WWE NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley recently spoke with Loudwire to promote her WrestleMania 36 title defense against Charlotte Flair.
Ripley was asked about the growth of her WWE character and how she’s changed since the Mae Young Classic days. The interview noted that she’s now this brutal competitor, decked out in black with chains and spikes. Ripley said she was just trying to make everyone happy during that first tournament in 2017, and listening to too many people at once, which made her into something she didn’t want to be.
“With the first Mae Young Classic, I was very young. I was 20. If you go back and watch my stuff from Australia, I was pretty much what I am now,” Ripley said. “I was definitely green and I didn’t really know exactly what I was doing, but I was definitely more the style that I am now.
“At the first Mae Young Classic, I was just trying to make everyone happy, I was just trying to do my job and I was listening to too many people at once. It made me into something I didn’t want to be and that’s why when it came to the second Mae Young Classic, I had already spent a year at the Performance Center. I found out a lot about myself in that year and decided, yes I want to please people, but I want to do it in my own way. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, but it’s at least me.”
Ripley continued and said she came out the way she wanted to with the second Mae Young Classic tournament, with the aggression she knew she always had. Ripley also talked about the importance of a good theme song and said her current theme puts her into the mindset that she’s going out into a mosh pit, ready to rock out and beat people up. She currently uses “Brutality” by Ash Costello as her theme.
“At the second Mae Young Classic, I came out sporting my new look, everything that I wanted to do,” Ripley said. “I had the new aggression that I knew I always had, because I’ve always been, like, a brutal child. [Laughs] I can’t even get into those stories. Music does help me a lot with my character, with the fact that I have to have a really good theme song, something that I can get into while I’m walking down the ramp. It puts me into that mindset that I’m going into a mosh pit.
“With the first Mae Young Classic, I didn’t really enjoy my song too much, so I couldn’t really get into things. I had ‘Final Straw’ for the second Mae Young Classic, absolutely loved it, and now I have ‘Brutality’ by Ash Costello from New Year’s Day. I listen to that band anyway, I think Ash is absolutely amazing. Being able to hear that when I’m coming out, it really does put me into the mindset that I’m going into a mosh pit and I’m ready to rock out and beat people up.”