Rhea Ripley Beats Asuka, Wins Raw Women's Title at WWE WrestleMania 37

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Rhea Ripley defeated Asuka on Night 2 of WrestleMania 37 on Sunday to win the Raw Women's Championship for the first time in her career.

After an excellent championship contest, The Nightmare locked in her signature Riptide to claim the title just three weeks after making her main roster debut on the red brand.

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Rhea Ripley beats Asuka to become the NEW Raw women’s champion 🔥 #WrestleMania https://t.co/ezLJjghOTb

Ripley is one year removed from making her WrestleMania debut, as she put the NXT Women's Championship on the line against Charlotte Flair. She pushed The Queen to her limit but ended up dropping the title.

Ever since that defeat, the Australian has been trying to work her way back up the ladder. Doing so proved difficult, though, as she fell short in NXT women's title opportunities against Io Shirai and lost a Last Woman Standing match to Raquel Gonzalez that sent her to the main roster.

Ripley resurfaced in the 2021 women's Royal Rumble match, lasting until the final two with Bianca Belair. The Nightmare delivered an excellent performance but again saw victory fall through her grasp as The EST of WWE eliminated her for the win.

Rhea wasn't seen on WWE programing for quite some time after that, but she finally returned to the fold on Raw on March 22 by confronting Asuka after The Empress of Tomorrow beat Peyton Royce in a match.

The Aussie Superstar noted that Flair, who had previously stated her intention to challenge Asuka for the Raw Women's Championship, was out following a positive test for COVID-19 and that she wanted to throw her hat in the ring in her absence.

Ripley officially challenged Asuka to a WrestleMania match, and The Empress accepted before saying that she wasn't "ready for Asuka."

On the go-home episode of Raw before WrestleMania, Ripley turned on Asuka during their tag team match against Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, adding some heat to their WrestleMania clash.

Few have been ready for Asuka recently, as she entered WrestleMania 37 having held the title for most of the past year aside from a one-month reign by Sasha Banks.

During Asuka's time as Raw women's champion, she ran through the likes of Jax, Charlotte, Banks, Zelina Vega and Lana, but Ripley represented her biggest challenge yet.

At just 24 years of age, Ripley is already among the top female Superstars that WWE has to offer, and putting her immediately into a title match at WrestleMania proved that WWE's higher-ups saw something special in her.

That became even clearer at WrestleMania, as she scored the biggest win of her career and is now set to be the face of the Raw women's division.


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