It’s known that most who rise up in WWE create a larger-than-life persona that many wish to be in real life. For Rhea Ripley, her “Mad Max” -Esque, heavy metal, strong woman getup is something that Demi Bennett hopes she can inspire to be in real life. In her interview on Chasing Glory, the “Nightmare” explains to host Lilian Garcia how she envy’s her alter-ego Rhea for her ballsy outlook on life, something that she admits she does not necessarily have yet in reality.
“It’s funny ’cause the Rhea Ripley that everyone sees, I’ve looked into that personality so many times before, just at home, in concerts, in mosh pits. I’d just go out there and absolutely just kill anyone that was in my way,” Rhea Ripley stated with a laugh. “So yeah, it’s definitely someone that I want to be in everyday life, but I’m just like, not confident in myself, and that’s really weird to say out loud. I’m confident in Rhea, but not in Demi Bennett.”
Just last year, Ripley formed a relationship with fellow wrestler Demetri ‘Action’ Jackson. She recalled the first time they met and how easy it was to talk to him.
“He’s a great lad,” she giggled. “I’ve very glad [I met him] ’cause he’s the same as me. I feel like we’re very similar people. As shy as I am, he was very shy and timid to talk to people, too. He’s from Puerto Rico and he came here because of the hurricane, right? So he came here for school, and he worked at my gym that I went to. He was like, ‘Yeah, I didn’t want to talk to anyone, but I made a pact to myself to talk to one wrestler, and the first one I saw was you.’ I was like, ‘Oh, so you only started talking to me because I was the first wrestler you saw?’ He reminded me of one of my school friends who I was best friends with, and he introduced me to ‘Dragon Ball Z.’ He [Demetri] reminded me so much of him. I thought it was hilarious!”
Ripley admits she did not see her and Demetri’s relationship as anything more than just a friendship. She explains why that was the case at first.
“So, at the start, I told myself he’s just a friend and that’s it,” she said with a mischievous grin. “I didn’t know if I could trust him, and I have bad trust issues as well. My mom has taught me not to trust people straight away because you never know, and being in this country alone, I was like, ‘I can’t let this person into my life because what if they murder me? What if that happens.’ I watch too many crime shows – it’s ridiculous. So, I slowly let him into my life.”
Still new in the industry, Ripley mentioned that her boyfriend is very reliant on learning the art of wrestling without too much help from her. She says that is one of the qualities she appreciates about their relationship. She is hopeful that he’ll become a future WWE Superstar.
“So, Kevin – he goes by Demetri – he’s only been wrestling for, I want to say a year-and-a-half – two years, so that’s not very long. He’s still pretty green and still has a lot to learn, but he learns super fast,” she mentioned. “I’ve been trying to help him along the way. We’ll watch matches and I’ll sort of break it down for him and explain things. I’m always there for him ’cause I want him to succeed. He’s been straight on not wanting too much of my help ’cause he wants to succeed on his own; he doesn’t want me to give him anything, which I appreciate.”
Two weeks ago, the NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai put her title on the line against Ripley in a pay-per-view worthy match. Although the “Nightmare” did not win the match and the chance at becoming the two-time champ, the rumor mills began to swirl that Ripley was on her way out of the black and gold brand, heading to the main roster.
Just last week, Ripley cleared the air by telling the NXT Universe to not panic – the brutality queen is staying. For now, Ripley is happy to be staying with the company that spruced her career. She looks forward to seeing where things go and which ladies in the division she can face in the future.
“I would like to go to Raw or SmackDown, but at the same time, there are so many people in NXT I haven’t faced yet, and I feel like there is so much more that I can do,” she answered. “Like, I would love to wrestle Candice [LeRae], especially since her persona has changed. I’d also love to wrestle Indi Hartwell, I would love to wrestle Shotzi [Blackheart]. I haven’t had a match with Shotzi. I’ve tagged with her but haven’t wrestled her. I wanna wrestle Raquel [Gonzalez] again. Hell, I would love to have a stipulations match with her. I want to be in WarGames again.”
With the new year just around the corner, Ripley is optimistic that her career will continue to skyrocket like it did in 2019.
“If I had full control in 2021, hopefully, I can get out of this little slump I have in my head and go back to being the confident Rhea Ripley that I know I am,” she began. “Then, I can skyrocket and keep doing what I was doing at WarGames, and at Survivor Series, and WrestleMania. I hope I can accomplish all of these new things.”
You can watch Rhea Ripley’s full interview here. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Lilian Garcia -Chasing Glory with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.