WWE had an interest in signing Rhea Ripley dating back to when she was just 17 years old. But they couldn't sign her until she was 21, though she ended up getting a tryout -- and eventually signed -- when she was 20.
Speaking to "Flash" Morgan Webster on the Wrestling Friends podcast, Ripley recalled her WWE tryout and an impactful entrance.
Ripley began by noting that she was just one of four wrestlers at the tryout to get two matches, a good sign that she would be offered a contract. For the second match, she had to make a full entrance as they had new cameramen there who needed to learn how to shoot the product.
"They made us do entrances, full music and everything. My entrance, back home, I would come out headbanging to Of Mice & Men, and I would get on the apron and do the Nakamura bend back. That was my entrance. Little do I know, it's my time to go out, and they start playing Shinsuke Nakamura's music. I was like, 'Oh God.' I'm walking out and I see my coach, he's like, 'Do the Nakamura!' I'm doing my thing, headbanging, I get to the side of the ring and do the Nakamura. I get up, get in the ring, look to where the chairs are and Nakamura is standing there. Just clapping at me. I legit cracked myself. I forgot what the match was," she recalled.
Ripley impressed WWE officials as she was the only person signed immediately following the tryout. Those at the tryout joked that it was the "Demi Tryout" because everyone knew who officials were there to see.
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