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Rhea Ripley Retains Raw Women's Title as Charlotte Wins Via DQ at Hell in a Cell

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2021

Credit: WWE.com

Rhea Ripley retained the Raw Women's Championship in a disqualification loss to Charlotte Flair at WWE Hell in a Cell on Sunday night.

The Nightmare hit Flair with a piece of the commentary table to draw the DQ, bringing an end to a hard-fought match.

WWE @WWE

A resourceful move by @RheaRipley_WWE as she gets disqualified to RETAIN her #WWERaw #WomensTitle! #HIAC https://t.co/qwaRdO2Zzd

The rivalry between the two women dates back to WrestleMania 36 last year, when The Queen beat Ripley for the NXT Women's Championship, but it was revisited in the weeks following this year's Show of Shows.

Ripley beat Asuka at WrestleMania 37 to become the new Raw women's champion, and Flair cut a fiery promo the next night on Raw, addressing her absence from The Grandest Stage of Them All and referring to herself as "The Opportunity" because of how relevant she is with or without a title.

Due in large part to Flair's chummy relationship with WWE official Sonya Deville, she was inserted into the title scene despite losing to Asuka on Raw after interference from Ripley.

That led to a Triple Threat match at WrestleMania Backlash, with Ripley putting the title on the line against both Asuka and Flair.

Since The Queen did not get pinned in the loss, she immediately made it clear that she felt she was deserving of a one-on-one rematch. It didn't initially look as though that would be in the cards, though.

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Flair lost a singles match to Asuka on Raw the night after WrestleMania Backlash, meaning The Empress of Tomorrow was seemingly in the driver's seat for a title opportunity.

Flair got a rematch with the Japanese Superstar the following week, though, and after she won the match, she was deemed the No. 1 contender and Ripley's opponent for Hell in a Cell.

While feuding during the lead-up to Sunday's PPV, Flair and Ripley used Nikki Cross against each other in an effort to play mind games.

First, Ripley was unable to beat the Scot in the two minutes allotted to her in a Beat the Clock Challenge, and then Flair fell short of the same feat the following week. The Queen also lost to Cross by count-out on the go-home episode of Raw prior to the PPV after getting distracted by the Australian.

That left both Ripley and Flair a bit shaken in terms of their confidence entering Hell in a Cell, but The Nightmare still managed to get some revenge for her WrestleMania 36 loss by retaining the Raw women's title.

     

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