WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley took to his Facebook page earlier this week and wrote a lengthy post arguing in favor of NXT's Rhea Ripley winning the 2020 Women's Royal Rumble this Sunday. Foley's post began with, "Momentum is everything in #WWE and the ability for those rare Superstars to transcend the world of professional wrestling, and appeal to a larger audience, is based in large part on maintaining and increasing that momentum. I really felt that when Ripley was crowned WWE NXT champion that she had the capacity to do what few before her had been able to accomplish - bring in new fans to see a very different face of WWE. In retrospect, Ripley may have been a casualty of the Wednesday night war. Going head-to-head with the high-quality AEW on TNT product on a weekly basis meant recruiting proven draws to the brand - which 10-time champion Charlotte Flair certainly is. There is no question that Charlotte delivered as a rating draw - a study of 2020 #NXT viewership bears that out - but when the time seemed right to place the crown on a new and very different queen, WWE dropped the ball.
"Despite having an outstanding match at WWE WrestleMania, the loss to Charlotte greatly slowed the young Australian's momentum - and with it, the opportunity to be on the major face of her brand, and that rare transformative wrestler who can attract new fans to the product," he continued. "I have read and heard that WWE had some big post-Mania plans for Ripley, but ultimately, those plans just never came to fruition."
He then made the argument for Ripley to win the Rumble, followed by Flair winning back the Raw Women's Championship at Elimination Chamber in order to set up a rematch from WrestleMania 36. Ripley lost the NXT Women's Championship to Flair at that event and was never given the chance for a rematch. Instead, Io Shirai pinned Ripley during the NXT TakeOver: In Your House event, giving Flair the chance to jump back to Raw without ever taking a pinfall loss.
Ripley has admitted in interviews since then that the Flair angle shook her confidence. And while she still hasn't managed to regain the NXT Women's title, she has reclaimed quite a bit of momentum in recent months.
As of now, Ripley has not been confirmed for the Rumble match. If she enters and wins, she'll be the first NXT wrestler to win a Royal Rumble.
Do you agree with Foley's argument? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments!