Heading into the Aug. 28 episode of WWE NXT, we were almost two weeks removed from Shayna Baszler defiantly and successfully retained her NXT Women’s Championship against Mia Yim. With Yim in her rear view mirror, Baszler seemed to have beaten everyone in NXT.
Yim, Io Shirai, Kairi Sane, Bianca Belair, etc. You name ’em. Shayna Baszler has stepped over all challengers who have come before her. There was a belief among fans heading out of TakeOver: Toronto that there was no one left for the Four Horsewoman to defend her title against, as if she’s conquered the entire NXT women’s division.
Cue Rhea Ripley’s music.
That’s right, The Mosh Pit Kid has finally stopped her way to the United States from the UK and is now in the original black and gold brand. Rhea Ripley, the first ever NXT UK Women’s Champion, interrupted Baszler before she could even get a word out. She didn’t say much to overstay her welcome, but she made an emphatic statement to the 2-time NXT Women’s Champion.
“I know what you’re gonna say. You’re gonna say that you’ve beaten everyone here … but you haven’t beaten me, B***H!”
That was enough to get the live audience at Full Sail University and the fans watching at home to erupt. If you’ve never watched Ripley’s work in the first two Mae Young Classic tournaments or her work in NXT UK, this may have been enough to sell you on a match vs. Shayna Baszler. More importantly, how amazing it is going to be when it happens.
Ripley’s introduction could not come at a better time. Her feud with Piper Niven is on the verge of wrapping up in NXT UK and Ripley is quickly running out of new feuds as well. Then, as previously stated, Baszler was running out of challengers. More importantly, challengers who pose a believable threat to her title. I don’t think anyone will disagree that it’s easy to buy into Ripley potentially ending Baszler’s seemingly never ending reign.
Character wise, Rhea Ripley and Shayna Baszler are two sides of the same coin. Two ruthless, tough as nails brutes determine to pull out a win by any means necessary. That may mean breaking their opponent body part by body part or simply breaking them in half.
Seeing two competitors of such similar archetypes presents an interesting dynamic both in the ring and on the mic. Their segment together presented a teaser of things to come. If this segment is anything to go off of, it’s how two similar components colliding could produce fascinating, exciting results.
In short, the feud and match is going to be amazing and we could not be more excited to see it.