When Rhea Ripley debuted on Monday Night RAW on March 22nd she made an instant impact.
With Asuka celebrating a hard-fought victory over Peyton Royce, Rhea Ripley decided it was her time to make a statement. Not wishing to stand on ceremony, Ripley marched to the ring and challenged Asuka to a match at WrestleMania. A challenge that the RAW Women’s Champion duly accepted.
Speaking in a new interview with The New York Post, Ripley revealed that she only found out that she would be challenging Asuka at 4pm that day. Joking that she had spent the previous few weeks eating too much in catering.
“So, it’s actually kind of funny. My last few weeks have actually just been in catering. I’ve just been going to the Raw shows and I’ve just been chilling in catering, not really knowing what was really going on with me or what they had planned. I just was eating too much (laughs) and that’s pretty much how it went for like weeks and then last week I found out, I want to say around 4 p.m., what was going on. Man, it was a shock to me as much as it is to everyone else. I was super surprised, super excited.”
Ripley went on to recall being on the same show as Asuka, during a tour of Japan when she was just 17. Adding that she has always been intrigued by facing the “Empress Of Tomorrow.”
“I’ve always had that intrigue in wrestling Asuka. I feel like this match is definitely going to be a very hard-hitting match and it’s going to bring things out of me — and hopefully her — that we haven’t seen before because it is a new challenge. We wrestle very differently and somewhat still the same. So I’m very excited to put on a great match for everyone.”
The former NXT Women’s Champion was also asked about the prospect of a returning Charlotte Flair being added to the match. Ripley again outlined her desire to face Asuka one on one, but said that “I’m still not going to complain” if Flair is added to the contest.
“I’d be down for the match if she got added, but also in a selfish way I really want to have a one-on-one match with Asuka. It’s something that I’ve wanted for a long, long time. I’ve always wanted to step in the ring with Asuka and we haven’t had a one-on-one match ever. So I think there is that it factor that everyone is really excited about. If Charlotte gets added to the match, I’m still not going to complain. It’s still going to be a fantastic match and it’s going to be a fantastic story. So I guess we will just see what happens. She always has her way, like you said, she’ll probably end up in it but that’s not my call to make. So I’ll be happy either way. I’m just happy to have a match at WrestleMania and I think it’s still gonna be great whether it has Charlotte in it or not.”
Rhea Ripley and Charlotte of course already have a history after doing battle at least year’s WrestleMania. A match where the Aussie would ultimately lose her NXT Women’s Championship.
Reflecting on her first WrestleMania, Ripley said that while it was still awesome, she had been waiting a year to perform at WrestleMania in front of a crowd.
Find out everything you need to know about this year’s WrestleMania here.