Entertainment

WWE stars Rhea Ripley and Queen Zelina on women’s wrestling, representation, and more

Rhea Ripley  

Rhea Ripley and Queen Zelina are two of the most-recognised women wrestlers worldwide, and have carved a niche for themselves as pro-athletes, whose careers girls across the world hope to emulate.

Rhea was the inaugural NXT UK Women’s Champion, as well as a former Raw Women’s Champion and a former WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion. She is also the first female Australian champion in WWE history.

“I know, it’s been a crazy rise so far. My favourite moment in my career so far was definitely performing at WrestleMania in front of a live crowd, that too to my band’s song. It was an insane experience.”

Saying that she loves travelling and India is right on top of her list, Rhea says that she’s aware of the global fandom WWE has these days, and it’s testament to how far even women’s wrestling has come in recent years. “I’m so proud of everyone in the division, and credit must go to the women before me who paved the way for us. They inspired us and made us believe that we can be as good as the guys. Having said that, I think I’m very different to everyone else out there; I’m representing the punk kids and bring my own style to my skill. I hope I can be someone they can look upto.”

The Undertaker and Rhea Ripley

The Undertaker and Rhea Ripley  

 

Rhea adds, “There’s a lot of things we can keep fighting for; top of that list would be for more time on television, and we certainly would love another Evolution event, the only WWE pay-per-view to consist solely of women’s matches.”

After allying with Nikki A.S.H, Rhea also comprises one half of WWE’s most popular tag teams. The 25-year-old, who is an Australian native, says she was definitely nervous about moving to the USA a few years ago to pursue her dream, but wanted to knuckle down and prove all her doubters wrong. “It’s what I’ve been doing all my life and I want to make the most of the opportunities that come my way. Would I take up acting and a career in films next? It scares me to think of it, but I definitely feel I could excel in action movies and would give it a real go.”

Queen Zelina, also a RAW star, is popular due to winning the inaugural Queen’s Crown tournament in 2021, and is also one half of the current WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions with Carmella.

Queen Zelina

Queen Zelina  

 

“It still feels surreal to have the ‘Queen’ title. I have wanted this since I was four years old, to hold a title in the WWE. I have really had to up my routine and training since, and my endurance has had to shoot up and match some of the other girls in the industry today, and be better than them.”

She, too, agrees that the response to women’s wrestling has changed a lot in recent years. “Just the fact that now women wrestling stars get to be at signings and little girls come up to us, is a big deal. WWE has done a lot to make women athletes not just appear important on television, but also give them their due importance off-screen as well.”

The Rock and Queen Zelina

The Rock and Queen Zelina  

 

Zelina, whose father passed away in the 9/11 tragedy two decades ago, adds that she wrestles as a tribute to him. “He used to be a wrestler in high school, but then wasn’t able to follow his passion. So I always told him I was going to be the wrestler in the family, even at such a young age. Every time I come to New York, I do get angsty remembering what happened, but there’s also an indescribable feeling that envelops me, like a warm hug. He always wanted me to be a history maker, and that’s what I plan to keep on doing,” she concludes.

Both stars were in action at the recently-concluded Survivor Series 2021, and also on the following episode of Raw, where Queen Zelina and Carmella defeated Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H to win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.

Sony Sports Network is the official broadcaster of WWE in India.The recently concluded WWE Survivor Series 2021 was aired on Sony Sports Channels

Watch WWE NXT LIVE every Wednesday at 6:30 am on SONY TEN 1 (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) & SONY TEN 4 (Telugu & Tamil) channels


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 11:11:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/wwe-stars-rhea-ripley-and-queen-zelina-on-womens-wrestling-representation-and-more/article37772649.ece

Next Story