As fans argue over who should be named the Wrestler of the Year for 2022, Eric Bischoff has given his suprising pick for the best heel of the past year.
The WWE Hall of Famer named Rhea Ripley for the accolade. The Australian star has gone from strength to strength ever since joining The Judgment Day in May 2022.
While The Nightmare had already seen a lot of success in the ring before that time, she has grown to become one of the most popular stars in the company in recent months.
Ripley is also on the cusp of getting back to the top of the Women’s Division, having won the 2023 Royal Rumble to secure her place against SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 39.
The Australian star has done all this while remaining a consumate villain. When not helping her Judgment Day allies win matches or attacking Hall of Famers like Beth Phoenix, Ripley has been accompanying her ‘Dom-Dom’, Dominik Mysterio, in making his father Rey Mysterio’s life hell.
In a recent appearance on WrestleBinge by Sportskeeda, Bischoff explained that Ripley’s quick growth as a heel and elevation of Dominik is what made her his favourite in 2022.
“Because of how quickly she had emerged as a heel, I’m going to go with Rhea. Rhea kind of came from out of nowhere … She’s just beginning to show us what she’s capable of.
“She’s going to grow, she’s going to get better, and it takes time. But, she has done such a great job in such a short period of time.
“Rhea has done such a great job with her promos and her heel work to elevate not only her, but also Dominik [Mysterio].”
Beth Phoenix pushed for Rhea Ripley to join The Judgment Day
Despite being at loggerheads with Ripley on TV, Beth Phoenix recently revealed on WWE’s The Bump that she was the one who suggested the star join The Judgement Day after her husband, Edge, asked her opnion.
“Adam [Edge] had talked to me on the female side of things, ‘Who do you think of the female roster who could really benefit from having a bigger platform? Who needs it? Who has all of that talent but just hasn’t had the opportunity to shine in a big way?’”
Phoenix also says she is “pulling for” Ripley to beat Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania.
“I’m pulling for Rhea Ripley, After our matchup, I feel like she’s on the biggest roll of her life.”
H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the above transcription