Rhea Ripley and Mercedes Martinez delivered a big main event that helps elevate the women’s division outside of the title picture.
NXT Super Tuesday II gave fans a special main event attraction when Mercedes Martinez and Rhea Ripley battled in the steel cage. The two ladies put on a hell of a match to bring a culmination to a specific storyline involving Ripley, while giving Martinez the space to fulfill a growing rumor that she is a part of another rumor rumbling on WWE television. Either way, this main event was yet another example of the benefits that come when women are given their fair share of time under the main event lights.
Since WrestleMania one of the biggest complaints within NXT is the way Ripley had been cooled off. Heading into her match with Charlotte, the story telling that was provided completely removed her “bad ass” persona that was built during her feud with Shayna Baszler. There was no understanding why it was done, but it was clear that Ripley’s stature was diminished from a booking standpoint. This match helped correct that problem.
When NXT started promoting the return of Martinez to NXT television, Ripley was one of the names listed as a dream match across wrestling Twitter. The moment Martinez joined the Robert Stone Brand, it was destined for this match to come. Martinez and Ripley took turns attacking each other and that set up this cage match. Martinez was the perfect opponent to remind everyone that Ripley is a tough competitor that can destroy any opponent placed in front of her, while letting the world know she is just as dangerous in her own right.
The match had several big spots, such as the super-plex and the Riptide through the table. But what was most important was the fact that this is a feud involving top-level women outside of the NXT women’s title held by Io Shirai. One of the biggest issues of the women’s divisions on Monday Night Raw and SmackDown is the fact that few women receive television time if they are not involved in the title picture. The lack of ample time and development creates a void for top contenders to face the champion. This match between Martinez and Ripley helps establish Ripley as a threat. It also helps set up the next potential angle with Raquel Gonzalez, and she also benefits from the ramifications of this main event.
Giving women equal time on television elevates the entire roster and product. Mercedes Martinez and Rhea Ripley delivered a big main event on a show that opened with a fantastic singles match between Adam Cole and Finn Balor. The NXT women’s division is filled with talented women that can provide excellent wrestling matches and characters when given the opportunity. Hopefully, this main event is the start of a trend that spreads across the entire WWE roster.