WWE NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley recently spoke with The New York Post to promote her WrestleMania 36 title defense against Charlotte Flair.
It was noted how Ripley draws strength from her scars, which are from her younger days when she used to cut herself. Ripley said cutting herself was a way to cope with being bullied and to deal with people around her that would mock her body, intelligence and dream to be a pro wrestler. Some of the scars from a “very dark” time in Ripley’s life are still visible on her wrist and thighs, but she said now they serve a different purpose.
“I still feel myself slipping there from time to time, but I find that if I do look at the scars that I have from that time it helps me to remind myself that I’ve been through all of this and I was able to overcome it,” Ripley said. “And I think that that’s really special in the way that I know that I can keep going and keep doing what I love and I have people in my life that are going to help me overcome whatever I need to overcome at that point in time. … I have fans there for me and I’m legitimately working the job I dreamt about since being a child and I have to remember that sometimes.”
Ripley said her pro wrestling dream started after watching a match between WWE Hall of Famers Triple H and Ric Flair. She recalled how friends said wrestling was “silly” and told her to take up karate instead. She said she’s continuing to prove people wrong, and predicted she will be in tears after WrestleMania, which was taped last week.
“To be knowing that I’m going to WrestleMania 36 to face Charlotte Flair and put my NXT championship on the line is just absolutely insane,” she said. “I’m so, so excited. Man, I’m going to be in tears afterward. I know it.”
Ripley said Flair is the ideal opponent for her character at WrestleMania 36 because The Queen is the epitome of glitz and glamour, and brings the perception of preferential treatment because she is a Flair. Both Superstars are confident and comfortable in who they are, just in different ways.
“We just clash really, really well,” Ripley said of Flair.
Ripley said nothing is going to stop her from enjoying her history-making WrestleMania moment as she just wants to make history.
“I’m shocked and surprised that I’ll be the first to defend an NXT championship at WrestleMania, but man that’s just history in the making,” Ripley said. “That’s what I want to do. I want to make history.”