Rhea Ripley, the reigning World Women’s Champion, has been creating waves in the wrestling world as an integral part of The Judgment Day on Monday Night Raw. However, at this moment in time there is a severe lack of threats to her championship reign. In this article, we delve into the realm of possibilities and present five potential contenders for Rhea Ripley.
We here at Wrestling Republic have recently been debating our thoughts surrounding the current landscape of the Raw Women’s Division. Including who is a viable threat for the current champion, Rhea Ripley on the Wrestling Republic Daily Broadcast. In this article I look at 5 names that could in fact be future contenders for Rhea Ripley’s championship.
5. Rhea Ripley Vs Meiko Satomura
Kicking off with a true shocker, Meiko Satomura.
Last seen in an NXT ring, Meiko is a living legend in the business. Wrestling since 1995, a rival in the past for superstars like Iyo Sky and Asuka in their country of Japan. A former NXT UK Women’s champion that ended Alba Fyre’s historic title reign that lasted 649 days.
It’s clear that Meiko Satomura is a name that is completely out of thin air but let me explain myself. WWE as a business is currently within a hot streak of record breaking profits but currently WWE has a premium live event deal with Saudi Arabia and they are looking to continue to expand their international profits/markets.
The last few years WWE have held Premium Live Events in countries such as; Australia, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Wales and England. WWE CEO Nick Khan revealed that WWE will hold a live event in India. (H/T WrestleZone) We can’t predict it to be a sure thing, but it’s obvious WWE holding Japan events is not out of the cards because it’s happened before with Beast In The East.
But Who Is Meiko Satomura?
Meiko Satomura is that living legend that is still wrestling that is one of the most respected names to come out of Japan. “Satomura also founded Sendai Girls’ Pro Wrestling in 2005. But while she’s been an influential advocate for women’s wrestling, she’s also far from hanging up the boots…” (H/T WWE.com)
To have Meiko in such a prominent position on the card for a live or premium live event would be the right choice with WWE’s new PLE “strategy” that details that: From Fightful Select, “WWE sources told Fightful that they’ve tried to be as strategic as possible with PLE events, locations, and announcing them. The factors of Economics, storyline, audience growth are all weighed when making these decisions.” (June 20th Post – To Fightful Select)
Not only would a match with Rhea Ripley and Meiko Satomura in Japan be massive for Rhea Ripley, it would attract a lot of people in Japan to see a Women’s Wrestling legend. And in the second Mae Young Classic, they were both semi finalists with Meiko making it to the finals with Rhea losing to Toni Storm. So they can build something based off of that.
Is this match the least probable? I do believe it is, but I think under the right circumstances like having a Japan premium live event and Meiko being a name on the main roster with some credibility built around her.
4. Rhea Ripley Vs Raquel Rodriguez
As of writing this, they have teased the direction of Rhea Ripley and Raquel Rodriguez as a potential match up. With Raquel appearing on the bump and saying that she thinks she is on Rhea’s radar. Even threatening Rhea by saying “She’s not the biggest fish in the pond, someone needs to remind her of that.” at the clip here
This isn’t the most obvious direction now with Raquel being tag team champions with Liv, but it still can be brought up.
But What makes Raquel Rodriguez a credible threat to Rhea Ripley?
Raquel Rodriguez is formally known as two names, Reina Gonzalez and Raquel Gonzalez both names she used in WWE’s developmental brand NXT. As Reina she was the teammate of Rhea for “NXT Live” events and never appeared on Television together. And Raquel debuted within NXT officially with the last name of Gonzalez.
In typical NXT fashion, stars that were set to come up to the main roster would help build up future stars of the NXT brand. In a rivalry that spanned between late 2020 and early 2021, Raquel and Rhea were in a feud that lasted through a singles match at Halloween Havoc 2020 to a last woman standing match at New Years Evil 2021.
Raquel Gonzalez got the final victory in their feud when she beat Rhea in the last woman standing match. This should be the foundation for a brand new rivalry on the main roster where they are on a bigger stage and it looks like it could be the match that is closest to happening out of the five. Especially since Raquel is the muscle for the tag team of her and Liv Morgan as they are champions.
