#AndNEW: Rhea Ripley Becomes NXT Women’s Champion

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Rhea Ripley and Triple H
Credit: NXT

NXT‘s women’s division could easily be described as the future of women’s wrestling in terms of all of the talents the promotion has as well as the boundless opportunities these wrestlers have received. Such was the case on the most recent episode of NXT when Rhea Ripley, who was elevated into the title picture after having previously won the NXT UK Women’s Championship, defeated Shayna Baszler, the longest combined reigning NXT women’s champion.

Over its history, NXT has always been a place where women’s wrestling has been able to shine its brightest. Its platform has produced many of WWE’s top female stars over the years and 2019 has been no different. Despite a lot of unfortunate injuries in the women’s division, it was clear the talent was there to once again put the women front and center. That’s exactly what happened as in the main event of NXT TV, Ripley challenged Baszler for the championship and won.

Shayna Baszler is one of the longest NXT women’s champions in history, having held the championship with two combined reigns of over 500+ days and defeating Asuka‘s combined days total. Baszler, who has been booked as nothing short of NXT’s Brock Lesnar in terms of sheer dominance had effectively beaten everyone in NXT. This included women like Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, Kairi Sane, Mia Yim, Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Toni Storm and many more. She was one of the most dominant champions NXT had seen since the undefeated Empress, Asuka.

After holding the NXT Women’s Championship for over a year, Baszler got involved in a feud with Rhea Ripley. The first-ever NXT UK Women’s Champion, Ripley arrived in NXT to a massive ovation. Her ambition was simple, to be the woman to defeat Shayna Baszler. At NXT Takeover: WarGames Rhea Ripley pinned Shayna Baszler in that match, earning her shot. In the main event of the evening of this week’s NXT TV, Shayna and Rhea would put on a clinic of a match and by the end of it, Rhea Ripley was crowned the new NXT Women’s Champion for the first time in her career. It also makes her the first woman to have held both NXT Women’s Championships (NXT UK & NXT Women’s Championship).

The first Australian born NXT Women’s Champion, Ripley also breaks a pattern over NXT TV title changes for that specific title as the women’s championship hasn’t changed hands on NXT TV since Paige‘s reign in 2014. After the match, Rhea would receive a massive amount of support from the fans, including the wrestlers who came in for a celebration over the end of the long reign of Baszler. There’s definite potential in the near future for Rhea’s reign with a definite rematch against Baszler likely at Takeover in January and a potential match with the brand new Dakota Kai could be on the horizon as well.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. Make sure to watch NXT on USA Network on Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET.

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