WWE have officially announced that Rhea Ripley will battle a returning Dakota Kai on the December 23 edition of NXT in a grudge match.
The Christmas period won’t be the only time the pair have collided in the middle of the ring, however. They last met in singles action on the July 29 episode of the black and gold brand in a No.1 Contenders Match for the right to challenge Io Shirai.
It was that match, won by Kai, that began the simmering bad blood between ‘The Nightmare’ and Raquel Gonzalez who aided her friend in the victory.
While the pair have met in tag team action throughout the year, they have not come to blows since NXT TakeOver: WarGames on December 6, when Ripley was part of Team Shotzi, while the New Zealand native was in the opposite corner on Team LeRae.
December 23 will be Dakota Kai’s return to action following the hellish two cage war at TakeOver. While WWE touted her absence as an injured suffered inside the structure – thanks to an Ember Moon Eclipse onto a steel chair – the truth was that the talent was dealing with a visa issue which has since been sorted.
Rhea Ripley has filled the time between WarGames and Christmas feuding with members of Team LeRae. Most notably, the former NXT Women’s Champion crashed to a devious Toni Storm on the December 16 offering.