Raquel Gonzalez NXT 2021
Image Credit: WWE

Raquel Gonzalez Looks Back On Her Past With Xia Li, Shares Her Excitement For Rhea Ripley’s Success

Raquel Gonzalez continues to take on all challengers, and she expects her successful run on the NXT Women’s Champion to continue on Tuesday night.

Gonzalez will defend the title against Xia Li this week on WWE NXT, and in an interview with Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, she how noted her past with Li is certainly a factor heading into the championship bout. She also explained how Li’s choice to ruin Dakota Kai’s celebration following her win over Ember Moon has added even more fuel to the fire ahead of this contest.

“It definitely brings back old memories from a lot of the past encounters that we’ve had, and coconut shows, and when I got to help attend a tryout in Shanghai and I wrestled her there for everyone in Shanghai, that was a great experience,” said Gonzalez. “But it was also kind of like okay, we’re doing this again. Like I thought, the last time you came and called me out, you didn’t show up. Now you’re stepping on Dakota’s shining moment, she just beat Ember Moon clean and fair, and you take this opportunity to come and get in my face.”

Despite Li’s size disadvantage, Gonzalez credited her challenger for being quick, but the champion believes that her reach advantage will make an important difference, just like it would in a UFC or boxing fight.

“Yeah, she’s little, so it means that she can probably get out of stuff a little bit easier, she probably moves a little bit quicker. But if we look at UFC fights and boxing fights, the advantage always goes to the person with the longest reach. So no matter how matter how many strikes she’s throwing, those things are gonna wear her out if she’s not hitting them.”

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Gonzalez still reigns supreme as the NXT Women’s Champion, but it’s fair to look forward to the day when she could potentially get called up to the main roster. In the interview, Gonzalez shared her excitement for the success her former on-screen rival Rhea Ripley as enjoyed on WWE RAW, as the two women remained linked as a pair of WWE’s most promising female stars.

“It’s an amazing feeling, it really is,” said Gonalez. “We go through so much together…in [being in] this industry and traveling and stress and all that stuff. And it really brings a lot of us together and closer and it also of course, like being sisters, you have fights and you have arguments and you guys fall apart at times, but it makes some so happy to see her doing so well and do such amazing things.

“Like her match [at WWE Money in the Bank] with Charlotte Flair, wow, so brutal, so hard-hitting and it makes me happy to know that’s what she’s doing…. I couldn’t ask for anything more for her.”

The full interview is available here: