Heading into Backlash, Rhea Ripley knew she was going to be the heel in her match with Zelina Vega. Not only is Mami aligned as a heel regularly, as The Judgement Day are bad to the bone, but she was facing off against a hometown hero in Vega, who considered the event to be her version of WrestleMania.
But what Ripley really didn’t want was to ruin the moment for her co-worker, as having Vega’s moment drowned out by “Mami” chants would have been the sort of shoot heel behavior that could permanently impact how an event is remembered into the future, especially in a moment as special the Backlash bout for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Discussing the moment with Peter Rosenberg on Cheap Heat, Ripley revealed her concern that the heat surrounding her character would impact Vega’s moment and how the match ultimately turned out better than she could have expected for the former WWE Queen.
“I was honestly living in that moment. We had the press conference earlier that day, and I heard the reaction Zelina got when she went out there; it was loud. I was very excited for her, but then I went out there, and it all turned into Mami chants, and I was like, ‘Oh.’ It’s cool to hear, don’t get me wrong, but I was thinking about later that night, and I was like, ‘Oh no, hopefully, Mami chants don’t drown anything out,’ because I know how special this event is to her because I know how special it would be for me to be able to perform in Australia, so I can relate to that. Especially since she’s never had that big opportunity that she’s worked so hard for, this was like her WrestleMania moment in a way,” Ripley said via Wrestling News.
“When I went out there first, and I got the mami chants, I was [worried] but wanted to see what happened when her music hit. The crowd just like turned on me instantly, I had to like sort of talk to myself like ‘Yo, they are so hot for her right now, I can only imagine the emotions that she’s feeling right now,’ and then seeing her walk out with the flag, go to her family, hug them, get in the ring and get so emotional live on camera when I know that she’s not a very emotional showing person, it was hard for me to play off it in a way that Rhea Ripley would because [I felt it personally]. I wanted to smile with her, but I wouldn’t. I’m very happy she got that moment, and she got that opportunity, and I know it’s gonna be something that she’s not gonna forget for the rest of her life. I’m glad that I could be the person in the ring with her to help her get to the point where everyone is just like believing in her in an established way.”
Fortunately for Ripley, Vega had her moment, and she’s already gone on record as saying the effort far exceeded her wildest expectations. After having her moment both in Australia and at WrestleMania 39, where she dethroned Charlotte Flair to become the SmackDown Women’s Champion, that certainly meant a lot to “The Eradicator of The Judgement Day.”
Rhea Ripley reveals how her relationship with Dominik Mysterio began.
Discussing her relationship with Dominik Mysterio elsewhere in her appearance on Cheap Heat, Rhea Ripley noted that, initially, they weren’t more than casual acquaintances, but a simple fashion choice kicked the current The Judgement Day angle into overdrive.
“First, I had that number one contender match, that Fatal Four-Way, and I kneed myself in the face,” Ripley said. “So I pushed my tooth back and rocked myself a little bit. I knew that I had a few weeks off. I was like, I know I’m coming back soon. I got told that I was coming back when it was Rey’s anniversary. So me being the little menace that I am, I was like, you know what? I ordered an Eddie Guerrero shirt, the one that said, ‘I’m your Papi,’ and I was like, I’m just gonna wear it and see what happens. I wore it, and the internet exploded. People went wild. They started calling me Papi and all of that fun stuff. I sort of just kept running with it. Eventually, I was like, ‘Yo, we should make some more shirts,’ but they were like, ‘Maybe we’ll change it in Mami,’ so that’s where Mami came from. But that was the start of this whole wild ride with Dominik and the Mysterio family with the Judgment Day sort of thing.”
And the rest, as they say, is history; Ripley and Mysterio have become the hottest couple in WWE, and they’ve helped to take each other to new heights ever since. A beautiful start to a tale as old as time.
The post Rhea Ripley reveals her biggest fear about WWE Backlash appeared first on ClutchPoints.