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Bianca Belair & Rhea Ripley Return To NXT

Rhea Ripley Bianca Belair

Bianca Belair and Rhea Ripley returned to NXT to hold a small celebration with NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez as the three women commemorated a successful week.

At NXT TakeOver: Stand And Deliver, Gonzalez defeated Io Shirai to win her first gold in NXT. Following that success at WrestleMania Bianca Belair captured the SmackDown Women’s Title in the Night One main event. On Sunday Rhea Ripley completed a hat-trick of new women’s champions by winning the Raw Women’s Title from Asuka.

Ripley and Belair both made their name on the black and gold brand. Belair debuted in NXT in 2016, was but was unable to capture any gold in her time there. After winning the 2021 Royal Rumble she earned her WrestleMania title shot and chose to face Sasha Banks.

Rhea Ripley had more title success in her time in NXT. She captured the NXT Women’s Championship from Shayna Baszler in late 2020. Ripley was defeated for the title at WrestleMania 36 by the 2020 Royal Rumble winner Charlotte Flair.

Gonzalez debuted in NXT in 2017 and has spent over a year by the side of Dakota Kai. Together the duo won the inaugural women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic in February 2021. They subsequently became the first NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions due to that success.

After Gonzalez had been confronted by new arrival Franky Monet – formerly known as Taya Valkyrie – on Tuesday’s episode of NXT, Ripley’s music hit and she made her way to the ring. Following a brief stand-off, the two champions embraced before being joined by Belair. The three women celebrated their success as a photo of the trio from earlier in their careers was shown on screen. This was the same picture that Ripley had previously shared on social media after Gonzalez’s win.

Speaking to TV Insider, the new Raw Women’s Champion recently discussed the photo of the future champs:

“I found that photo and just posted it. Raquel had already won the NXT championship [at TakeOver on April 7] and thought, ‘Why don’t we make it a trifecta?’ And it ended up happening. We’re here now and taking over. I actually got teary watching Bianca wrestle and become SmackDown women’s champion. I knew I had to bring it for my match, I was the only one without a championship out of us three, and then I won. We’re definitely going to have to get an updated photo now.”

An updated photo soon followed showing the three women with their championship gold, alongside NXT chief Triple H.

For full results from the first episode of NXT on its new home of Tuesday night, click here.