Rhea Ripley has always been a major star wherever she wrestles whether it’s NXT UK or just NXT itself. She has been making a name for herself since beginning of her wrestling career in Australia and many feel that Rhea could be or even should be an odds on favorite to win the Women’s Royal Rumble Match. Ripley has a WWE Hall of Famer who is showing his support. Let’s just say he’s competed in his fair share of Men’s Royal Rumble matches and that would be Mick Foley.
Foley made it clear on his personal Facebook page why he thinks Ripley should be a favorite to win the Women’s Royal Rumble Match. Here’s what Foley had to say from his own personal blog titled Foley’s blog:
“In my opinion, the WWE Superstar most likely to get people talking and in a positive way, is Rhea Ripley. Momentum is everything right now and the ability for those superstars who are rare can really transcend the professional wrestling world, and also they can appeal to larger audiences. In my opinion that’s a big part in maintaining and to increase momentum. I feel that when we saw that Ripley was crowned the Women’s WWE NXT Champion it gave her such a capacity to do what few prior to her have done, as far as what they accomplished, and this would help bring in new fans due to them getting an opportunity to see a different face of WWE.” Mick continued in retrospect, and talked about the possibility that Ripley could have been a casualty of what many view as the Wednesday night war. As wrestling fans we know WWE NXT on the USA Network goes up against AEW on TNT and Mick complemented AEW by calling their product high-quality.
Mick believes recruiting is a big part of the formula and getting big draws for the brand is proven to work for sure. Foley used 10-time Champion Charlotte Flair as a prime example of such a fact. Charlotte draws a rating simply of how talented and accomplished she is. He also pointed to a study going back to the last year of 2020 that shows NXT viewership bears that out. Timing is everything especially when it comes to wrestling. It seemed right for WWE NXT to place the crown on a new queen and that was Rhea and who by the way also was a very different queen. According to Foley, WWE blew their chance despite Ripley and Charlotte having a great match against one another at WrestleMania 36. He said a loss to Charlotte slowed down Rhea’s momentum and with it, her opportunity to be a major face of her brand. Ripley is a rare transformative wrestler who definitely can attract a new fan base to their product. Foley read and had heard that WWE had big post-Mania plans for Ripley, however those plans never came to fruition.
Foley added to what he said by stating, “But Ripley’s loss at last year’s Mania gave her a built-in storyline and one I think fans will readily get behind especially if another star like Charlotte were to take away the Raw Women’s Championship from Asuka.” Foley praised Asuka for being a great champion, but he just can’t see it having the potential of a Ripley vs. Charlotte matchup at WrestleMania. Following her long and deserved vacation, it only helped Charlotte be fresh once again and he added she’s at the top of her game. A Raw women’s title shakeup leading to a Flair victory at February’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view would be all you need to set her up on what he described as a collision course with Ripley in a Mania rematch that I believe most wrestling fans would love to see. Foley truly believes there’s big money in a singles match between Charlotte and Rhea. Foley even said a three-way match could still work with Flair, Asuka, and Ripley and the potential is there for that scenario for a Mania show-stealer as well. If a shakeup indeed happens of that magnitude within WWE. Think about this, Foley also threw out some logic about why Ripley winning the Women’s Royal Rumble makes sense; it could also set up a match featuring Ripley challenging Sasha Banks for the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Foley is high on NXT and it’s amazing roster, but the unfortunate part about it all is regarding that the brand has never achieved equal status in the eyes of your casual wrestling fans. The move to a Raw or Smackdown is still seen, not as a lateral move, but more of a call to the big leagues. Despite some monumental matches NXT has had just over the past year, Foley reiterated, Rhea Ripley is still something of unknown quantity to casual wrestling fans globally. Ripley is WWE’s secret weapon and is ready to once again shine on the big stage. Foley hopes that WWE makes the decision to strap that figurative rocket onto her back and see if they can launch her into that next dimension. Foley put over Ripley’s abilities by saying she’s got athletic power, a unique look, and an evasive “it factor.” Ripley can have some pretty amazing potential rivalries with any number of the Raw or Smackdown Superstars which include Charlotte, Asuka, Sasha Banks, Natalya, Lacey Evans, Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, Bianca Belair, Naomi, and Sonya Deville. Mick also pointed out how you could book Rhea with some of her past enemies in NXT. Her biggest possible rival of all has to be Becky Lynch, and Foley believes the sky’s the limit for Ripley and he thinks she should be the one to win the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble Match. “I just hope WWE won’t ask for their rocket back in mid-flight.”
WWE still has yet to announce 18 more wrestlers who will be added to Sunday’s Royal Rumble Match. The venue for The Royal Rumble PPV event is in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida on January 31st, 2021 available for streaming on the WWE Network.
Now what’s interesting about all of this is Ripley has yet to be announced for the match which will happen this Sunday. From the names who have entered and are listed no current WWE NXT stars have been mentioned, however that’s for good reason due to some of them being saved as surprise entrants for the Royal Rumble. Ripley has held both the NXT UK and NXT brand Women’s Championships during what has been an incredible career so far.
Do you agree with Mick Foley’s comments? Then leave us a comment.