Image Credit: WWE
Image Credit: WWE

Report: WWE Changed Plans For Zelina Vega Due To Strong Performances

The original plans for Zelina Vega at WWE Backlash reportedly changed and her performance led to a push.

Vega challenged Rhea Ripley for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship at the show. She delivered a valiant effort but wound up losing the hard-fought match. Vega memorably got a special ovation from the Puerto Rico crowd, both during her entrance and after the bell.

Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select reports that Ripley was initially set to beat Vega in a squash match at WWE Backlash. But WWE made a change, and they had a competitive match instead. The report noted that Ripley was happy to roll with this change. The change was seen as a beneficial one by WWE sources, as it helped everyone involved.

After WWE Backlash, Vega received another major opportunity when she competed in the Women’s Money in the Bank match. Sapp wrote that much of Vega’s push after Backlash stemmed from her performance against Ripley, and the reception she received.

Rhea Ripley On Facing Zelina Vega

Rhea Ripley previously reflected on facing Zelina Vega. Speaking with Peter Rosenberg of The Ringer, she noted that she was worried that “Mami” chants would hinder Vega’s moment at WWE Backlash. Ripley also made it clear that she was glad she got to be part of the special match.

“I wanted to smile with her, but I wouldn’t,” Ripley said. “I’m very happy she got that moment and she got that opportunity, and I know it’s gonna be something that she’s not gonna forget for the rest of her life. I’m glad that I could be the person in the ring with her to help her get to the point where everyone is just like believing in her in an established way.”

Vega remains a featured member of the SmackDown women’s division.