Raquel Rodriguez returned to NXT and caused chaos.
The Heatwave special edition episode saw Rhea Ripley team with Dominik Mysterio in a mixed tag team match against Dragon Lee and Lyra Valkyria. Following multiple attacks on Rodriguez by Ripley on Raw, Rodriguez decided to get revenge on Mami.
As Valkyria and Ripley brawled on the outside, Rodriguez attacked The Eradicator from behind, with both women fighting to the back, leaving “Dirty” Dom all alone with Lee, who capitalised on the distraction to win the match.
Speaking after the match in an NXT Digital Exclusive, former Women’s Champion Rodriguez declared that she is able to compete, and looks to end Ripley’s dominant reign as champion:
“As of yesterday, I have been medically cleared for action, and I made my point pretty obvious to Rhea when I went out there and announced to her that it will be her versus me at Payback for the Women’s World Championship. So I came here tonight because I wanted to remind Rhea who she’s messing with. Not too long ago, we had our Last Woman Standing Match in this arena, and I put her through that stage floor. I plan on doing the same thing at Payback. She will be looking up at Raquel Rodriguez, your winner and your new Women’s World Champion,”
Raquel Rodriguez And Rhea Ripley Set For WWE Payback Showdown
Ripley first attacked Rodriguez on July 17th, targeting the leg of the then Women’s Tag Team Champion in the backstage assault. The injury would factor into a title match later in the night, where Sonya Deville and Chelsea Green defeated Rodriguez and Morgan to become new champions.
Weeks of Rodriguez trying to get cleared would follow, culminating on the August 21st episode of Raw. Rodriguez came down the ramp on a crutch, which would lure Ripley into the trap. Being cleared to compete, Rodriguez would attack Ripley and the Women’s Championship match was later made official for Payback.
H/t to Fightful.