Wrestling Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,959 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Rhea Ripley was someone I was a big fan of even back when she was in the 1st ever Mae Young Classic, back when she still had long hair and a more generic attire. So from her run in the 2nd Mae Young Classic, her run in NXT UK, and then her arrival on main NXT, she was someone who I really invested in.

And then we know the story from there. She comes to NXT Mainland, she instantly challenges Shayna Baszler. On Survivor Series weekend she was one of the hottest stars in the company not only winning at War Games but winning the Survivor Series match as well. Then she goes onto beat Shayna Baszler, ending her year long reign and becomes the new face of the Women’s Division in NXT. I mean hell, the last show of 2019 ended with the whole NXT locker room putting her on their shoulders in celebration.


And then it started going downhill. Now, it was all gradual at first. She would go onto challenge Royal Rumble winner Charlotte to a match at WrestleMania and then defeat Bianca at Takeover Portland. OK, everything looks fine there.

But in the build up to WrestleMania, there was something noticeably different about Rhea. The edge and even arrogance Rhea had had in the Shayna feud wasn’t gone but it wasn’t nearly as present as it was before. Gone was the aggressive ass kicker and what replaced it was a more regular “living my dreams” character. This video used in the build up to Charlotte vs. Rhea shows that pretty clearly:


But, OK, whatever. She’s still the NXT Women’s Champion. And if she goes onto beat Charlotte at WrestleMania, that really cements her as a top star in WWE. So we get to WrestleMania, they have a great match……..and then Charlotte makes Rhea tap out to the Figure 8……

Um, OK? I don’t really get the finish there. I mean you have a mega star in the waiting like Rhea and then you throw her into the Charlotte Buzzsaw. And for what? To give Charlotte another title reign and to try and boost ratings on NXT (which never really happened)? But…..OK. Rhea’s not completely doomed. If this tells a story of her being over confident and fighting her way back to the title, cool. Kind of unnecessary, but fine.

But then we get to Takeover IYH. And again, Charlotte and Rhea along with Io have a great match. But then we get to the finish. Io wins the championship by hitting the Moonsault on Rhea while Rhea was locked in the Figure 8. So let me get this straight, you have Rhea Ripley in a position to tap out again to Charlotte and then Io hits the Moonsault on her to pin her. So Rhea basically gets doubly beat all together. And Charlotte loses her title without really putting someone over in the process. So not only does that make Charlotte winning the NXT title useless, but no one benefits from actually beating her for the title.

Io’s champion and she deserves that honor, so she’s fine. Charlotte didn’t get pinned and is still Charlotte, so she’s fine. But Rhea? What does she do after suffering 2 huge losses? What deep character progression does she get? She gets thrown into this silly side story with Robert Stone and Aliyah. Rhea has dropped so far that honestly, I thought there was a good chance Aliyah was going to beat her last night. And now she’s facing Robert and Aliyan in a handicap match next week where if she loses she has to join the Robert Stone Brand. And you know what…..it could actually fucking happen? The woman who dethroned the mighty Shayna Baszler could have to Robert Stone’s client aka lackey.

That is how far she’s fallen. From someone who was on the biggest stars in NXT to someone who feels like an afterthought on TV at the moment. And what could they be doing instead? She was the woman who was supposed to be the Chosen One. She was going to be the Next Big Thing. But then she got overconfident and it cost her two soul crushing losses. That could be the precursor to a heel turn or a more aggressive streak as someone who is pissed that they fell so hard from grace to the point where she just starts destroying everyone in her path on her way back to the title.

But instead, what does Rhea do? How does she respond to these 2 awful losses? She comes out, makes her normal entrance, she’s smiling, and she’s acting as if nothing ever happened. It is one of the worst cases of John Cena syndrome I’ve ever seen.

Look, I’m not here to say Rhea is ruined or her career is over. With her talent, she’ll find her way back to the top. But what they have done to this white hot star is just infuriating. And who knows, maybe I’m being premature. Maybe her next big angle or run is right around the corner. But fuck right now I just can’t bring myself to believe that.
 

·
THE MAN has come around to collect her debts.
Joined
·
8,909 Posts
Yeah, they killed her and it doesn't look like they really have any intention of building her back up. Charlotte beats her at Mania, then everyone thinks that she was gonna get a redemption storyline where she wins the title back. But she instead loses again in the Triple Threat with no type of protection or angle to make her look good. That's what you call a burial. It almost makes you think that she has heat backstage.

It's not only Rhea though, its Bianca Belair. She was also on a hot streak, and boom, she hits the Charlotte wall and is never to be seen again. They have no intention of building her on the main roster either. Both women have the ability and potential to be rebuilt, but WWE is going out of their way to make sure their star-power withers out and dies because it'll overshadow Charlotte's.

No way is Vince gonna let the Becky Lynch situation happen again and have someone get over and derail the Charlotte plans. I'm honestly just sick and tired of WWE wasting talent and killing popularity. When is enough going to be enough?
 

