Last time we see Rhea Ripley in NXT
After her defeat to Io Shirai, there was a lot of speculation that Rhea Ripley was heading to the main roster. It was the perfect timing to add her to Survivor Series as a surprise addition to either team. That did not happen, instead, she is a part of Shotzi Blackheart’s War Games team. From a storyline perspective, it makes sense because Candice LeRae’s team assaulted her on television. However, it would make even more sense for Ripley to take the loss for Blackheart’s team and leave NXT for the main roster.
Both Raw and SmackDown need some new faces in the women’s division. Asuka has such a void of potential contenders that she has been slotted into the tag team title picture, pairing up with Lana. It is unfortunate to see Asuka be misused again, but there is an opportunity to fix the situation with a quick appearance and beating at the hands of Rhea Ripley.
Ripley has all the qualities that make her a force whenever she is in the ring. Imagine her staring down Asuka after dispatching someone in a squash match, making her presence felt on the red brand. SmackDown has enough suitable talent to keep Sasha Banks busy for an extended time. The same cannot be said about Asuka’s division. Having Ripley take the pin in Sunday’s match opens the door for her to be moved up to the main roster as the next big threat for the Empress of Tomorrow.