Rhea Ripley has opened up about taking acting classes to improve her on-screen character.
Appearing on the Out Of Character podcast with Ryan Satin, the new champion revealed that she has been taking acting classes to help improve her character.
The Australian, who won the RAW Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 37 defeating Asuka, also detailed how she isn’t hugely confident in real life. When asked whether the classes had improved her confidence, Ripley discussed being shy away from the cameras but coming to life in the ring.
“Yeah definitely… My confidence isn’t huge in my every day life. Like I’m a really shy person, I’m not very confident. I’m not good at keeping a conversation and being a larger than life person.”
“But when I’m in the ring, that’s where I get all my confidence. That’s where I get to be Rhea Ripley but still myself. I definitely want to be myself, as in like Rhea Ripley, but I do want to have that same confidence that everyone else seems to have all the time. I’m working on it.”
Ripley went on to say how her character is just an extension of herself. Adding that when she started out in Australia she didn’t pay any attention to developing an in-ring persona.
“I think I was more focused on the moves and how I looked physically… I didn’t really think about the character stuff at all. Even in Australia, I would come out to Of Mice and Men, which was my favorite band at the time, and it was one of their main songs, ‘Second & Sebring.’ I loved it so much I used it as my entrance song. And I’d just go out and I was me.
“I would go out there and be like I would if I was at a concert or music festival, and I’d go out and headbang until I nearly fall over. I started doing that in the first Mae Young Classic as well. But I think, in the last few years of my life, I’ve grown so much as a person outside of wrestling, I’ve also been growing a lot in the ring and in the wrestling business. But it’s still me. It’s just a more evolved version of myself.”
The RAW Women’s Champion expanded further, revealing she has drawn inspiration from difficulties she faced earlier in her WWE career. Ripley explained that those difficulties helped her become the performer that she is today.
“I went through something between the first Mae Young Classic and the second Mae Young Classic,” Ripley said. “I was very unhappy with my life, at work and outside of work. My relationship wasn’t going to well outside of work, and at work I felt like I didn’t belong. And also I didn’t get to see my family at all. I was very sad with that, I was homesick. I just, I wasn’t very happy.
“So I think the person you saw in the second Mae Young Classic, that was me after I had pretty much had enough of the world. And I was just like ‘you know what? I can’t care what everyone’s saying about me. I just can’t. I can’t let it get to me, I’ve got to use that against them somehow.’ So it was a lot of home and life drama that made you see the Rhea Ripley you saw in the second Mae Young, and the Rhea Ripley you see today.”
Back in the ring, Rhea Ripley will defend her newly won championship against Charlotte Flair and Asuka at WrestleMaina Backlash.
After it was initially announced that Asuka would be facing Ripley at WrestleMania Backlash, Flair took exception to the situation. After seeing off Dana Brooke on RAW, Flair demanded that Sonya Deville add her to the match, and Deville duly delivered.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.
Watch WWE WrestleMania Backlashlive on the WWE Network – and via Peacock in the United States – on Sunday, May 16th.