·
THE NXT CHAMP BAYBAY !
Joined
·
10,977 Posts
You know TD, there was a point where me and you were the only known Rhea fans on this forum.

I started noticing a less than interesting Rhea Ripley as soon as her feud with Charlotte/Belair started and Bianca was practically stealing her spotlight (killing her & flair every single segment). Not to mention after she became champ it became apparent that she's awful on the mic. I could sense the lost of momentum right there but it wasn't eye-popping. She goes on to lose to Charlotte clean as f*ck, I knew it was over for her there. She lost to a cocky heel clean. What put the nail in the coffin was her botched return. She took a short 2-3 week hiatus after she lost at WM and came back to save Io in very uneventful fashion, the whole return just didn't go over well especially since there was no crowd. From there on, she's honestly been boring (and I hate to say it). I knew she was eating the pin at Takeover so I won't even bill that as a surprise. I've never seen someone fall from grace THAT fast.

The question is Why? Why was she booked that badly after winning the title? You would think she's pissed someone off backstage but I doubt that. What I think it is, is that Trips felt she's still young so she has plenty of time to re-reach the top. Maybe he feels she accomplished too much too fast and now it's her time to work up through the division.

Honestly she should probably lose next week and join the robert stone brand. Flip it into a heel turn, Stone is a good talker anyways and that's Rhea's biggest flaw.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chris JeriG.O.A.T

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
The mystery of Rhea Ripley has been bugging me too. On fire at the end of last year, six months on - nowhere. Maybe they have decided to have her work on character building before her next big push? Or maybe they want to introduce inter - gender matches, and see her as the right person to do it?
I found the Robert Stone stuff quite entertaining, and Rhea looks fit and happy, it could work out alright - I hope so!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,959 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
You know TD, there was a point where me and you were the only known Rhea fans on this forum.

I started noticing a less than interesting Rhea Ripley as soon as her feud with Charlotte/Belair started and Bianca was practically stealing her spotlight (killing her & flair every single segment). Not to mention after she became champ it became apparent that she's awful on the mic. I could sense the lost of momentum right there but it wasn't eye-popping. She goes on to lose to Charlotte clean as f*ck, I knew it was over for her there. She lost to a cocky heel clean. What put the nail in the coffin was her botched return. She took a short 2-3 week hiatus after she lost at WM and came back to save Io in very uneventful fashion, the whole return just didn't go over well especially since there was no crowd. From there on, she's honestly been boring (and I hate to say it). I knew she was eating the pin at Takeover so I won't even bill that as a surprise. I've never seen someone fall from grace THAT fast.

The question is Why? Why was she booked that badly after winning the title? You would think she's pissed someone off backstage but I doubt that. What I think it is, is that Trips felt she's still young so she has plenty of time to re-reach the top. Maybe he feels she accomplished too much too fast and now it's her time to work up through the division.

Honestly she should probably lose next week and join the robert stone brand. Flip it into a heel turn, Stone is a good talker anyways and that's Rhea's biggest flaw.
Ah yes, those were the good ol days. Back when Rhea was just sitting on the side in NXT UK, just waiting to break out.

Eh, I wouldn't say she's an awful talker. She's not great at it. But she's good enough for the character that got her over which is just being a no fucks given ass kicker. And I think also part of it is that it can be much harder to stay relevant as champion as opposed to challenger. I wasn't the biggest Shayna fan, but at least when she was champion the division had a singular focus and that was derailing her.

And yeah, she has been boring character wise since returning. She's fine with her in ring work for someone who suffered such big losses, she hasn't changed her character that much. That's why I said John Cena syndrome. There's nothing worse than a wrestler that doesn't change their attitude as time goes on whether it be big wins or big losses.

I want her to turn heel or at least get more aggressive but to have a comedy act like Stone attached to her? Again, I just don't think Rhea needs that, nor do I think Stone would be the right guy for that job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,256 Posts
Well the Charlotte loss was bad, but Vince or whoever cannot seem to resist in turning badasses into these 'wow I'm so happy I made it to the big main show from my humble beginnings' whitemeat babyface crap once they get in the limelight.

No one wants to see a Rhea Ripley that's smiling and happy because 'she had a dream as a girl and now it's come true' bullshit. That's not what got her over. But management can't resist going back to that trope time and time again. The equivalent would've been having Steve Austin doing reflective easy going vignettes on the way to WM14 and then acting all happy and humble when he wins. Would've been a disaster.

I haven't watched NXT that much recently but from what the OP says it's the same stop/start thing they've done to so many talented people on the roster it's ridiculous.
 

·
The EST of NXT
Joined
·
28,689 Posts
Here's a TLDR version:

I'm going to put this in numerical form to keep it short because I can literally write a thesis on it.

1. After Rhea beat Shayna, people started to wonder if they actually liked her, or they just really wanted Shayna out of here.

