Rhea Ripley Wanted To Be Like Asuka When She First Started

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In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Rhea Ripley spoke about how she saw Asuka when she was seventeen and decided she wanted to be just like her. The two will face off at Wrestlemania 37 for the Raw Women’s Championship. Here are the highlights:

On facing Asuka:

“I was on a show in Japan when I was 17 years old when I first saw Asuka,” Ripley says. “I wanted to be just like her. Now I get the chance to wrestle her. We’re going to build something special in the weeks to come, and I am excited to get my hands on her. It started out of nowhere. I went from sitting in catering to a WrestleMania match against Asuka. Luckily, I’ve stayed prepared. And I’ve watched Asuka for years. She is someone I can’t wait to get in the ring with. This is my golden ticket, and it’s going to be a hard-hitting match.”

On ending this year’s Royal Rumble with Bianca Belair:

“Man, that was incredible. As it was happening, I could feel it. I knew it was going to be a fight. If you watch, I was so frustrated on the outside, but on the inside, I was so happy for Bianca. Bianca is someone I completely and fully respect. I know her story, what she’s been through, and I know how big a star she is going to be. She is going to be the face of the women’s division. I am so happy and thankful to share that moment with her.”

On wanting herself and Belair to succeed:

“We came up in NXT together, and now we’re taking on Raw and SmackDown together. I want her to win her match at WrestleMania, and I want to win my, too. I’ll be the face of Raw, and she can become the face of SmackDown, and one day, we can headline WrestleMania.”


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