Rhea Ripley is happy for her feud with Charlotte Flair to ‘blur the lines’ – saying the traditional good against evil in wrestling isn’t always the way to go.
Aussie star Ripley is the current WWE Raw Women’s Champion having won the title at WrestleMania earlier this year.
For much of her time not only on Raw but on NXT, too, the 24-year-old has slotted comfortably into the role of super-villain.
Now, though, the starlet is clashing with arguably one of the finest bad girls of a generation in Flair, with the two set to clash at Money in the Bank this weekend.
Given that pair – both former NXT Women’s Champions – are so skilled at earning jeers over cheers, it has led to some fans scratching their heads over just who they ought to like and dislike.
As part of an exclusive interview with Daily Star Online, Ripley insisted she had absolutely no problem with that – saying she prefers to be sat in between the traditional forces of good and bad.
“I feel like it is fine to blur the line at times,” she said. “Even in NXT, was I really doing things that a good person would be doing? I wasn’t – and people were still cheering for me.
"So I don’t see what the big deal is when I’m just being the competitor that I am, and people are confused this time around – I don’t understand.
“We are all individuals, and we all act differently. I feel this is more real than anything, this is how people would react.
“I feel like having a heel and face persona isn’t really the way to, per se, go too much in wrestling anymore.
“Yes, you can have heels and faces but at the same time, you’ve got to have some people in the middle where people want to cheer or want to boo them.”
Ever the rebellious sort, Ripley added: “I’m one those people where I just go out there and I do what I want!
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“Look at Stone Cold [Steve Austin]. Was he really a nice guy? No – but people loved him anyway!”
Irrespective of whether she’s cast in the role of good or bad, few have enjoyed a 2021 in WWE quite like Ripley.
Hinting at feelings of uncertainty at times, she admits when looking back at her incredible moment in the spotlight in Tampa Bay for WrestleMania and the reign that followed that it has all been worth it.
“Everything that I’ve done in WWE, looking back on it, has been incredible,” she said.
“At times I have had honestly no idea what’s going on, but it always works out, and sometimes I’ve got to remind myself of that.
“Being able to hold up that Raw Women’s Championship after WrestleMania, it’s sinking in that I’ve gone through so much stuff and now I’m the champion, and I get to prove that I’m here to stay.”
WWE Money in the Bank airs Sunday night on BT Sport Box Office and WWE Network. Visit wwe.com for more.
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