NXT UK Takeover Cardiff was finally announced last Saturday during NXT Takeover XXV and is a fitting reward for the hard work and commitment of WWE’s newest brand. NXT UK contains some of the most talented wrestlers in the world, from Pete Dunne, Toni Storm and WALTER at the top of the tree all the way down to the lower card, where Jordan Devlin, Xia Brookside and Dave Mastiff continually produce creativity and dedication.
However, Rhea Ripley will be the breakout star.
At first glance, it’s clear that Ripley has all of the characteristics to be a major name in wrestling worldwide. She is physically intense, offensively dominant and holds herself with the bearing that true stars always do. To be so self-aware and so smooth in her delivery at such a young age is incredible. The most striking thing though is that there is no debate whatsoever in who Rhea Ripley is.
Character consistency is at a premium in wrestling; where booking across federations can result in wild character inaccuracies and stop start pushes can lead to ever changing motivations. You do not get that with Ripley. Since the start and I suspect until the very end a viewer will always have the promise of arrogance, dominance and a casual brutality.
I’m going to say that again just because I love the sound of it: casual brutality. When her music hit at the Royal Rumble, casual brutality is certainly what we received.
Consistency is always key, especially to a wrestler who suffers a major loss. At the last NXT UK Takeover event in Blackpool, Ripley lost her Women’s Championship to Toni Storm in a match full of smooth aggression. It is a sad fact that that match has not been acclaimed as much as it deserves. Ripley lost the match, but came out fighting in the weeks that followed. She does not stay down, she does not quit and she got her heat back effortlessly. Championships will adorn that waist again sooner rather than later.
The quality is there. The talent is there. All anyone in NXT UK needs is a greater stage. Another Takeover will provide that. Another chance to wow the home crowds.
Another chance for a rousing chorus of “Are you watching Vince McMahon?”
I will be more than happy to go down to Cardiff and support my brand. The energy is always electric. You will always be carried along on the surge of sound and heat behind, in front and above you. How long Rhea Ripley will feature is up for debate.
She has the physique and confidence to impress Vince McMahon. She has the range and ruthless aggression to impress Triple H. There is a star here waiting for a stage to shine on.
Anyone not betting on Rhea Ripley clearly hasn’t been paying enough attention.