2. Bianca's performance at the Royal Rumble immediately made her the people's champ of NXT.

3. Bianca being inserted into Charlotte and Rhea's feud did no one any favors since Bianca outshined both of them and was rewarded with a burial, and Rhea was exposed as a mediocre mic worker.

4. Charlotte beating Rhea at Wrestlemania killed what little momentum she had and left everyone confused.

5. Io Shirai returned with a full head of steam and won the number one contenders ladder match along with everyone's support.

6. Rhea was taken off TV for several weeks, allegedly due to Visa issues. Out of sight, out of mind.

7. Io only gained more momentum as time passed to become the undisputed people's champ of NXT.

And here we are.
This is one of the worst burials I've seen since Bray Wyatt's 2014. It's surely the worst in NXT with Bianca being second. The worst part about all of this is that Rhea cut her hair and completely rebranded herself to separate herself from Charlotte comparisons, yet that's exactly who potentially ruined her career.
 

·
The Empire will Reign again
Joined
·
16,936 Posts
Everybody is calling this a burial but she started losing momentum on her own, getting shown up by Bianca was the first nail in the coffin but it's not like they intentionally set her up for failure, this wasn't Vince putting Roman on the mic against unscripted Cena, this was HHH putting 2 mic rookies against the not so great promo Charlotte.
 

·
The EST of NXT
Joined
·
28,689 Posts
Everybody is calling this a burial but she started losing momentum on her own, getting shown up by Bianca was the first nail in the coffin but it's not like they intentionally set her up for failure, this wasn't Vince putting Roman on the mic against unscripted Cena, this was HHH putting 2 mic rookies against the not so great promo Charlotte.
But Bianca killed them both on the mic and got punished for it, while having the most momentum in the company.
 

·
The EST of NXT
Joined
·
28,689 Posts
Yea Binky got outright buried but I don't think Rhea did.
I've acknowledged that it was a combination of Rhea losing her own momentum and losing to Charlotte, but I don't see any way in which the company was setting her up for success after beating Shayna. You brought up Roman Reigns. We both lived through his horrible booking on this website together with the 5 other Roman fans who weren't terrified of getting mobbed for posting anything positive about him. He was the strongest booked person in the company, but still looked like a damn fool every week. Rhea didn't even get the God booking to mask the storyline failures for the casual fans, so in what way was she set up for success?
 

·
The Empire will Reign again
Joined
·
16,936 Posts
I've acknowledged that it was a combination of Rhea losing her own momentum and losing to Charlotte, but I don't see any way in which the company was setting her up for success after beating Shayna. You brought up Roman Reigns. We both lived through his horrible booking on this website together with the 5 other Roman fans who weren't terrified of getting mobbed for posting anything positive about him. He was the strongest booked person in the company, but still looked like a damn fool every week. Rhea didn't even get the God booking to mask the storyline failures for the casual fans, so in what way was she set up for success?
I don't think she was set up for success, I just don't think she was set up for failure. They didn't maximize her strengths and put her in the best possible matchups, but they didn't have her cutting 20 minute promos and heeling out on Bianca either.

Her booking was random and nonsensical like 90% of WWE's booking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,105 Posts
I've acknowledged that it was a combination of Rhea losing her own momentum and losing to Charlotte, but I don't see any way in which the company was setting her up for success after beating Shayna. You brought up Roman Reigns. We both lived through his horrible booking on this website together with the 5 other Roman fans who weren't terrified of getting mobbed for posting anything positive about him. He was the strongest booked person in the company, but still looked like a damn fool every week. Rhea didn't even get the God booking to mask the storyline failures for the casual fans, so in what way was she set up for success?
She was set up before beating shayna. Her survivor series week was pretty much an amazing rocket. Toe to toe with Becky, pinning charlotte in that triple threat, basically being the sole survivor in two seperate ppvs back to back. And yea inserting bianca into the feud with flair didnt do no favors to rhea but most of biancas ire was directed towards Flair so not even that is an excuse. I get the feeling the pandemic and Beckys pregnancy affected her career in a huger way than most since from the way flair was talking, Rhea was originally slated to get her win back, before they had to rush flair back to the main roster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,771 Posts
I'm not too sure. With what Triple H said in his post-Takeover conference about how what happened to Rhea will soon make sense in a few months. My guess is either a redemption story where Rhea beats Io to finally regain the NXT Women's title; or she's so desperate to regain the title that she breaks bad(i.e. Steve Austin at WM 17)
 

·
Custom User Title
Joined
·
6,451 Posts
I'm not too sure. With what Triple H said in his post-Takeover conference about how what happened to Rhea will soon make sense in a few months. My guess is either a redemption story where Rhea beats Io to finally regain the NXT Women's title; or she's so desperate to regain the title that she breaks bad(i.e. Steve Austin at WM 17)
It's Triple H. He said the same thing about Braun at one time, and also Roman just before Wrestlemania. The "wait and see" approach is his excuse for all bad booking.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top