Rhea Ripley finally sees her wrestling career “starting again”.

The 26-year-old has been the muscle of Judgment Day since joining the group in May, but was unable to actually compete for four months after suffering an injury in June.

The former Raw Women’s Champion is happy to have finally recovered from her “brain and teeth injuries” and will step into the double ring in the cage she calls home during the Women’s Wargames match at WWE Survivor Series from TD Garden on Saturday (Peacock 8). pm) Ripley will team with Bayley, Iyo Skye, Dakota Kai and Nikki Cross to take on Bianca Bellair, Candice Lare, Asuka, Alexa Bliss and a yet-to-be-announced fifth member.

Before the big event, Ripley took time for some Q&A with The Post’s Joseph Stazewski.

(edited for clarity and length)

Rhea Ripley
WWE

Q: You were in a Wargames match with NXT in 2019. How to describe that experience?

A: It’s a whole different ballgame. I feel funny. I love wargames and I think when it comes to wargames we get to be a little creative because it’s two rings, we’re in a cage. That’s where I’m most at home. And being a part of the first Women’s Wargames match, it was a history-maker in WWE. We absolutely hit it off. We walked out there and left everything we had in the ring. I know that’s what we’re going to do when the Survivor series and our wargames coincide this time around.

Q: When you’re introducing this to a main roster audience for the first time, does it help to have so many people involved in Wargames before? You, Bianca, Eyo, Candice, Dakota have experience.

A: It certainly makes it a little easier. Girls who weren’t there before get to learn from us while we’re learning from them on the main roster because they were here before us. It’s nice to take it the other way because we kind of have an advantage because we’ve been in it before. It’s nice to step into it with some of the number one girls.

WWE
Rhea Ripley
WWE

Q: You’ve only wrestled once on the main roster since coming back. You wrestled in NXT, you wrestled some house shows. Did it have anything to do with your injury or just not having anyone else in the story to work with?

Answer: It hurt a lot. I hadn’t been cleansed in a long time. I think the week before my NXT match (on Oct. 18) I got well and truly cleared. Besides, I was not cleansed in that entire time (four months). I didn’t get a chance to wrestle after that because I was there with The Judgment Day and their muscle. I help them if they need me. I’m the “problem” as the OC would say. I feel like my wrestling career is starting again.

Q: How would you describe the relationship you and Dominic Mysterio have, and how much have you both benefited from adding your own wrinkle to it?

A: Me and Dom Dom, we’re just going out there and we’re having fun. We are a danger to society and are just going out there and doing what we want. We have definitely put our own spice on it. It all just started with me wearing an “I am your sinner” shirt. I knew I was coming back and I knew I had to screw with Ray on his (25).Th) anniversary. I think you know what, I’m going to order this shirt and wear it on TV and that’s a lot.

After that he kind of got stuck and created this whole story that’s going on and eventually Dom joins Judgment Day. A lot of it is us going out there and just having fun, not really taking anything too seriously, and we want to go out there and connect with people and their train of thought.

WWE
Rhea Ripley
WWE
WWE
Judgment Day
WWE

Q: Do you think that’s why audiences have taken so much notice? A clip was posted of a fan shouting ‘I am your sinner’.

A: People love to hate us and that’s something a lot of people can’t do, go out there and make people think you’re cool and then hate you and what do you do at the same time. Going out with the fans is really fun for me. Most of the time it doesn’t get caught on camera, but lately, it has. It makes them feel like they are part of the moment. So I love it when it’s captured on camera.

Q: What are people saying to you?

Most things I am not allowed to say. (Laughs) But a lot has happened. I have had people make signs, some of which are very inappropriate. I will beat them back. I had this fan at a house show and he was like, ‘Rhea, spit on me.’ I’m like, ‘What? What do you want from me?’ Dom was there and it was another moment for us. ‘The man Dom just told me to spit on him.’ ‘What is it?’ ‘Are you going to do something about it?’

Q: Two weeks ago we had a tease on Raw sometime between you and Bianca Bellair for the Raw Women’s Championship. Do you think this could lead to the next big competition in the women’s division?

A: Bianca and I are perfect rivals. We’ve talked about this before in NXT. We’ve talked about this on Raw before. We want to be the next Stone Cold and The Rock. We need storylines. We want to go out there and steal the show.

Q: How frustrating was it when your match was set up at Money in the Bank and then you got injured and spent time away from the ring?

A: As disturbing as it was, I think it was a blessing in disguise. Bianca and I, it’s something that shouldn’t be rushed and we don’t want to rush it. Where it felt like it would happen and be the end of it. We want our names to be engraved in history. We want to leave our legacy where we can be in the ring together and create magic.

Q: When you inject someone like Mia Yim into an on-screen rivalry with the OC, does it have any interest because you have someone to work with?

A: We had a whole feud with Edge, even getting in the ring with someone like Beth Phoenix (pretty standard), that excites me. That was my dream. This is the competitor I want to face, I want to take the moment with me. Now with Mia. She’s the person I want to have that match with and show everybody that I can still wrestle and I’m good at it.

Q: You’ve talked about being the muscle behind The Judgment Day and changing people’s perception of things. You’re body-slamming Luke Gallows. For me, it has started to change people’s perception of things.

A: It’s something we haven’t seen (in WWE) since a lot of China. So it’s cool that I get to be that person. I can still project dominance about myself without having a full blown encounter. I press guys. I have to go out there and pick them up to show everyone who I am without ringing the bell and not being in the ring. It’s great to see how everything is developing over the past few months. I think this is the beginning of a new era in WWE where we can connect with the guys. It might be something, I don’t know. I hope so.

Q: We’ve talked before about how you have a lot of tattoos, and in the past you weren’t allowed to show them in WWE. You haven’t got your gear for Hell in a Sail and you’re out in the trunk and it’s now your look? Are you happy with the presentation?

A: Yes. I definitely wasn’t allowed to show them back in the day. Business is evolving and changing. I think if I didn’t have that gear mishap at the last minute when I had to put something together, it definitely would have gone this route where I could have shown off my tattoos and gotten more and they wouldn’t have really cared but it definitely sped up the process.

Q: How important is it for men and women to have a big night out for this wargames concept to survive for years to come?

A: These are the moments that can make or break people. We could come into this Wargames match and someone we didn’t expect could come out of it and come out on top of their career. That’s what happened to me in NXT. I went into that match and the momentum was slowly picking up for me. After that and straight into Survivor Series and my career began. It’s nice to know something like this can happen.

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