Rhea Ripley Reacts To Incredible Crowd At WWE Backlash
Rhea Ripley has given her thoughts on competing in front of the very vocal crowd from WWE Backlash in Puerto Rico.
The Smackdown Women’s Title held by Rhea Ripley was on the line last week at WWE Backlash in front of an animated crowd in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Ripley defended her title against Zelina Vega, who comes from a Puerto Rican family.
Since Ripley won the Smackdown Women’s Title at WrestleMania 39 one month earlier, it was expected that she would keep her title, which she did. However, there are some people like WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray (Bubba Ray Dudley) that think Vega should have won the championship because it was the right time and place for it.
After Rhea Ripley won the match with the Riptide slam, Vega still got a moment to soak up the cheers from the crowd.
During a recent episode of The Ringer Wrestling Show, Rhea Ripley spoke about what it felt like competing in front of that hot Puerto Rican crowd.
“I was honestly living in that moment. We had the press conference earlier that day. I heard the reaction Zelina got when she went out there and it was loud and I was very excited for her. But then I went out there and it all turned into Mami chants.”
“It’s cool to hear, don’t get me wrong, but then I was thinking about it later that night, I was like, hopefully, the Mami chants don’t drown anything out because I know how special this event is to her because I know how special it would be for me to be able to perform in Australia, so I can only relate to that, especially since she’s never had like that big opportunity and she’s worked so hard for it.”
As Rhea Ripley continued, she explained how it was like a WrestleMania moment for Vega.
“This was like her WrestleMania moment in a way. So when I went out there first and I got the Mami charts, I was like, oh, no. We’ll see what happens. Once her music hit, the crowd just turned on me instantly and I had to like, sort of talk to myself. I was like, they are so hot for her right now. I could only imagine the emotions that she’s feeling right now.”
“Then seeing her walk out with the flag, go to her family, have them get in the ring, and then get so emotional live on camera when I know that she’s not a very emotional showing person, especially that sort of emotion. She’s normally a little angry Gremlin. It was hard for me to sort of play off it in the way that Rhea Ripley would.”
Following the match, Zelina Vega went on Instagram thanking many people for their support while saying that the Backlash match changed her life forever.