Rhea Ripley ended Shayna Baszler's dominant NXT Women's Championship run on Wednesday, capping off one of the best one month runs in recent memory. Following her victory over Baszler, the ring filled with fans for a big post-match celebration.
Despite feeling scared at first, Ripley eventually felt right at home in the middle of the celebration.
"It’s funny, when everyone hopped in the ring and they picked me up, I’m not used to getting picked up. So I was sorta terrified. I was like, ‘please don’t drop me. I will cry. Don’t drop me.’ I’m not good with heights as it is, so being picked up is just not a normal feeling for me," Ripley told Pro Wrestling Sheet. "Being in there and having everyone around me jumping while I’m on their shoulders, it felt like I was in a mosh pit. Which is like my home. Where I know I belong. Growing up being in the mosh pit, seeing the band up on stage, I was always so amazed by everything and everything was so cool to me. I always wanted to be in their spot, but I’m not musically gifted like them, so my spot is wrestling. To be able to get that same feeling in wrestling and to become the NXT Women’s Champion, and to have everyone out there with me to make it feel like a mosh pit, I felt right at home. It was amazing."
Ripley continued, "I actually got up on the corner at one point and I looked back and I saw one of the fans that always comes to all of our shows, Kyle (Florida Wrestling Fan), he was there. I feel very comfortable around him because I see him all the time, he’s a familiar face, and I look back and I saw him and he’s like, ‘CROWD SURF!’ And I was like, ‘that’s a good idea!’ Not thinking that there’s like kids and stuff in the ring. But it felt like I was crowd surfing, it was just absolutely amazing. I was in my element, man."
After the celebration, Ripley headed to the back, where she was greeted by familiar faces, who congratulated her on her performance. Ripley noted that Triple H, William Regal, Sara Amato, and all the women on the roster were there to congratulate her.
"Just seeing all of them so proud and happy for us was just an amazing, amazing feeling," she said. "I can’t really put it into words. I guess I was just super, super proud of myself and Shayna for being put into that position and pulling it off. Because that’s a hard spot to fill. The boys always do the main events and you don’t really see many girl main events, to be honest. To be put into that and to have a championship match with one of the longest reigning champions in NXT history, and to have me pull of a victory against her, and then come back and see all of them smiling and so proud of us … it was just an amazing feeling. I can’t describe it. I can’t put it into words. It was, just ……. it was heartwarming I guess."
As has become a tradition in NXT, the new champion takes a photo with NXT Founder Triple H. And Ripley and Triple H added a little punk rock flare to their photo.
An incredible main event and a new champion. One of the most dominant reigns over the @WWENXT Women’s division comes to end and another begins. @RheaRipley_WWE will be the one to lead #WWENXT into the new year... Congratulations. #AndNew pic.twitter.com/wXzZlWZIso— Triple H (@TripleH) December 19, 2019
When discussing her relationship with Triple H, Ripley said, "I try not to mark out around him, cause there is still that fan inside of me that is like, ‘this is so cool.’ And I’m like, ‘he’s my boss, I have to act normal.’ I can’t help but have a massive cheesy smile around him. He’s the reason that I am where I am for so many different reasons. He’s the reason I started wrestling, he’s the reason I work for NXT, he’s the reason that I am in the spot that I am in. And, man, it’s just incredible to see where I’ve come from and see what I’ve done along the lines and know that he’s been there throughout everything believing in me. And always getting me through it, telling me that I am worth it, and telling me that I can do it, and that I’m amazing at what I do. It’s really cool coming from someone like him."
Thanks to the main event between Ripley and Baszler, NXT was able to defeat AEW in ratings and viewership this week. Ripley's monster month began during Survivor Series weekend, when she pinned Charlotte Flair on SmackDown, Baszler at NXT TakeOver: WarGames III, and Sasha Banks at WWE Survivor Series.
If you missed anything from NXT, check out Fightful's full report by clicking here.