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Original Plans For Rhea Ripley's And Shayna Baszler's WWE NXT Feud Revealed

WWE initially had other ideas...

Back on the August 28, 2019 episode of NXT, Rhea Ripley made her debut on the black and gold brand and confronted NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler. The two Superstars jawed back and forth and went one on one two weeks later. The match ultimately ended in a disqualification and The Queen Of Spades and the former NXT UK Women's Champion feuded until December 18 when Ripley defeated her rival to win the NXT Women's Championship.

The Australian revealed this wasn't how the feud was supposed to go, however, as during a recent appearance on Flash Morgan Webster's Wrestling Friends podcast, Ripley explained she was originally booked to lose clean to Baszler on the September 11 episode of NXT and that would have been the end of their brief rivalry. Plans were ultimately changed after the reaction Rhea received on her NXT debut and the company decided to push her as the future of the division soon after.

Ripley said: "So, Shayna had gone through pretty much everyone in NXT. So, I pretty much finished with NXT UK, handed it off to Piper (Niven) and I was coming into NXT to do that promo. So, we were supposed to do a match later because everything was pre-recorded at that time. So we were supposed to do a match later on that night for a couple of weeks after and I was supposed to tap out. That's what was supposed to happen. It was just supposed to be a one-off thing, I tap out, that's it. 

"So I went out and as soon as my music hit like the whole of Full Sail just erupted, so loud. Like, it was extremely loud… It was insane. And then I went into the ring, cut my promo the best that I have and people popped so loud for that. Shayna left, I left. I came back and everyone backstage was just like, 'Oh my god that was really good.' So anyways, Shayna and I, we go to get changed into our gear. Sara (Amato) comes running into the room and Sarah's just like, 'Guys, change of plans, Rhea got too much of a pop. We need to change the ending.' And I was like, 'Well, okay. Like what are we gonna do?' Shayna's like, 'We've been trying to tell you this for weeks. Every time we're on a road loop Rhea gets the biggest pop out of anyone.' Sara's like, 'Yep we believe you now. We need to change the ending… We're going to need to do a DQ so we can continue this some other time.' I'm like, 'Okay, cool. That's cool with me.' So that's why I get hit with the chair so we could continue it."


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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Cultaholic's resident newshound.