On the latest episode of WWE After the Bell, co-hosts Corey Graves and Vic Joseph spoke about Rhea Ripley re-debuting on Monday Night RAW and calling out Asuka for a match at WrestleMania 37. Graves spoke about how excited he is for the match after recently saying that he wants to see the old NXT Asuka return on the main roster. Joseph also spoke about calling Rhea’s entire career in NXT and NXT UK and said Asuka needs to take her seriously.
“Now Rhea, a member of the RAW roster, wasted no time, went right to Asuka who is the queen of the mountain,” Graves said. “We talked a few weeks ago about how I miss the machine, the killer that is Asuka. I’m not saying it’s because we threw something into the universe but it looks like we’re getting more of that Asuka as we march toward Mania.”
“I’ve had the pleasure of calling Rhea Ripley’s entire career going back to NXT UK,” Joseph said. “[Asuka’s] got to be that ass kicker, she can’t be that jumping around, dancing around [Asuka]. We need that NXT Asuka and if that NXT Asuka is taking on Rhea Ripley, sprinkle the magic everywhere.”
Ripley competed at last year’s WrestleMania against Charlotte Flair in a losing effort, making the match with Asuka her second match at the Showcase of the Immortals. Graves continued to talk about the clash between the two former faces of the women’s division in NXT clashing at Mania and what he expects.
“Think about the significance,” Graves said. “This is almost a generational clash of NXT Women’s champions. You had Asuka who was undefeated, she literally was the most dominant force on the women’s division on RAW, SmackDown or NXT, since she’s come from NXT Asuka has evolved. Rhea Ripley has been the face of the NXT women’s division for the majority of the past several years, if she hasn’t been the face, she’s been in the mix. This is two women who took the NXT women’s division on their backs which is what got them to Monday Night RAW and now they’re going to collide on the Grandest Stage of Them All. I think that’s a pretty significant matchup.”
Joseph noted that if Ripley can win the title at WrestleMania 37, she has the chance to do something no woman has ever done in WWE. He said that match is the one he’s most excited for.
“If Rhea Ripley defeats Asuka, she will be the first women ever and superstar ever to hold titles on NXT UK, NXT and Raw or SmackDown,” Joseph said. “She’d be the first one to ever do it. That to me is cool because of the brand history I have with NXT and NXT UK. I am very much looking forward to that much, that is at the top of my list. Asuka and Rhea Ripley are at the top of my list for WrestleMania matches, that’s what I’m going to be glued to.”
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