Rhea Ripley Talks WWE Backlash Match With Zelina Vega, San Juan Crowd Reactions

She may have fallen short in her quest to capture the "WWE SmackDown" Women's Championship at Backlash, but there's no doubt Zelina Vega won the war to become the crowd favorite that night. As she stepped into the ring holding the Puerto Rican flag, Vega was greeted by an overwhelming response from the live audience in San Juan. This reaction not only touched Vega, as she became visibly emotional during the match introductions, but it also moved her opponent, Rhea Ripley, as well.

"I'm very happy she got that moment and she got that opportunity. I know that it's going to be something that she's not going to forget for the rest of her life," Ripley told "Cheap Heat." "And I'm glad that I could be the person in the ring with her to sort of help her get to the point where everyone is believing in her in such an ecstatic way."

Though Ripley's usual "Mami!" chants were overshadowed that night, she is happy that Vega received a big pop at Backlash, especially considering Vega is of Puerto Rican descent. "I know how special this event is to her, because I know how special it would be for me to be able to perform in [my home country of] Australia. So, I can only relate to that," Ripley said. Following her loss to Ripley, Vega made it clear that she intends to win a WWE Women's Championship one day, but for right now, she's still absorbing the reaction that she says changed her life.