New WWE NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley recently spoke with Sports Illustrated and talked about how she defeated Shayna Baszler on Wednesday night with her super Riptide finisher. She credited Cesaro with helping her with the spot at the WWE Performance Center.
“I was ready for that moment,” Ripley said. “I knew I had her exactly where I wanted her. She’s on my lap, I’m thinking I got this, but then the fear of slipping came into my head when I stood backwards. I tried to ignore that and just go with it, and that’s when I knew it was mine.”
She continued, “My finisher Riptide is hard enough to do in the ring, let alone on two little ropes, and Cesaro helped me figure it out how to do it from there. We were at the PC struggling with it and he came out of nowhere to help.”
Ripley had nothing but praise for Baszler, who held the title for more than 400 days in this reign.
“Shayna is definitely a bad ass, she’s credible, and she deserved to hold the title for so long,” Ripley said. “It’s hard to describe, it’s more of a natural feeling, but stepping into the ring with her taught me a lot about myself and what we do in the ring.”
Regarding her post-match celebration with a ring full of NXT Arena fans, Ripley admitted she was terrified at first.
“I don’t really get picked up too often, so I was absolutely terrified,” she admitted. “At one point, they put me up on the corner of the ring, and I looked into the crowd and saw this fan named Kyle, who is always at all of our shows and everyone knows as the ‘Florida Wrestling Fan.’ I don’t know what it is about Kyle, but I feel very comfortable when he’s there, maybe just ’cause I see his face all the time. I saw him, and he goes, ‘Crowd surf!’ And I thought, ‘That is a bad ass idea.’ So I looked at the fellas around me and was like, ‘Reckon everyone can hold me for a crowd surf?’
“It felt like I was back at a concert. I haven’t been in a mosh pit in so long, and that’s the spot I always wanted to be in. Wrestling is my calling, and it was absolutely amazing.”