Rhea Ripley has conceded to being “a little sceptical” about the recent revamp of NXT to NXT 2.0.
Ripley, who notably starred on the black and gold brand in both the United States and the United Kingdom between 2017 and early 2021, also asserted that she missed the “grungy vibe” of the old NXT.
NXT 2.0 debuted on September 14th, with a slew of changes from its previous incarnation as the black and gold brand. The new show included new theme music, a new logo, a new set, and a smorgasbord of new Superstars.
Ripley told TV Insider’s Scott Fishman that, despite her initial reservations, she now enjoys the show’s new presentation:
“I actually really enjoyed it. I was a little bit sceptical, but I like the metal setting and all that. I was worried about the colour. I walked into the building before the show went on and had a good look around. It was so epic to see in person. Seeing it on TV is really cool, but seeing it in person was a step more.”
“Seeing the talent who have come out of the Performance Center the last six months. People I don’t even know. They’ve all been working so hard. Watching the show I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just seeing the people improve who I did know at NXT. Seeing the new faces. It’s a nice change. It was something that was somewhat needed as well. I do miss the black and gold and grungy vibe. But I think this is a good move with NXT.”
Ripley formed in-ring rivalries and real-life friendships with Bianca Belair and Raquel Gonzalez during her time in NXT. The former Raw Women’s Champion praised both Belair and Gonzalez, as well as Triple H, for allowing the women to share the ring one more time after WrestleMania 37 to celebrate their title victories.
“It’s important for you to find your people in this business. The ones you connect with and get along with and bring you up when you’re feeling down. Bianca is definitely one of those people for me. Traveling with her in NXT was such a good time. We had such great chemistry. We would just go out there and batter each other. It was always a good time. We are very competitive people. She is definitely one of my favorite people to work with at WWE. Having that support system on the road is critical. You do that. Bianca and Raquel are those for me. Raquel is honestly my best friend. She is my travel buddy and I honestly don’t know how I’m surviving on the road without her.”
“I think it was cool to have your moment with us in the ring with our championships because we all know the struggles we went through behind the scenes. To see it all come together and all accomplish our goals and have that spotlight stand together to show we made it through to the other side. That was very special. It’s a memory I will always hold close to my heart. I thank Hunter [Triple H] for giving it to us.”
Ripley has recently formed an unlikely alliance with Nikki A.S.H. The two former champions have since won the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship together.
On the first night of the 2021 WWE Draft, it was revealed that Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H will remain on Raw, though they will be able to cross over to SmackDown while holding the Tag Team Title.