3. Rhea Ripley Vs Beth Phoenix
If you need to be sold on Rhea and Beth sharing the ring together see the reactions they get time and time again for being face to face. This is a rivalry that can use the long Judgment Day and Edge history without bringing Edge back into this.
Beth Phoenix has been used in two positions in modern day WWE, an NXT commentator and an often tag team wrestler. When we have seen stars like Lita and Trish having singles runs, a lot of people would be interested in Beth having that one last women’s match in a singles environment.
This is a match that can be built similarly to Rhea Vs Raquel as the battle of the “behemoths’”. Both Rhea and Beth have similar styles with Rhea being more athletic in the ring but they share a strongwomen’s style. Especially with Rhea Ripley having this “I am very dominant” run with making short work of Zelina Vega and Natalya, she needs someone that can match her strength.
Just like Raquel, the last time Beth and Rhea were in the same ring was Elimination Chamber of this year. Although Finn Balor took the loss for the Judgment Day representatives, Rhea Ripley was still retreating to the back on Rhea’s road to Wrestlemania.
Does Rhea Ripley Want To Face Beth Phoenix?
The past is there to build a compelling dream match between the two that should truly deliver and make a memorable match out of Rhea Ripley’s championship reign. Not to mention, It’s Rhea’s personal dream match and during her championship reign would be the best time to have it. “I say this all the time, but I want to wrestle Beth Phoenix…” (Rhea Ripley On Mark Andrews’ My Love Letter To Wrestling, Quote transcribed – h/t WrestlingInc)
2. Rhea Ripley Vs Liv Morgan
Liv 4 Brutality was formed in the early months of 2022 with Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan. When their undeniable chemistry was visible on the camera it was one of those random tag teams that were put together that didn’t feel forced.
Shortly after Wrestlemania 38, Rhea Ripley turned on Liv before her allegiance with Edge was revealed. After being involved in the Judgment Day Vs Aj Styles and Finn Balor feud. Liv was one of the people that was used to build up the “new and improved” Rhea Ripley. While Liv also had the opportunity to flourish by becoming a champion, Rhea Ripley spent time on the injured list.
This year alone has multiple moments between the two wwe superstars, including making history together at the Royal Rumble. Liv and Rhea became the first two women to last the entirety of the Royal Rumble from the 1/2 position. With Rhea Ripley getting the victory.
Rhea also had a match with Liv on her way to Wrestlemania as one of the singles matches before Mania. With a similar theme of Liv taking the loss once again to Rhea.
This is where the opportunity to tell a different story is very beneficial, with Beth and Raquel both having that one up on the champion. Liv has the opportunity to tell the story of being the underdog, wanting revenge and hoping to overcome her past of coming up short against Rhea.
Morgan played that role in programs including her feud with Becky Lynch and during her Smackdown Women’s championship reign. While the booking surrounding her championship run wasn’t perfect. Liv failed to lose the emotional investment that a lot of fans still have towards her.
Liv is one of those people that can successfully be a part of Rhea’s past, present and future.
1. Rhea Ripley Vs Becky Lynch:
Now this is the biggest match that WWE could do within the championship reign of Rhea Ripley. “Mami Vs The Man ” could literally be the tagline.
As of writing this piece, Becky Lynch is the only four horsewomen that Rhea Ripley hasn’t pinned. Rhea pinned Sasha Banks at Survivor Series 2019. Defeating Bayley on her road to Wrestlemania this year, and of course finally defeating Charlotte at this year’s Wrestlemania.
This match writes itself as a match that is between era defining superstars. Becky Lynch has been to the top and is at the top. Rhea Ripley has just made it to the top and is going to be there for quite a long time.
Becky Vs Rhea is the match out of the list that will for sure happen but not anytime soon. This is a perfect Wrestlemania match for them but it is tough to keep them apart until next year.
I do have to say, the teases like the MITB chat they had on the go home are interesting. These small segments are a taste of whats to come, while they help develop an interest for their eventual program.
If you made it this far, thank you! – CMG