WWE's Rhea Ripley Talks Super Brutality Origins, Rejoining Raw, Dragon Ball Z, and More
WWE's Rhea Ripley is having the time of her life at the moment as part of the Super Brutality duo alongside Nikki A.S.H. Rhea and Nikki are currently ruling the Tag Division as WWE Women's Tag Team Champions, and they will continue that rule on Monday Night Raw thanks to night one of the WWE Draft. While Rhea and Nikki couldn't be more different in their in-ring personas, they compliment each other quite well, and ComicBook.com had the chance to talk to Ripley all about how their Tag Team started, what led to the Super Brutality title, how she feels about being on Raw, and even the reveal of who Nikki would be in the Dragon Ball Z universe.
To kick things off we had to talk about the Super Brutality title and ask where it came from. The title quickly resonated with fans, though it caught Ripley by surprise a bit.
"To be honest, I have no idea. I have absolutely no clue whatsoever. She said it on TV, and I was like, what? Okay, sure. Because I hadn't heard of it before that Monday Night Raw happened," Ripley said. "I had never heard it before unless some fan posted it on Twitter and someone read it and was like, oooh, that sounds good. Let's use that tonight. I don't know."
In fact, it kind of mirrored the origin of their tag team and how that came about, which wasn't planned but just kind of became a thing over time.
"The tag-team between Nikki and I, it sort of grew. We kept getting booked in things week in week, and I guess it sort of happened because no one told me it was a thing until it was a thing," Ripley said. "Yeah. I'm not complaining. I'm having the time of my life."
They bring the best out of each other, both in and outside of the ring, and Ripley hasn't smiled this much in quite some time.
"She definitely brings the brighter side out of me a little bit. She's got me cracking smiles on TV and I don't know what the hell's going on. I'm not someone that really likes to smile when I'm down to business, but she always seems to bring the fun and the positivity, and I think that's what she's all about. And that's one thing that I really do love about her. She tries to bring the positivity out of me, and it's something that I have definitely locked down deep, deep inside of me, but it's slowly creeping out and I do appreciate her for that because it's making me enjoy life and everything."
As for Nikki, Ripley hopes she's given her some additional edge, pushing her to bring out that inner brutality. "And with Nikki, I'm just trying to bring the brutality out of her, trying to bring out a little bit of darkness. I'm hoping that she gets a little bit more grungy in the ring, I want to say. I want her to stand up for herself, and I think she can. Seeing how she handled herself with Charlotte over those few months where she had the title and we were having those matches, I know it's there and I want her to bring it out and I want her to go mental one day and beat someone up," Ripley said.
While Ripley didn't plan on being a part of another Tag Team, she's enjoyed it quite a bit so far. "I'm really enjoying it, I really am. I've always been someone that's loved tag wrestling. I haven't changed too much mentally or physically about myself, I'm just going with the flow," Ripley said.
"And it's honestly so wild, especially knowing that this tag team formed in such a weird way and sort of just happened, in my eyes. One day we were a tag team. I think it's wild that we're holding the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships," Ripley said. "That's something that I didn't think I would be able to hold onto this early in my career. Especially with someone like Nikki, it was a bit of a shock to me."
During Night 1 of the WWE Draft, it was revealed that Rhea and Nikki will be staying on Monday Night Raw, and when Ripley initially moved from NXT she debuted on the Raw brand. There was a point where a SmackDown debut was talked about, but Raw quickly won out.
"At the very, very start I heard both. I think I traveled to one or two SmackDowns because it was in Tampa so I just had to drive there, so I think I went to one or two of them. But then pretty early on, I heard that it was Raw so I just kept going to Raw until eventually I got booked and stopped eating cookies and catering," Ripley said.
As for which brand she was hoping to be on this time around, the Red Brand was at the top of her wishlist, but she does look forward to joining the Blue Brand at some point down the line.
"I think I look better in Red, to be completely honest. I love SmackDown and one day I do want to go to SmackDown because I want to be a Grand Slam Champion, but right now I think my placement is on Raw," Ripley said. "And also, with this draft, there are so many girls on SmackDown that I haven't worked yet, but I know that it's all going to be jumbled anyway, so if I go to SmackDown they might not be there anyway. And also, I feel like on Raw we get more time to showcase our abilities, which is something that I'm always there for, where on SmackDown I feel like there's limited time because it's only two hours where Raw is three."
Plus, as Women's Tag Team Champions, she gets to bounce between both, so it's a win-win. "Yeah, exactly. I'm going to be going to both anyways, so at the moment I don't really mind which one I'm on," Ripley said.
Now, the last time we talked to Ripley she mentioned she wanted to create some Android 18 Dragon Ball Z gear to follow up her stunning gear from WrestleMania, so we had to see how that was coming along.
"I honestly, I haven't been thinking about it too much, but it's just so hard to picture how everything is going to look because it is such a random piece of clothing that she wears. I'm like, I don't know how to put that into my gear and make it look cool without having random stripes everywhere and denim. I don't know how to work it so I gave up on it a little bit, but you did remind me just then I have to start thinking about that again because I want to do it one day, I really want to," Ripley said.
The good news is that the WWE Universe has shown n multiple occasions how they can spot even the smallest reference to a franchise or character in superstar gear, so fingers crossed this one finally happens.
Speaking of Dragon Ball, Ripley has said that Android 18 is the character she's most like in the franchise. So the question is, who represents Nikki?
Ripley said "Oh, who's the person that... That's difficult. Who would it be?"
Also, no pressure, since the fanart is going to fly in when the choice is made.
"I know, I know. Oh my gosh. I want to say that she's a lot like Gohan, especially when he was in his Superman stages," Ripley said. "Yeah, there you go, guys. Start making it. Put me as Zeno really angry in the back while she's being...what was it? Saiyaman, Saiyaman, that's what it was."
You can catch Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. every week on Monday Night Raw, which airs at 8 PM EST on USA Network.
Who do you want to see Super Brutality take on next? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things wrestling with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!0comments