Rhea Ripley has admitted that she was a “little bit sceptical” about the recent launch of NXT 2.0.
Ripley, who famously starred on what was the black and gold brand both in the United States and the UK between 2017 and early 2021 also revealed that she missed the “grungy vibe” of the old NXT.
NXT 2.0 launched on September 14th featuring a raft of changes from it’s previous life as the black and gold brand. The updated show featured new theme music, a new logo, new set and a whole host of new Superstars.
Speaking to Scott Fishman of TV Insider, Ripley explained that despite her initial concerns, she’s a fan of the show’s new presentation.
“I actually really enjoyed it. I was a little bit sceptical, but I like the metal setting and all that. I was worried about the color. I walked into the building before the show went on and had a good look around. It was so epic to see in person. Seeing it on TV is really cool, but seeing it in person was a step more. Seeing the talent who have come out of the Performance Center the last six months. People I don’t even know. They’ve all been working so hard. Watching the show I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just seeing the people improve who I did know at NXT. Seeing the new faces. It’s a nice change. It was something that was somewhat needed as well. I do miss the black and gold and grungy vibe. But I think this is a good move with NXT.”
During her own time in NXT, Ripley forged in-ring rivalries and real-life friendships with Bianca Belair and Raquel Gonzalez. The former Raw Women’s Champion praised both Belair and Gonzalez as well as Triple H for letting the women share the ring one more time to celebrate their title wins after WrestleMania 37.
“It’s important for you to find your people in this business. The ones you connect with and get along with and bring you up when you’re feeling down. Bianca is definitely one of those people for me. Traveling with her in NXT was such a good time. We had such great chemistry. We would just go out there and batter each other. It was always a good time. We are very competitive people. She is definitely one of my favorite people to work with at WWE. Having that support system on the road is critical. You do that. Bianca and Raquel are those for me. Raquel is honestly my best friend. She is my travel buddy and I honestly don’t know how I’m surviving on the road without her. I think it was cool to have your moment with us in the ring with our championships because we all know the struggles we went through behind the scenes. To see it all come together and all accomplish our goals and have that spotlight stand together to show we made it through to the other side. That was very special. It’s a memory I will always hold close to my heart. I thank Hunter [Triple H] for giving it to us.”
Rhea Ripley debuted on Raw on March 22nd where she immediately challenged Raw Women’s Champion Asuka to a match at WrestleMania. The Aussie star went on to vanquish the champion on the Grandest Stage Of Them All before losing the title to Charlotte Flair at Money In The Bank.
In recent weeks Ripley has formed an unlikely alliance with Nikki A.S.H. The two former champions have since combined to win the Women’s Tag Team Titles.
On night one of the 2021 WWE Draft it was revealed that Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H will be staying on Raw, although they can crossover to SmackDown while they hold the Tag Team Titles.
You can follow all of the news from the 2021 WWE Draft here at Inside The Ropes.