When Rhea Ripley burst back onto the scene in NXT UK a while back, you’d be excused for not recognizing her. The star in the making was a much different competitor when she debuted in the Mae Young Classic, as she admitted in a recent interview with Yahoo! “I wasn’t confident in myself at the first Mae Young Classic because I wasn’t being myself. I went out there and was trying to please everyone, be what they thought I should be. I was trying to make everyone happy, but it wasn’t making me happy at all.”
She also wasn’t used to the scale of professional wrestling stateside versus the local market in her native Australia.
I guess wrestling isn’t as big in other countries as it is here, especially Australia,” Ripley said. “When I went to NXT UK and I was part of the women’s championship tournament, I saw all of those people and I was absolutely floored. I had never wrestled in front of that many people before. At home, I think the largest crowd I ever wrestled was in front of 500 people. To go from that to all of this now, there are so many people watching you and trying to enjoy the show, I think ‘Man, I’ve got to give people what they’ve paid for. Let’s go.’
Rhea also talked at length about her amazing month leading up to both Survivor Series and TakeOver: WarGames. In particular, she was excited to step into the double cage. “WarGames was a match that I’ve dreamt of my entire life. I’ve always wanted to have a match where I get to use weapons and I never got that back home. That was my first time being able to use all of that stuff in a match — legally. We put on a match that no one expected from us and helped prove why NXT is the main roster.”