top of page

Who Really Desires The Most Payback

In life, our closest friends can become our sudden foes. From spending time together, traveling, and working together, then it stops. You are now across the ring from someone you adored, loved, and respected. The only thing on your mind is competition, winning at all costs.

Now, enemies. Rhea Ripley and Raquel Rodriguez. Payback is the perfect name for their third singles meeting. However, this is deeper than the championship and a lost friendship. More importantly, this payback is not as one-sided as many think.

Let us take a quick trip back to NXT. The days of black and gold were run by the best. From women like Sasha Banks, Asuka, and Bayley, many set the foundation of one of the greatest women's divisions of its time. Rhea Ripley is a result of that foundation that was created. Defeating Shayna Baszler, Rhea Ripley becomes NXT Women's Champion and the domination begins.

As her dominance reaches a level that one would never dare to test, then comes Raquel Gonzalez.

Photo Credit | WWE

This leads us to their match at Halloween Havoc 2020. Rhea gets the win over Raquel after such a heavy-hitting match. For me, this is the first time I see Rhea Ripley struggle to get the victory.

As a result, there is no denying the power and dominance of Raquel. Outside of Charlotte Flair, Raquel is one woman in WWE who reaches the stature of Rhea Ripley in every aspect.

Photo Credit | WWE

As the feud continues, Rhea and Raquel find themselves in a classic Last Women Standing match. This is where the tide changes.

I can only speak for myself, I was shocked - to the point that I had no idea what this meant for Rhea Ripley.

The former champion makes her way to the main roster and the feud is over. 1-1. Two singles matches between these two, both happening in NXT. I feel like fans forgot about this until Raquel made her way to the main roster as well.

After the name change, we start to see Raquel Rodriguez being utilized in many ways. In that time, Raquel became a three-time women's tag team champion with Aliyah and more recently Liv Morgan.

This all brings us to the present. In the last weeks, the injuries of Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez have been caused by the current champion. The motives of the attacks that caused these injuries are still unknown. Since being cleared, Raquel does everything she can to continue the attacks on Rhea Ripley. So, for many, the payback seems to be Raquel getting hers on Rhea. I think it is just the opposite.

With that, Rhea Ripley never forgets the past she has with any opponent she faces. That has been proven in the payback she recently gets on Charlotte Flair during their feud for WrestleMania.

In my opinion, Raquel may want payback while chasing the championship however, the champion is seeking the most payback while trying to hold on to her own dominance.

That brings me to my own question: Who is really seeking the most payback? As you watch this match, I want that to be on your mind.

This Saturday in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, former friends go head-to-head for the WWE Women's World Champion. Does Rhea Ripley retain or does Raquel Rodriguez become champion? Tell us what you think on Twitter/X @WWTalkPod

#TheSaltShakkas will be live following #WWEPayback post-show. Watch us as we play Fortnite as Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair.


bottom of page