Rhea Ripley‘s ascent to the top of WWE women’s division is a huge accomplishment in itself. The Nightmare is considered one of the best female wrestlers in the world by many fans. Her powerhouse wrestling style and incredible character work has greatly enhanced her appeal over the last year.
Having been an active in-ring competitor for the last 10 years, Rhea Ripley has collided with some of the best women in the world; improving her in-ring style in the process. She’s the inaugural NXT UK Women’s Champion as well as the seventh WWE Women’s Triple Crown Champion.
Now that we’ve discussed her accomplishments in brief, let’s take a look at some of the best matches in her WWE career thus far.
Rhea Ripley vs. Shayna Baszler (NXT – December 18, 2019)
Rhea Ripley and Shayna Baszler have crossed paths multiple times, but it is their outing from the December 18, 2019, episode of NXT that’s talked about to this day. The Nightmare jumped ship from NXT UK to NXT in August 2019 and immediately entered into a title program with Baszler.
After pinning Baszler in the critically-acclaimed inaugural NXT Women’s WarGames match, Ripley met the Queen of Spades in their singles match for the NXT Women’s Championship on the December 18th episode of NXT.
The powerhouse brought the fight to the submission specialist, countering multiple submission holds including Baszler’s patented Kirifuda Clutch by relying on her in-ring awareness. In the end, Ripley performed an Avalanche Riptide on Baszler for the win, making her the first women to have won both the NXT and NXT UK women’s championships.
Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez (NXT New Year’s Evil 2021)
Rhea Ripley’s recent outings against Raquel Rodriguez (formerly Raquel Gonzalez) have been underwhelming, to say the least. Gladly, the same cannot be said about their Last Woman Standing Match at NXT New Year’s Evil in 2021.
After months of animosity, the two women finally meet to settle the score at the January 6th premium live event. This was an absolute war as the real-life best friends took each other to the limit.
The closing moments of the match saw both performers go through the stage. Gonzalez emerged from the rubble as the Last Woman Standing. The match turned out to be Ripley’s last in NXT until her outing against Lyra Valkyria on the July 25, 2023, episode of NXT.
Rhea Ripley vs. Iyo Shirai vs. Charlotte Flair (NXT TakeOver: In Your House 2020)
Rhea Ripley shockingly dropped her NXT Women’s Championship to Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 36. She subsequently went on a hiatus to sort out her visa issues, and returned to find Io Shirai in the title contention with the Queen.
The three women main evented NXT TakeOver: In Your House. The thee-way was filled with hard-hitting action. All three competitors showcased their brilliant in-ring skills. The match also featured a cool aerial spot, courtesy of the Genius of the Sky.
Shirai would go on to pin Ripley, winning the NXT Women’s Championship in the process.
Women’s WarGames Match (NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2019)
NXT made history by holding the first-ever Women’s WarGames match at TakeOver: WarGames on November 23, 2019. Rhea Ripley captained her team – which comprised Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox, and Dakota Kai – against Team Baszler (Shayna Baszler, Bianca Belair, Io Shirai, and Kay Lee Ray).
During the match, Dakota Kai turned heel by attacking Tegan Nox and injuring her in the process. The shocking betrayal left Ripley and LeRae as the de facto members of her team. Nevertheless, the Nightmare managed to score a huge win over Team Baszler by planting the team captain with a Riptide on steel chairs.
The match received universal praise, with Dave Meltzer giving it 4.25 stars.
Rhea Ripley Vs. Charlotte Flair (WrestleMania 39 – Night 1)
Charlotte Flair’s consistent involvement in the title picture has been the subject of some of the worst criticism on the internet. But there’s no denying her incredible in-ring talents and reputation as one of the greatest wrestlers on the planet.
The Queen’s match against the Nightmare at WrestleMania 39 is arguably the best title defense Flair’s been a part of in her illustrious career. For Ripley, the SmackDown Women’s Championship match is considered her best performance to date.
The match is also considered a highpoint in women’s wrestling because it involved four women inside the ring at the same time: Flair and Ripley as the competitors with Jessica Carr and Samantha Irvin as referee and ring announcer respectively.
The match has a 4.75 star rating from the Observer, making it the highest rated match of both women’s career to date.
Rhea Ripley vs. Natalya (RAW – July 3, 2023)
Natalya is rightfully considered the gatekeeper of WWE women’s division. The BOAT has been a part of some underrated gems, and her match against Rhea Ripley from RAW is a primary example of her often overlooked workrate.
The match was all action from the get-go with Natalya going all out in her attempt to teach the Eradicator of the Judgment Day a lesson about respect. Both women absolutely beat the tear out of each other before the Women’s World Champion sealed her win.
Rhea Ripley vs. Iyo Shirai (NXT – November 18, 2020)
Rhea Ripley failed to reclaim the NXT Women’s Championship at TakeOver: In Your House. She got a huge shot at Io Shirai on the November 18, 2020, episode of NXT. Both women brought out the best in each other.
Shirai’s high-flying offense complemented Ripley’s no-nonsense powerhouse ring style. In the end, Shirai delivered an incredibly moonsault on Ripley to retain the NXT Women’s Championship.
Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair (Money in the Bank 2021)
Rhea Ripley, Charlotte Flair, and Asuka tore the house down with their triple-threat match for the WWE RAW Women’s Championship at WrestleMania Backlash. The Nightmare retained her title against the Queen at Hell in a Cell. The duo met for a rematch at Money in the Bank.
This singles match-up turned out to be a Match of the Year contender. Both Ripley and Charlotte put on a great performance. In the end, the Queen used her strategic mind to trap Ripley’s legs between the steel steps to halt her momentum before locking in the Figure-8 leglock inside the ring for the submission win.