Rhea Ripley is currently in her longest run as a singles champion and WWE needs to do more to present her as the big star fans believe she will become.
Rhea Ripley has hit one hundred days as the WWE Women’s World Champion. This was a much-anticipated reign as she continued to build her place on the main roster. Yet, with such a milestone comes some criticism that this title run hasn’t been what fans were expecting. As WWE continues to elevate its women’s division in some ways, it’s time that Ripley’s run as champion hit some momentum heading into SummerSlam.
Since picking up the championship from Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 39, Ripley has defended her championship three times. Two of those defenses came against Natalya and one against Zelina Vega. Her official match time as champion is only 21:07, which is far from acceptable at this point in the campaign. While she remains on television as a central figure to everything involving The Judgement Day, that doesn’t do much to help both Ripley and the division she rules over.
There were rumblings that Ripley was dealing with a knee injury that limited her abilities in the ring. Looking at her match information on Cagematch, she’s appeared in matches in every month since picking up the title, but the majority of those were dark matches across the WWE’s road circuit, eighteen in total as of this writing. That leaves many to believe that the booking she’s experienced is to blame, which has left her a side story of sorts when most expected this to be a big spark for the women’s division.
Look back to the July 3 edition of Monday Night Raw of what happens when Ripley is given time. She and Natalya put on an exceptional 12-minute match, praised for its hard-hitting work. That is what fans want to see more of now that she’s finally hit a point as a credible champion on the main roster. This is Ripley’s second championship run since moving out of WWE NXT, but it’s the first time she’s felt like a top star. In many ways, this is more mindful of when she was perhaps the top name in WWE NXT, and this run has already eclipsed that one in the total number of days.
There are two big feuds that are going to happen for Rhea Ripley. Raquel Rodriguez and Becky Lynch are booked as two of the top names on the Raw women’s roster. But there’s a plethora of talent available if WWE took the time to leverage them. Take Candice LeRae, Piper Niven, and Nikki Cross as examples. Each of these women could put together a compelling angle against Ripley to get her out of this holding pattern she’s in. Natalya is beloved and a Hall of Famer for sure, but it’s time to move past her and put some more formidable opponents in Ripley’s way as fans look forward to the two big aforementioned foes.
Rhea Ripley is one of the few new stars WWE has created in recent years. She’s only 26 years old and WWE has a performer with the potential to be a pillar to women’s wrestling in the future. But the build must start now rather than later and that means doing much more with the woman that has become a major attraction for all WWE programming.