Bianca Belair‘s path to WWE greatness appears to have plenty of routes to success but what of Rhea Ripley? Having scouted out the WWE landscape for a short spell in early 2020, Ripley seems to have already sized up her competition. So much so that she’s already got a title. So, where does she go from here? Well, if some thought isn’t put into it, she may find that she runs into dead-ends.
To start, we have the upcoming Backlash PPV where Ripley is set to face Asuka and Charlotte Flair in a Triple Threat Match for the RAW Women’s Title. There’s not a lot to hate about Asuka. She can win you over without even speaking your language. Not that she can’t speak English, it’s simply a testament to her likability. If you don’t like her, you wouldn’t. Yet, does she have the prowess to make up for the size difference against Ripley? They missed each other at NXT and Ripley didn’t work too hard to take the title off of her. Is Asuka a believable contender? She’ll have to prove it.
And then, we have Charlotte Flair who seems the obvious go-to for Rhea Ripley. That was uncertain for a short time but now that she’s “reinstated” thanks to Sonya DeVille, Flair is back in play. Regardless of how anyone feels about her, she has the grandeur to counter Ripley. Ripley may be bigger but Charlotte isn’t petite and she is a Flair. They could solidify a robust, longstanding rivalry. Something the WWE could certainly use.
As for other options, there aren’t many for Ripley. A lot of fans would like to see Naomi have a title run but it’s hard to see her as a believable opponent. She would have to impress. She’s a great athlete but her talents may lie in performance. Selling it would definitely be key.
Eva Marie is back but she’s never been known for being a great wrestler. She has had time to train but would she be able to hit the ground running against Rhea Ripley? She’d probably have to go full heel to pull it off.
There is the outside shot of Becky Lynch but you’re inclined to believe she’s in no hurry to return. With RAW in shambles, raising a child may simply be more honorable. The proposed game-plan would need to be clean and clear with a direct course and destination in mind. Not saying it isn’t possible but that’s never been one of WWE’s strengths.
The reality of Rhea Ripley is that she brings in the question of size. Many of the ladies, though solid performers, perform better than they fight. Ripley brings realness to the scenario. She could just throw a lot of the women’s roster around. The question then becomes who can believably face her? Charlotte may be the current go-to but they can’t fight every single week. If realism is the name of the game there are only 2 other contenders, Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax.
At present, Jax vs. Ripley as is would just be a “who’s the strongest” battle. It’s hard to say that would grab people’s attention. Baszler, on the other hand, may offer a more believable fight. Baszler’s MMA background makes up for the size difference. They could end up throwing down which isn’t a bad thing. Their NXT head-to-head record is 3-3 which has the makings for a tense rivalry. The move could do a lot for gender equality and with their history, they could show how women can also stir up a “Big Fight” feel.
If both Bianca BelAir and Rhea Ripley hold titles by Survivor Series this November, we could see them face off there as opposed to Summer Slam. It’s just so far off, it’s hard to say it’s a likely possibility. Both women have shown that they can work a big match and with their NXT head-to-head record standing at about 6-5 in Belair’s favour, they too could become serious rivals. We’ll see if Ripley can overcome being on the “B” show and make it happen.