Rhea Ripley Wrestles Her First Intergender Match On WWE Raw

Rhea Ripley defeated Akira Tozawa in the first-ever intergender match of her WWE career on the 12/19 "WWE Raw" in Des Moines, Iowa.

The match was set up after Tozawa threw the drink from his solo cup in Dominik Mysterio's face, drawing the ire of Ripley, who proceeded to strike Tozawa with a stiff right hand before challenging him to an impromptu match.  


Initially, Tozawa refused to strike Ripley, who goaded the veteran wrestler into fighting her. As the match progressed, however, Tozawa began countering a lot of Ripley's moves, and unlike other intergender matches in WWE history, the bout was a back-and-forth affair with both superstars exchanging a ton of offense until Ripley finished off Tozawa with a Riptide. In fact, Ripley required outside assistance from Finn Balor and Damian Prest to eventually put away a resilient Tozawa. In contrast, the likes of Chyna and Beth Phoenix had been booked as dominant forces in their intergender encounters.

This was WWE's first televised intergender match since SCRPTYS (FKA Reginald) wrestled Shayna Baszler on the 5/31 "WWE Raw" in 2021, a week after the former WWE 24/7 Champion defeated Tamina. Earlier that year, WWE also held the infamous Alexa Bliss vs. Randy Orton bout at Fastlane, besides Reginald vs. Sasha Banks on its blue brand show. In 2017, James Ellsworth was involved in several intergender matches, most notably against Becky Lynch on the 11/7 "WWE SmackDown" that year.   


Since emerging as the unofficial "muscle" of The Judgment Day faction, Ripley has been clamoring to wrestle in intergender matches on television, especially after body-slamming Luke Gallows on live television. In a recent interview with Cultaholic, Ripley was cautiously optimistic about WWE letting her wrestle male superstars, citing the potential negative reaction from advertisers and television networks.

"To see whether that [intergender matches] happens or not is a different story as I know it's a bit of a touchy subject with the networks and all of that," Ripley admitted. "I'm not too sure what's going to happen, but if it does I hope that I'm the person for it."

Now that Ripley has crossed the intergender barrier, it remains to be seen if WWE starts booking her regularly against male superstars.