Rhea Ripley On WWE Backlash Victory, Hostile Fans: 'I Shut Them All Up For Good'

Rhea Ripley successfully defended her "SmackDown" Women's Championship for the first time against Zelina Vega at WWE Backlash. Following the bout, Ripley addressed her win, as well as the fact that the San Juan crowd was firmly supporting her hometown challenger.

"I don't really care if the crowd was strongly behind Zelina. I don't care about these people. They don't mean anything to me, just like Zelina doesn't," Ripley said. "It felt amazing because they were behind Zelina Vega so much, and I shut them all up for good when Mami walked out the 'SmackDown' Women's Champion still, and Zelina Vega was left in the ring like a little pretzel."

Ripley captured her first "SmackDown" Women's title at WrestleMania 39 last month by defeating Charlotte Flair in a critically-acclaimed match. She then pivoted to a rivalry with Vega, as her stable, The Judgment Day, feuded with the reborn Latino World Order across both "WWE Raw" and "WWE SmackDown." Prior to Backlash, Ripley was drafted to "Raw" with the rest of Judgment Day; however, WWE has not addressed the status of her holding the "SmackDown" title, while "Raw" Women's Champion Bianca Belair was sent to the blue brand. WWE has asked its women's champions to swap belts due to this same scenario in the past in an infamous segment involving Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch.

Backlash marked Vega's first time competing in Puerto Rico, and she was warmly received both when she made her way to the ring and after the bout despite coming up short. As Ripley heads to "Raw," Vega and the rest of the LWO have been drafted to stay on "SmackDown," so fans shouldn't count on a rematch in the near future (though some WWE talent have already admitted that they can and likely will show up on either show at any time).