Ripley never got her retribution. For the show of shows, Ripley challenged Charlotte for the SmackDown Women’s Championship on the January 30 episode of WWE Raw.
BREAKING: 2023 #RoyalRumble Match winner @RheaRipley_WWE has chosen to challenge #SmackDown Women's Champion @MsCharlotteWWE at #WrestleMania!#WWERaw pic.twitter.com/lcdInCK0Fk — WWE (@WWE) January 31, 2023
During the press conference that followed the Royal Rumble, Ripley made a suggestion about her choice.
“I’m going to have a lot of thinking to do before WrestleMania. I’m very, very torn by this decision. I’ve stepped in the ring with Bianca many times, and I’ve absolutely loved every second in the ring with her. I think we bring out a side in each other that not many people see, and we really take each other to the absolute limit. But then again, it’s the same with Charlotte. She also holds the SmackDown Women’s Championship, so if I choose her, I can not only beat her for the first time in a singles match, which is something I really, really want to do, but I can also become a Grand Slam Champion if I do.
“So, I have a lot of thinking to do. I’ve got Bianca, someone I came up with in NXT, and I have a lot to prove because she’s beaten me a lot of the time and I’ve beaten her. And we really want to prove who ‘The EST’ of WWE really is,” she implied.
WWE subsequently confirmed the match via their social media channels. Will Mami be able to rewrite her history at WrestleMania 39?